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Learn How to Use Extra Font Characters & Character Map in Cricut Design Space!

In this third of Cricut Design Space tutorials, you will learn how to find and use the extra characters in fonts and how to use a character map in Cricut.

Creating unique and beautiful words and names is one of my favorite things about Cricut Design Space. 

I’ll let you in on a secret if you don’t already know… most fonts have a bunch of extra characters you can use in replace of their standard ones!

How do you use a character map in design space and how do you add flourishes to fonts in Cricut Design Space?  Those are the questions we are tackling in the third part of Cricut Design Space 101.

cricut design space tutorials pin

There is a full video tutorial at the bottom of the post but you also don’t want to miss the other video Cricut Design Space tutorials:

Part 1: Cricut Design Space for Dummies – An Overview

Part 2:  Cricut Design Space Tutorial:  All Things Text and Font

Part 4:  How to Make a Split Letter Monogram in Cricut Design Space

Part 5:  How to Download Fonts to Ipad to use in CDS

Part 6: How to Curve Text in Cricut Design Space

Part 7: How to Upload Images and Make Layers in CDS

Part 8: How to Slice in CDS

Part 9: Weld vs Attach in Cricut

Part 10: How to use Cricut Patterns

Also make sure to subscribe to get access to our FREEBIE SVG section and to get updated with weekly emails!

What are Font Glyphs?

A glyph is an individual character and is a variety of designs of that certain character.  Some fonts will have up to 15 glyphs for every letter of the alphabet (capital and lowercase).  The glyphs or flourishes usually contain pretty swishes or doodles that can make a name or word standout.

Unfortunately, most free fonts do not contain extra characters or glyphs.  However, you don’t have to spend a lot to get beautiful fonts.  In the last post (part 2), I told you where I get my premium fonts for free or for $1.

Let me show you what I’m talking about.  One of my favorite premium fonts is the Samantha Font.  Now, this one was not a $1.  It does have a higher price tag, but you get so many extra characters. 

You can find it here for about $17. (affiliate link). Just search “Samantha”.

Samantha Upright Font vs Samantha Craft Font

Update: There are now multiple versions of the amazing Samantha font and I get questions on it all the time. In this tutorial, I’m using the Samantha Upright since that is all they had when I purchased it. Since then they have come out with a Samantha Craft font.

samantha craft font

The Samantha craft font has thicker letters that are more ideal for cutting machines. You can see the differences in the letters in this screenshot from their website. They are the same font but the craft font just has more thickness to the letters.

samantha upright vs craft

If I were to buy it now, I would get the Samantha craft since I only use it for cutting out SVG files on my Cricut. I hope that helps!


In this first screenshot are the letters in the standard font.  I opened up a text box and typed the word in using Samantha font.  Then I ungrouped them, moved them together, and welded them.

Update: Cricut has now released the kerned function, so no need to move the letters around!

cricut design space tutorial

Now, this is what happens when you kick it up a notch and use the extra font glyphs available.  Beautiful, right?  This how I make a lot of my free and deal SVG files.

cricut design space tutorial

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How to Access Extra Font Characters

If you are using programs such as Illustrator, you can access the glyphs from inside the program.  This is not the case for Cricut Design Space.

The easiest way I have found to add flourishes to fonts in Cricut Design Space, including accents and the degree symbol is using a character map.  Now, I am on a PC, so this is probably different for Macs.

There is usually a character map app already installed on your computer.  If you search for it, it should pop up.  The one installed on my computer is really small and hard for me to see!

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No worries, I found a bigger one that you can download and it’s so much easier to see and use.  It’s called Character Map UWP and is in the Microsoft store.  Once you click on the link, you can download the character map uwp and use it on your PC.

You can see in the picture below that all of the fonts on my computer come up on the left and when I click on one all the extra glyphs come up.

character map windows

Then you’ll need to copy and paste the glyphs into Cricut Design Space.

Note: You will only be able to see extra characters for the fonts installed on your computer.  You will not be able to see any fonts from Cricut Design Space.

How to Add Flourishes to Fonts In Cricut Design Space

Let me show you how to add the extra Samantha font glyphs to the word Hello.

I am using the offline version of CDS for this example.  Some people are having problems pasting the extra glyphs into the new Beta offline version of CDS, but it still works for me.

Tip:  If you are trying to use your copy and paste with your mouse, use your keyboard controls instead.  Let me show you.

searching fonts in cricut design space

Open up a text box in Cricut Design Space and make sure Samantha (or whatever font you want to use) is selected.  I find it easiest to type the name in the Search box.

Open up your character map and scroll down to Samantha font.  Find the extra character you want to use and click on it.  Then click on Copy (character only).

samantha extra glyphs

This will copy the extra character to your clipboard.  Or you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+C to copy it.

Now go back to CDS and paste it into the text box.  With the new offline version, I found that using my mouse to do this (right-click) doesn’t work.

But the keyboard shortcuts do!  When your cursor is inside the text box press Ctrl+V.  This should paste a square inside the box.  Wait a few seconds and the glyph should show up below.

how to add swashes to font in cricut

Then type the other letters in the text box next to it.  If you want another glyph, repeat the same process.  Go back to the character map and find the one you want to use and copy it.

how to use samantha font

Place the cursor back in your text box where you want that specific letter and hit Ctrl and V at the same time.

how to add flourishes to fonts in cricut design space

Now to attach the cursive font together I like to click the down arrow on the Letter Space tool until the letters get pretty close. 

Then I click on  Ungroup in the upper right-hand corner and move each letter individually until they are where I want them.

how to use samantha font
how to add flourishes to fonts in cricut design space

Once they are exactly where I want them, I drag my cursor around all of them to select them all and hit WeldWith script fonts, you always want to weld them together or the Cricut will cut the overlapping pieces if you just use attach.

how to add flourishes to fonts in cricut design space

If for some reason one of the insides of a letter goes black when you do this, click Undo and then move the letters a little farther apart.  I had the “e” fill in but I just moved the H a little farther to the left and when I clicked Weld again it was hollow again.

Once they are welded you can use the double arrows to make the entire word smaller or bigger.

How to Add an Accent in Cricut Design Space

Adding accents over letters in Cricut Design Space such as Spanish accents is another common question I get asked.

This is another great way to utilize a character map. A lot of fonts that you download on your computer have the extra letters that have accents over them.

Find a font in the character map that you want to use. Click on it it see if it has letters that contain the accents already over them.

For this example, I’m using Baby Sweet font. You can see it has quite a few extra letters and different types of accents.

Again click on the one you want and then click on the Copy icon on the far right.

how to put an accent over a letter in cricut design space

A “copied” button will pop up once it’s copied.

how to add glyphs in cricut design space

Now go back into Cricut Design Space and insert a new text box. Make sure the same font is selected from the drop-down menu. Use your keyboard shortcuts to paste the accented letter (Ctrl+V).

how to add accents glyphs in cricut design space

How to Make a Degree Symbol in Cricut Design Space

Adding a degree symbol to Cricut Design Space is another thing that gets people scratching their head! Unless you have a keyboard that has one, it’s not easy to figure out.

Again, the character map to the rescue! Let’s use the most common font everyone should have on their computer, Arial to learn how to type a degree symbol in Cricut Design Space.

Granted you could probably add an image or two ovals and slice them to create your own degree symbol, but I think the character map is quicker and easier!

I found Arial in the character map and below the letters are a bunch of extra symbols and accents. Repeat the same steps as above to import the degree symbol in Cricut Design Space.

Click on the copy icon and then use your keyboard shortcuts to insert it into a textbox in CDS (make sure Arial is selected on your drop-down font menu!)

how to type degree symbol in cricut design space

You can also find an accent in the Arial font.

how to add an accent in cricut design space

Trouble Shooting Character Map to CDS Issues

I get a lot of questions about the paste function not working in Cricut Design Space and that people will get a question mark in a box when trying to paste.

The most likely cause of this is the correct font is not chosen in Cricut Design Space. Most of the time we forget to click on the drop-down menu in CDS and change the font to the one we looked up on the character map.

So if you are getting something like this after you’ve pasted a letter from Baby sweet on the character map…

question mark when pasting glyphs

Simply change the Font on the drop down menu to Babysweet. Then the correct glyph should appear.

character map troubleshooting

Cricut Design Space Tutorials:  Video Tutorial on How to Use Extra Glyphs

All of this is much easier to explain to you while I am doing it on my computer, so I put together a video tutorial on how to use the extra characters.

Also, if you don’t want to miss any other Cricut Design Space tutorials make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Please let me know if you have any questions.  Be on the lookout for more Cricut Design Space Tutorials and if there is something specific you want one on, comment below.

If you’d like to save this tutorial on how to use Samantha font glyphs for later, hover over the top left of the image below and PIN IT now.

Cricut Design Space tutorial on how to use extra font characters to make unique words. Watch the CDS video tutorial on how to use a character map. #cricutdesignspace #cricut #cricutdesignspacetutorial #charactermap #fonts #samanthafont

Thank you for stopping by.  Have a creative day!

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  1. Amanda says:

    Thanks for this helpful tutorial. I downloaded Character Map UWP, but none of my installed fonts are showing up. Any idea why this might be? Your input is appreciated. Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Amanda, hmmmm, not sure why that would be. Did you try to restart your computer? Did you take a look at the system requirements, I know there are a few. I downloaded it on my other computer to make sure and all my fonts came right up on that one too. Are you still having problems??

  2. Betty says:

    Where exactly did you download the Samantha font from? There are so many options and some are up to $75!

  3. Emmajune says:

    Still learning Cricut, and am SO grateful for this tutorial !
    Thank you !

  4. Darcy says:

    Thank you so much for this. You have made a huge difference in what I can do now. I SO appreciate you taking the time to teach us this. Thank you from the bottom of my 💓

  5. Michelle says:

    Thank you so much!! Love this font and now I am not too overwhelmed to try it. Which Samantha font did you get? There are so many choices: Upright, Italic, Samantha Craft?

    • Hi Michelle, you are welcome!! Using the extra characters opens up so much! I bought Samantha upright. I saw that Samantha Craft came out recently but I already had the Upright and I don’t have any problems with the thickness. I want to say it was around $16 when I got it. I’m not sure if they are all included in a purchase now.

  6. Sharon says:

    Hi Amy! Thank you so much for taking that leap of faith! I’m so thankful that you shared this information. I can see a world of difference in how everything is so much more flourished and beautiful by using the character map. I praise God that I found this! Blessings to you, Amy.

  7. Colleen says:

    So I just watched your video on glyphs and I downloaded the character map yep. My fonts from my design space are not coming up in the character map. How do i get them in there?????? I’m getting so frustrated with this

    • The character map should show you all the fonts you have on your computer. It won’t shoow Cricut fonts, if that’s what you mean. If it’s not showing your fonts you might need to contact the app. I’ve heard of a few other people that had a weird problem with it for some reason. Hope that helps!!

  8. Becky Leppard says:

    Thanks so much! I have been using the character map on my computer and it is so so so hard to see the differences in the font characters, so thanks for this tip. I now have the new character map program pinned to my taskbar! Thanks for your video!

  9. Brenda S. Doblinger says:

    Great tutorial

  10. Jenny Snyder says:

    Do you have to have that particular character map to get all of the different options for each letter? I have windows 8, but I bought Samantha, and used the character map on my computer. But it only has like 1 or 2 options for most letters, and they aren’t any of the neat swirly letters. Any help? Please and thank you!!

    • No, you can use any character map but they all have different settings. You need to make sure you are in Unicode and Extra or Personal Characters. I can’t find a different map on my computer so I don’t remember the exact terminology in the drop-down menus. If I remember correctly the bottom drop-down lets you but in Unicode and the next one has one that says extra or personal characters.

  11. Kim says:

    Hi Amy!!

    Thank you so much for the tutorial. I had no idea about the character map!! I had one question, sometimes when I copy a letter, it pastes the wrong one or leaves off the extra swirls. I’m using the Samantha font. Do you know why it might be doing this? Thank you!!

    • Hi Kim, you’re welcome! Hmmm, I’m not sure. Maybe try a new text box or copy it again. I used to have a few problems when I would save it and come back to the design later, there would be boxes in place of where the extra characters were. I don’t have those problems anymore, but I would just copy and paste it again. If it continues to happen you might want to contact the character map help or the Samantha font creators. Sorry, I couldn’t be more helpful!

  12. Rouxana says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    Hello, I purchased the Samantha font and the character map but I do not have the Samantha font on my cricut design space. Is it supposed to show up there? If I try to just use the font by copying and pasting it but all it shows is a black box with a white question mark.
  13. Rouxana Alvarado says:

    Hello, I purchased the Samantha font and also downloaded the character map. I do not have the Samantha Upright font in cricut design space therefore when I try to copy and paste from the character map a black box with a white question mark comes up. Is there a reason for this?

    • Nancy says:
      Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
      I’m having the same problem! It’s so frustrating!
    • Latoyia says:
      Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
      I’m experiencing this now. Did you ever find out why the box with question mark appears when trying to paste glyphs ?
    • If it’s not showing up in Design Space, make sure to log out of it and then log back in. Or sometimes just refreshing the page helps. It should show up in the drop-down menu once you log back in.

  14. Yvette says:

    Hi Amy! Thanks so much for this tutorial—my older eyes appreciate the larger character map!! I purchased the Samantha upright from your link to mighty deals. The $17 one. Some of the letters I tried to use just leave a “?” In a black square instead of the letter format I copied. The rest work well. Have you ever experienced that? I assume the ones that show are the ones I purchased for $17–I sure didn’t want to spend $37 or $75 for the others! This one I’ll use a lot but I’d love to be able to use all the letters.

    Thanks again for your tute—some of us really need those visual aids to learn this machine!!

    • Hi Yvette, The only time I ever had a ? mark was when I saved a design in CDS and then went back to it (it then had a ? in place of the letter). So I’d have to reinsert the character. I only have the $17 one also. You can also contact the font designer to see why it’s happening if it’s consistently happening. Thanks!

  15. Michelle says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    HI, This was a great tutorial, thank you. Can you tell me why the fonts that I have on my cricut are not on the character map. Is there a way to import them. Michelle
  16. michelle says:

    THank you for this, the only issue I am having is that the fonts on my Cricut Maker on not on the character map. Can you help?

    • Yes, the character map will only show fonts installed on your computer. Cricut Design Space is totally separate since those fonts are part of their software and not on your computer. Thanks for stopping by!

  17. Teresa says:

    I recently updated to the Cricut Design Beta v5.2.12 which allows users the ability to work offline. In the prior version I was able to use copy and paste from the character map into my design space, it doesn’t seem to be working now; have you updated and, if so, have you had any trouble with this capability? I’m trying to figure out how to fix this, if not, I may drop back to the prior version (if possible), since I really don’t have a need to work offline.
    Thanks!

    • Hi Teresa! I actually haven’t tried the offline version yet! It’s on my list to do but I’m always on WiFi at home so I haven’t had the need yet. I am anxious to see what it does when I have the time to check it out.

      • Janice Janice Guidry says:

        Any thoughts on pasting the specialty characters in the beta version? So far, I can’t do it either. I reverted back to the online version, but I just saw that it will be going away soon and will no longer be available to use. I need to know how to copy and paste glyphs in CDS before the online version is gone!

        • Hi Janice, I’ve heard a few people say this, but mine still works fine. I do like the online version better but I have slowly started using the offline beta version and I just used the Samantha font and was able to use my Character pad to add in the extra glyphs. What kind of computer are you using? I have a PC. The right-click of the mouse doesn’t paste, but if I use Ctrl+V (keyboard commands for PC), then it pastes right in. I hope that works for you too!

  18. Vicki Lewis says:

    Hi Amy, I am just a beginner and I greatly appreciate your tutorial. I downloaded the Samantha font off of daFont (free) instead of purchasing Samantha for $17. Not sure the difference. Have you tried the free Samantha font?

    • Hi Vicki, I’m assuming the free font doesn’t come with all the extra characters. Plus you can’t use the free font for commercial use (to sell anything using it). Are you able to use a lot of the extra glyphs with the free version?

  19. Helen Smith says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    Thank you for your tutorial’s. I am a Cricut newbie and having a few problems editing text. I have downloaded character map and everything goes great up to when I copy a particular letter then when I highlight the letter I wish to flourish in the text box, I highlight it but will not let me paste. Any ideas ?
  20. MariM says:

    You are an amazing person. This really helped me a lot. I couldn’t figure out how to copy and paste the glyphs as my mouse wouldn’t paste it to CDS. Thank you

  21. Teresa Reid says:

    Hi, I really really need some help. Have been working on CDS as a new crafter and I downloaded the Character Map UWP. It was working for a while, but today noticed that when I pull up the fonts, on the right hand side where the character appears, the selections to copy, or save as an SVG or PNG, is not there anymore. Only the tiny little folder icon that says clipboard and that’s it. Have tried everything I know from totally uninstalling the entire character map and restarting my computer and now it is 4am and am about in tears because can’t really do anything with the beautiful Samantha font I bought or any of the other ones. Was googling this problem and came upon your lovely page here. Please, if you could offer me any help, would so much appreciate it. Thanks a million! God bless.

    • Hi Teresa, it looks like they changed the app a bit. I was able to copy it by clicking on the two overlapping paper icon (copy to clipboard) and then when in CDS using my keyboard shortcut cntl+v to paste it. Is that not working for you?

      • esme says:
        Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
        Hello, is not working for me ether. I follow your introduction and CDS does not recognizing the characters it shows a diamond with a ? mark. please help..
  22. Stacy says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    Hello! I am using your tutorial to try and add some special characters. I found the character map and am following the steps. It’s working – EXCEPT – the letter I select is never the letter that shows up in CDS. For instance, I’m copying and “S” and a “Z” shows up. It’s crazy. I’ve tried different fonts and they do the same thing. Any ideas?
  23. Suzanne says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    Hi I followed your steps but not seeing extra glyphs for any fonts. I downloaded the character map but it looks different from yours. Not sure what I’ve done wrong . Please help
  24. Beth says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    Thank you! I am new to Cricut, but I have used Adobe Illustrator for years and would just make the flourishes myself. I never knew about glyphs. How is that even possible? Very easy to use in AI and then save as an svg file. What a time-saver!
  25. Linda says:

    This was AWESOME. Just the help I needed with character mapping.

  26. Connie Nadeau says:

    You have made this so much easier to understand. Thank you so very much. The only issue I am having is that some of the characters are coming over as a question mark in the middle of a diamond. I am using the Samantha font. Any idea why?

  27. Pat says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m new to CDS and was having a terrible time doing this until I found your tutorial. Worked like a charm.

  28. Kathy Peak says:

    Hi, I am not new to Cricut and Design Space; however, just learned about Character Map UWP. I am stuck. When I copy a character from Samantha Upright font in Character Map, I cannot paste it into my text box in Design Space. I’ve tried Ctrl C and then Ctrl V to paste and that won’t work either. I get a triangle around a question mark. What am I missing? Your tutorials are spectacular, but this one has me stumped.

  29. Kathy Peak says:

    I just wrote a comment/question below. I’ve got it! In DS, within your text box, you must have your font selected first; i.e., I’m using Samantha Upright. Then in the Character Map UWP, copy and back in DS, Ctrl V and voila! Hooray! I haven’t tried any other fonts yet, but at least this beautiful one is working and the flourishes are to die for!

  30. Jenny says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! That solved my problem with the new design space!

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