How to convert a font to single stroke

Written by kyle fiechter | 13/05/2017
How to convert a font to single stroke
While fonts are often thick, they can be converted to thin, single stroke fonts. (letterpress type blocks image by pdtnc from

You can edit fonts to achieve various effects, such as creating a single stroke font. Use a vector graphics editor, such as Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw and Inkscape (open source and free) to edit the font, then font-creation programs such as Fontographer, Fontlab and FontForge (open source and free) to convert the font back to TrueType, the file format of type. Make sure you have permission to edit the font from the copyright holder, or that you are the copyright holder before editing fonts.

Open the font in a vector graphics editor. Open a new document, and then specify the properties of the new document to make importing the font into your font-creation program easier. For example, set units to pixels and document dimensions to 1000 x 1000 and set a horizontal guide at 200px to use as a baseline (this can usually be done by clicking the horizontal ruler in your editor and then dragging the guide onto the canvas).

Choose the font you want to edit, open the text tool and then type one glyph (font terminology for letter or symbol), such as "A."

Click "Object to Path" -- or its equivalent -- from the "Path" menu. You can now edit the font in your graphics editor's native format. Click the "Edit paths by nodes," or a similar function, to reveal the nodes that comprise your glyph.

Delete nodes by selecting them and clicking "Del" on your keyboard -- until you have a single stroke for each line of your glyph. You may need to remove the fill from the "Fill and Stroke" dialogue.

Save the glyph in the EPS or SVG format, whichever is available in your vector editor. Repeat for each glyph of the font you want to edit.

Open your font-creation program and then click the glyph you just edited, such as "A," from the glyph table.

Import your glyph by selecting "Import" from the "File" menu, then selecting the glyph and selecting "OK." Define the file format of the glyph you want to import, such as SVG or EPS.

Select "Transform" -- or its equivalent -- to align the glyph, if you placed it on a guide in your vector editor. For example, set the "Y value" to -200 -- if you placed your glyph on a guide at 200 pixels.

Repeat these steps for each glyph you edit. Export the font when you are done, saving in the TrueType (TTF) format. Click "Export" from the "File" menu, choose the TTF format, then click "OK."

Things you need

  • Vector graphics editor
  • Font-creation software

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