How To Turn your Handwriting into a Font
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 devices. It doesn’t take long and as long as you can write legibly, it 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:
- Navigate to Calligraphr and register an account.
- Download the template and print it as a portrait.
- Complete the template using a black pen.
- Scan the completed template and save it as PNG. (Make sure that the glass on your scanner is clean or any blemishes will show up on the scan and be put into your font)
- Upload the file to Calligraphr by selecting Upload Template.
- Select Add Characters to your font at the bottom.
- Select Build Font and confirm by clicking Build to begin the font file creation process.
- 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 word 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. You can also right-click 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.
Other Font Websites & Apps
Although Calligraphr is one of the more popular sites for converting your handwriting into a font, there are a few other options we’d like to mention. There are a lot of apps available in the App Store and Google’s Play Store that allow you to create new fonts and learn calligraphy.
Fontifier is incredibly similar to Calligrapher, except you pay $9 for every font you’d like to upload to your computer. Although it does include using a printer and a scanner, variety is always good.
If you’d like to have several samples of handwriting turned into fonts, this may be the way to go. With no monthly fee, you simply pay for the ones you need. The website does give you the option to view the uploaded handwriting before making a purchase, an important feature of handwriting to font purchases.
The popular Calligraphr setup has an app that’s available for both Android and iOS users. The application is free to download and offers calligraphy options as well.
The Fonty App is another way to create fronts. Downloadable for iOS and Android, the application is free to use. Using your mobile device, you can create nearly any font you’d like and download it right to your phone.
Aside from drawing your own letter to use as font, this app also includes the ability to edit it and make ClipArt. Like the Fontifier website, you do have the opportunity to view your fonts before completing it. The auto-save feature means you won’t ever lose your work if something happens.
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 the font used 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.