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Opening Extra Font Characters, Glyphs, and Hidden Ornaments in Silhouette Studio (for PC)

The more experienced we get with Silhouette Studio, the more fun we have creating awesome cut files, especially with all the beautiful fonts available.  The trouble is, a lot of the fonts we like to use come with glyphs, or extra characters, that aren't readily available in Silhouette Studio. Some designers - like Laura Worthington who design the beautiful and popular Samantha font - are coding in a way that the glyphs can be accessed in Silhouette Studio - if you know how to open them.

Silhouette Studio, PC, font characters, glyphs, hidden ornaments, Silhouette 101

As you resident PC (Windows) users, we're here to show you how to use these glyphs in Silhouette Studio so that you can take full advantage of all these gorgeous fonts have to offer.
If you are a MAC user, you'll want to jump over and see the 

So the first thing to do is to download and install your font onto your computer. I typically save my fonts (temporarily) to my desktop for easier access, but you can save them anywhere you choose. Be sure you remember the name of the font and where you save it, you'll need to find it in just a minute.

Silhouette Studio, PC, font characters, glyphs, Silhouette America Blog

Once you save the file, locate it (it is a .zip file) and take a look inside. You'll need to locate the TRUE TYPE FONT file (ttf file) and extract them from the .zip file. Again, I do this by dragging these files over to my desktop.

Now locate the icons for the font files you extracted. Again, since I moved them to my desktop, they were easy to locate.  (You can always move them later, after you install). Find the icons, right-click to prompt the shortcut menu, then click INSTALL.

Silhouette Studio, Windows computer, font characters, glyphs, Silhouette tutorial

Your computer will do its thing and install the font where it needs to go. Wasn't that easy? 

Remember, if you are installing new fonts and have Silhouette Studio open, you will have to RESTART the program to be able to use the font. Otherwise, it will be available the next time you launch Silhouette Studio.  

Alright so now onto the next step - actually accessing the special characters and glyphs. Again, this will ONLY be possible on the fonts that are coded this way by the designer - and there aren't a lot of designers doing this which is why sometimes a font will have extra characters but you can't access them in Studio unless you have another software program.

Here's an example, I opened the software and typed out a little example. No problems.

Silhouette Studio, Windows computer, font characters, glyphs, Silhouette tutorial

So now that it's in Silhouette Studio, how do you access the glyphs? Trust me, it's only a few extra steps. First, you'll want to find the CHARACTER MAP on your PC and open it. I did this by searching for the program.

Silhouette Studio, Windows computer, font characters, Character Map on your PC, Silhouette tutorial

Once you locate it, go ahead and open it. It should show up right on top of you Silhouette Studio, but it is a separate running program.  

Once it's open, you'll want to select the font you are working with (in this case, Amigirl Script), check the box for Advanced view and change the Group by to Unicode Subrange


Silhouette Studio, Windows computer, font characters, glyphs, Silhouette tutorial

Okay, sheeew, the hard part is over. 

 Now pull out your magnifying glass, this can be a little hard on the eyes. Do you see all those small characters? You'll get a slightly larger preview when you click on them, but these are your glyphs. These are special characters that are hiding from you! 

You'll click the ones you want, then click SELECT one-by-one. You'll see they are being added to the Characters to copy area.

Silhouette Studio, Windows computer, font characters, glyphs, Silhouette tutorial

Once you've selected the glyphs you want, click on the COPY button. This copies these special characters to your clipboard.

Now click back into Silhouette School.  You can paste the special characters (glyphs) straight to design area.  Don't worry when you get these little boxes, this is normal.

You'll click on these boxes like you would a normal font and then select Amigirl from the fonts available in your Text Style menu.  Once you change the font to Amigirl (or the font you are using), it will change the boxes into glyphs!

So there they are! Some fonts have glyphs that are special letters. For this example, combining two Ts in Silhouette School. You can paste the special characters straight into the text box by clicking (as you would to edit the text) and pasting into the text box (shortcut is CTRL+V). 

Silhouette Studio, Windows computer, font characters, glyphs, Silhouette tutorial

Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School.  If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!

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  1. Awesome Melissa - This worked perfectly for me with the font I was experimenting on. Thanks for the instructions.

  2. This is A-W-E-S-O-M-E! I like videos, however, I can not learn from a video. Step by Step instruction with illustrations can't be beat. Thank you, Melissa!

  3. Thank you SOOOOOO much!!!!!!!!! It worked :)

  4. Thank you SOOOOOO much!!!!!!!!! It worked :)

  5. Thanks so much for the detailed instructions; I would have had no idea how to use these fonts without it!

  6. Unfortunately for me, this doesn't work with all my fonts that have extra characters and glyphs...seems like I they have to be PUA encoded to be able to do this on my PC :-(

    1. Why use the ttf files instead of the otf? Since otf is newer and and allows more characters....

  7. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  8. I still run V2 and can use this technique with no problem. I do use the character map through nexus font though because the charachters are a bit bigger and a little easier to see.

  9. I appreciate your time creating this tutorial! However, I have a question -- is there not a way to "save" the special characters in the Studio font for future use? Or is it that each time I want a special character, I need to go to the character map and copy and paste the specific one I'm looking for?


  10. There is another way to get to the glyph characters. You can access them thru the Silhouette Studio. After you open the program you would open the "text style" panel, then the tabs offer the A for text style, G for your Glyphs or the ABC for spelling. Click the G and this will have your fonts in a drop down menu, select the one you want to work with it will then show you all of the letters and or characters. The one nice thing with using this is the zoom slider at the bottom of the panel which helps seeing what you might like to use and another thing I like is some fonts don't offer any glyphs and when that happens you can see it at a glance that there is no fancy options so you can go to the next. After you pick your first letter I just double click on it and it comes up on my design area, then I can add the next letter that I want if for some reason I don't like that choice you just use the backspace and try a different one. It helps if you color the letters and make your comment or text bigger to get a good feel of how it will look when your done. I am sure there is other ways of getting to the glyph menu but for me this is easier and I am not searching my computer for the character map. I also have the business edition so I am not sure if this is only available with this edition. You would need to check if any of the other editions can do this with the text panel.

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  13. I have found a site called is useful for seeing the swashes


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