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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
I’d love it if you come craft with me on Instagram! Click below to follow. Also, if you make any of my crafts I’d love to see them!! Tag me @leapoffaithcrafting or #leapoffaithcrafts.
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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Place the cursor back in your text box where you want that specific letter and hit Ctrl and V at the same time.
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.
Once they are exactly where I want them, I drag my cursor around all of them to select them all and hit Weld. With script fonts, you always want to weld them together or the Cricut will cut the overlapping pieces if you just use attach.
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.
A “copied” button will pop up once it’s copied.
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 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!)
You can also find an accent in the Arial font.
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…
Simply change the Font on the drop down menu to Babysweet. Then the correct glyph should appear.
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.
Thank you for stopping by. Have a creative day!