shp file format

Hello everyone.
Can someone give me a clue as to the format of a shp file? I am looking to bring true single stroke fonts into my laser vector art program. I just
figured out how to read and write DXF for laser (ILDA based). Now I find that the TEXT entity needs an external font definition. So rather than cheat and render a ttf font to dxf, I'd rather have a real single stroke font. I'm guessing that a shp file contains very shorthand notation for lines, polylines and arcs. But I don't get the order.
http://www.akrobiz.com/laserboy
Thanks! James. :o)
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If you have AutoCAD, the format is documented in the Help file.

cheat
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I don't have AutoCAD. I'm not really a CAD user. I'm a software engineer. I'm just looking for a specification. Hopefully, this isn't a serious moral issue.
James. :o)

to
font.
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