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How To Turn your Handwriting into a Font

Posted by Jamie on September 14, 2018

Ever wanted to turn your handwriting into a font? Wanted to personalize your digital stationery or add a flourish to your website? There are a few tools around that can take your own scribblings and turn them into usable fonts for your computer or other device. It doesn’t take long and as long as you can write legibly, can produce a decent quality font for almost any use.

There are a number of websites that offer to turn your handwriting into a font but the most common is Calligraphr. It used to be called MyScriptFont and has had something of a revamp. It isn’t the only service of its kind out there but it does make short work of this process. You will have to register with the site but you can create a single font set for free. If you want to make more, you’re looking at $8 a month.

You will need a printer and a scanner for this to work. The website does everything else.

Turn your handwriting into a font

The process of turning your handwriting into a font is fairly simple. You register at Calligraphr, download a template, complete the template in your own handwriting, upload it and let the website do its thing. It will digitize your handwriting and turn it into a font file ready for you to download.

Let’s get started:

  1. Navigate to Calligraphr and register an account.
  2. Download the template and print it as portrait.
  3. Complete the template using a black pen.
  4. Scan the completed template and save it as PNG.
  5. Upload the file to Calligraphr and save it as TTF format.
  6. Select Start to begin the font file creation process.
  7. Download the completed .ttf file from the website.

That’s all there is to the actual creation process!

When printing the template, make sure to use portrait format. Complete it using a good quality black pen and make sure all letters are clear and legible. When scanning, make sure it is 300ppi and no larger than 4000 x 4000 px.

Name your file something meaningful too, although it doesn’t really matter. You can save it as JPG but PNG works well. TTF format is True Type Format which will work on most computers. You can save as TTF, OTF or SVG.

It may take a couple of attempts to complete the template properly. You need to keep all letters within the box and make them as clear and as legible as you can. I used a black ink pen but any quality pen that writes dark enough to come out in a scan should work fine. You get an opportunity to preview your font file before the site creates it so take your time and verify that all letters and characters are to your satisfaction before saving.

If you’re not happy with the defaults, select Edit font details. Here you can change spacing, font size and work spacing to make it work better. This may taker some tweaking to get it just right but perseverance pays off here. Rinse and repeat until you’re happy and then create the font.

Installing your font

Now you have your font file you can install it onto your computer. If you use Windows you can either copy and paste the file into your Fonts folder or right or double click and select Install. If you use Mac, you can either copy and paste the file into Font Book or preview the file and select Install Font.

Once installed, you will be able to use your new font in some programs. You will likely not be able to change the default system fonts but will be able to use them in Word, Excel and other programs.

Using your font online

You can also upload a TTF file to your website if you wish. Depending on the platform you use, you may need a plugin or extension to add a font file. Be careful though, there are lots of readability rules about font use for the web. It may look good on your screen now but make sure it looks good on a phone and tablet before committing it.

This article on font use on the web is a great read if you’re planning to upload and use your new handwritten font file online. Fonts are very influential over our experience so thought is needed to get it just right.

Calligraphr is a bit of fun if you want to turn your handwriting into a font. I personally wouldn’t use the font for anything other than messing around but that is entirely up to you!

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