Your handwriting in a Font?

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Your handwriting in a Font?

Was just wondering if anyone out there has purchased or used any of the free font generators to be able to add that personal touch even in your DIGITAL scrapbooking?

If you've used one...which?
How much was it and were you pleased with it?

3 in our family used several years ago, when they were offering it free. They now charge a small fee, not much really, under $10 unless you get all the extra characters. I moved the letters around digitally before I submitted them, to get them more uniform in size and we were pleased with the results, though we didn't use it often. But now that I'm digitally scrapping, I plan to use it more.

I originally got interested in it, because my Grandmother's handwriting had gotten VERY jittery and unrecognizable. She wanted to write, but couldn't. Mom was just talking with me a few weeks ago, and told me that Grandma's new medications have steadied her hands and she's even drawing now! So I've recently taken to thinking about creating handwriting fonts again.

After just a small search, I've found that there are still a few you can get that are free. Just wanted to know what others have experienced? Thanks.

I use a graphite board and just write into my designs when I want to use my own writing.

I have a font of my writing that I bought several years ago from Kimberly Geswein, ( but I don't think she's still does them that way. It was less than $10. I use it a LOT!

Do you have links to any that are free? I've never found a free one!

The free font I found the other day was at I've not used it yet though.

Wow Thanks Laura!!! Most excellent!!! smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley

I was looking for a free font software the other day. I found one called Scanahand, but I haven't tried it yet.

Thank you Laura, I will check that out! smiley

I always learn SOOOO much from the forums here on pixelscrapper. I can't wait to try creating my own font. Great post, Laura!

I've tried this one - it's actually great, but it doesn't look much like my handwriting :p

I've always wanted to try this... thanks for the freebie link smiley

I bought Scanahand a few years ago.

It's awesome because I can make however many fonts I want. I only bought the cheap one, so it doesn't let me fix every little thing. However, since I just scan the font, I have been able to fix how I write it in the box to make it better. I've also used it to make doodles that I've loaded as fonts.

Also, it's cool because I've been able to add journalling in the handwriting of the person. For example, my mother in law shared a story with me, and I was able to add it with her handwriting. Plus, I have my siblings handwriting when they were young (think backwards letters) and they can see it.

@Courtney: That program looks interesting. I've often thought about making my handwriting a font, but it always seemed a bit complicated. Maybe I will take the plunge.

Marisa, I already tried it! and it is fun, quick and easy. I have my own font now smiley

The basic one is very very simple. You print out a page, write your letters (or dingbats) and then scan it in. Save the font, and done!

The more advanced one I haven't tried, but I know it'll let you fix slants and such to make your font better. For journalling, I find that the basic one has worked just fine.

Heather Joyce has a great deal at Scrap Orchard right now: she turns your handwriting into a digital handwriting font for 1 dollar 30 - normal price is 10 dollars!

Note: At that price she reserves the right to use your handwriting font, repackage, & sell it. I would be scared someone else that purchased it could use my font and forge my digital signature. I know that your digital signature is becoming "legal" tender for business use and can cause you to be held responsible for things like applying for a credit card online.

just my 2 cents on the subject... smiley

I hear ya, Shawna. smiley That would make me concerned, too. It was only a few years back that I had someone steal my mail over a period of a few days & change the address on one of my utility bills - thankfully I noticed right away (got a PO Box, called everyone I had an account with or subscription with & had them switch it to that & had them password-protect my accounts - to make sure that could never happen again) - I think I would have been the victim of identity theft otherwise. So, needless to say, while using my own handwriting as a font sounds nice (for like scrapping genealogy books & what not) I wouldn't be comfortable with my handwriting being offered to the general public.

I agree, I wouldn't ever use the "signature feature" on these. Paid or free. My signature looks different than my handwriting. And most of these, except for the VERY expensive, aren't set up to deal with cursive's, and only deal with a print. I would feel better about a "signature stamp" if I scanned it, and kept it password protected!

You could use inkscape (which is also free & has a free font convertor in their program) as well as font forge and here's a tutorial on 'how to make a font' which gives you the option to share your font or not.

Their spiro video tutorial in that link on taking your scanned writing and editing your original handwriting to look more professional or completely different, it is not in English but if you slow the video down like I did (it's a fast 2/3 minute video) you could write the steps out yourself.


If you want your font signature shared with the world you could email Amanda & Kevin to convert your writing into a font for free; yet I have never gone that route but it's on her web site, just send an email with your writing.

Hope that helps.

Also a side note since I love Inkscape you could also take the spiro tutorial on editing your scanned writing and instead of scanned writing take a commercial font and re-edit that font into a new font design.

I wouldn't suggest anyone give out their original signature but an edited reformatted & re-customed designed font, maybe.

oh thank you so much for this. I was able to get my moms handwriting for my journaling.

I tried and I think it came out really cute. Since they tell you to use a medium felt tip, it looks a little casual, like I'm marking moving boxes or making garage sale signs. I might try again, using a thinner pen and my "good" handwriting to see what turns out. Has anyone else tried a thin felt tip or even a ball point?

I used Gel pens on mine it came out cute for all of mine I did, my daughter, mine, and my moms.

Oh, nice! Thanks Megan; that will be what I try next.

What I did when we did our 3 fonts several years ago, 1) Mine 2) hubbies & 3) my Daughters...was I had them write in the boxes, but then I scanned them, and moved the letters in a drawing program so that the bottoms were on a good line. If there was a letter that looked obviously smaller or larger than others, I readjusted the size a bit trying to match. I laid guide lines down on the bottom, and mid point lines. If you want something that looks a little more uniform and nicer, you might want to take a look at doing something similar before you send it in.

Wow, thanks for the link, Fran! I downloaded Inkscape and Font Forge and have toted with them both. May just have to start making my own fonts...lovin this so far!

Laura, since your totting with Inkscape I figured I should just go ahead and give you the Spiro tutorial to that video. I'm not that great at explain nor doing tutorials (so bear with me) but I hope this helps if you should need it for future reference.

Spiro Tutorial on Scanned Writing/Drawings.

Step 1: Go to the icon next to the print icon. The Icon is called Import an SVG image into this document or (ctrl + I) find or locate your scan writing or drawing and open file it to open it into your inkscape.

Step 2: Once scanned writing/drawing is opened click onto it to target it and go to the top 'Object' scroll down to 'rotate 90' image if needed.

Step 3: Click onto 'Zoom' (F3) and zoom in, on your writing/drawing going as zoomed in as needed.

Step 4: Click on the draw Bazier icon or (Shift + F6)

Step 5: Toggle and click your mouse to trace over your writing/drawing to outline your writing/drawing. Once your finished outlining your words or drawing it should look like a incomplete tracing with the line symmetries zigzaging over your scanned image.

Step 6: Click on to the 'Edit Paths' icon or (F2) on the side pannel you should see different path selections on the very top (picture icons) to choose from (they look like dots connecting to a line) find the 'make selected segment curves' icon that has two dots each on different ends and in between is a curve.

Step 7: Click on the top row panel that says file, edit, view etc..and find 'Path" once in path scroll down to 'path effect editor' or (shift+ctrl+7) and the Path effect box will appear next to your outline image.

Step 8: In Apply a new effect go to the drop down box and find 'Spiro spline' click onto the 'add' and it should appear added in the 'effect list' (if the drop box wont open up, simply hover over to your outline & double click onto your writing/drawing to reactivate it then back to the apply new effect box and scroll down to; Spiro spline and add it to the effect list)

Step 9: In the effect list click 'Spiro spline'(eye icon) play with it by double clicking it you'll see the eye open and close when you click onto it. Click it so the eye icon is closed then hover over to your outline and fix the symmetries of your lines by toggling the lines in or out as needed and give your lines curves. Your tracing should start to flow with your scanned image (meaning it should look more like your scanned image or more improved). Click the Spiro eye open or close it as needed to see the difference with the before and after symmetries.

Step 10: A short cut step instead of doing the freehand shape of converting the box rectangle to a converted to path is to skip it entirely and go to the 'apply new effect' and in the drop down box find the 'pattern along path' then add it to your 'effect list' double click onto 'pattern along path' it will open up the current effect box.

Step 11: See where it says 'pattern source' next to it should be an 'edit on canvas' icon click on the icon to activate it.

Step 12: Next step is to click onto the clipboard icon which is the 'paste path' and activate that as well.

Step 13: Find 'pattern copies' and the drop down box next to it, your going to want to scroll down to 'single,stretched' and click it to activate it as well.

Step 14: Your writing/drawing should look like a big outlined blob which is not what we want so go to width and keep decreasing the numbers till it shows your writing/drawing as an outline (decrees or increase the width to your choosing of thickness or thinning of an outlining)

Step 15: To fill your outline writing/drawing go your color palette (e.g black) and it will fill your outline to a solid color.

Step 16: Click on to your scanned image (the back layer) and delete it.

Step 17: Scroll to your writing/drawing and hold your mouse down and hover over your whole writing/drawing to group your writing/drawing together and move it into the box if needed or re-size it accordingly.

That's it you're done!

You can always go back to your 'effect list' and toggle with the Spiro spline or pattern along path if you need to adjust or fix your writing/drawing and zoom in and out as needed.

Save as inkscape svg or cairo png or pdf. Svg is best if you want to re-edit your writing/drawing (it's somewhat like a template).

hahaha...yeah, it should have read
"downloaded Inkscape and Font Forge and have toyed with them both." And thanks for the tutorial, I was able to follow along with the videos, but only to a point. You're right they go fast. How do you slow them down?

Question Fran... have you used the newer version. I actually downloaded the 0.48 version, instead of a newer "Development Version"...but the How to Make a Font with Fontforge & Inkscape page had their 4th video that must be using one of the Develpment versions because I don't find the Typography under Extensions, though some of the options for aligning objects along baselines for text appear to be there.

I was trying to figure out how to "place the base lines" for the text. Because it is giving me the options in the Objects > Align and Distrbute the ablility to "Align baseline text" option. Do you know a way within the 0.48 version to add a baseline for the texts? Is it that its a feature only once you are dealing with TEXT instead of objects? (Which is where I'm still at with creating and defining SVG Font Editor, Adding Glyphs etc.)

I'm not sure if Illustrator has been upgraded yet to deal with multiple letters inside the SVG file as the last video, but I like the fact that Inkscape can. I've done a few ABC fonts, just as a test into Fontforge.

Also I've run into a problem, I'm seeing some of my fonts appears in Inkscape, but a DO HAVE a font that isn't showing up on the list. I've not yet found were to set the program to look for fonts or other types of files. Might just have to import as a bmp pic instead, cause it just happens that the font I wanted to tweek is the one that's NOT showing up in Inkscape, won't you know it. smiley

I slowed, it down was an error on my part more like I paused it play by play. Lol.

So I have both versions in two different computers the .47 & .48. The video of the Typography Extensions
is of the not yet released .49 version of Inkscape. So, what they do like gimp is throw out the preview parts of what the next installment will look like. I'm not sure if Inkscape does the same thing as Gimp where they put out the unreleased version on a blog for those who know how to fix the bugs, test or write out their own scripts into a FTP, notepad, etc or know how to install the scripts manually into the program? I just know Gimp gave the option to do so a few years ago and it was more than 8gb and of course the program is going to crash when testing coding it out.

Did you from the video tutorial download the fontstarter.svg file which I'm assuming the template is set to 1000x1000?

I have some of my scanned writing in png/jpeg format and have not yet converted it into a vector and then into a font svg>online font (type) converter.

But I know if the svg template is set at 1000x1000 there should be a trick to measuring the font if there is no baseline here's a link to a video tut on measuring your font (1000) pt w/o a baseline creating a font it's in illustrator but one should be able to use the same concepts.

I'm not sure why one of your font is not showing up but maybe try doing a different process

Try this video link Pngs>Vector>Font

Importing it as a png
Open Path > trace bitmap to convert pngs into vector
Slide one of your pngs into font starter template, resize it to the your choosing
then click update > okay and you should see a preview of your png converted into vector. Slide the vector out of the way (to the side of template) and delete the png when done.

If you have a double image and it only shows up partially the way to handle this is to select the whole image and press ctrl+k to select and group to combine the full font so it fully shows up when converted to vector.

Then save font svg>then onto a online font converter?

For those with an iPad, I use iFontMaker. It's so easy to make a font with that program and it lets you pick a font to use as a guide. You draw directly onto the iPad as if you were using a pen which allows you to get pretty precise results without the scanning step. I think it's $5 or maybe $6. I'm really happy with it.