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Learn How to Use Extra Font Characters in these Cricut Design Space Tutorials!

In this third of Cricut Design Space tutorials, you will learn how to find and use the extra characters in fonts.  Updated on December 22, 2020.

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 access them 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 favorites 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!

cricut 101 course

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 it 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 they 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 keyboards 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 that 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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Jenny

Friday 23rd of April 2021

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! That solved my problem with the new design space!

Kathy Peak

Friday 15th of January 2021

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!

Leap of Faith Crafting

Friday 15th of January 2021

Yes! Lol, I was just updating the post with pictures and why a question box would appear! Glad you figured it out, yes you must have your font selected in CDS!

Kathy Peak

Friday 15th of January 2021

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.

Pat

Thursday 31st of December 2020

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.

Leap of Faith Crafting

Friday 1st of January 2021

You are so welcome! I'm so happy it was helpful!

Connie Nadeau

Thursday 3rd of December 2020

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?

Leap of Faith Crafting

Wednesday 9th of December 2020

Honestly, I don't know why that happens sometimes. I get it too sometimes especially when I save it. It doesn't seem to happen to me as much as it used to. Maybe use your keyboard shortcuts instead???

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