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Thread: Converting fonts

  1. #1
      Larb is offline
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    Question Converting fonts

    I've got some pretty nifty fonts including one that is basically lots of different heraldry charges (dragons, griffons, displayed eagles, etc etc) and it's really handy when I'm putting shields on maps and things.
    However, I was wondering if it was possible to convert the font into a shapes file for photoshop. It's a bit of a pain having to use the font tool and then go through the different keys to find out which is the one I want. It'd be way more convenient if they were just shapes (or even brushes, a brushes file would be great too).

    I've had a brief look on the interweb but I didn't turn up anything about it. All I got was things telling me I could convert a type layer to a shape layer which isn't what I wanna do.

    So is it possible? And if it is, is it straightforward?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
      ExMachina is offline
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    For a Brush

    Make a new document (bigger is better), create a new layer and delete the background. Type the letter you want and fit it to the document. Go to Edit > Define Brush Preset and name the brush. It will automatically be added to the end of the brush preset your brush tool currently has selected. To ensure the new brushes are always there simply change the brush preset and when prompted to save your changes click yes, then give the preset a name. You can then load your new preset (it will appear at the very end of your list of brush presets) and clean it up by deleting any Photoshop defaults present.

    Hope that helps, I'm not very good at direction. You can always do a Google search for "Define Custom Brush" or "Define Custom Shape".
    Last edited by ExMachina; 02-10-2010 at 11:27 AM.

  3. #3
      Coyotemax is offline
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    Actually you're on the right track with the changing to a shape layer - once you have the font outlined, when you convert it to a path (shape) you can save it as a shape, which is exactly what you said you wanted in the first post

    My finished maps
    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

  4. #4
      Larb is offline
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    That works! I didn't realise there was a define custom shape option. Time to start making the set. Thanks!

  5. #5
      Coyotemax is offline
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    Excellent, glad you found it! I just tested it out, and was about to start posting screenshots

    Incidentally, the other thing I do for symbol and dingbat fonts is to have a Word document that contains every keystroke on the keyboard, and I open that, highlight the whole thing, then change to the relevant font until I find what i'm looking for. Then I copy/paste into photoshop (I suspect it would work exactly the same in gimp too).

    Shape library is cool idea though
    Last edited by Coyotemax; 02-10-2010 at 12:00 PM.

    My finished maps
    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

  6. #6
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    By the way, if you're on Windows, don't neglect the Character Map tool! You can find it under Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Character Map

    It will show you all of the glyphs in a font and allow you to copy a selected glyph to the clipboard. I find that very few people even know that it's there, but it's tremendously useful whenever you need to type the trademark symbol ™ or some other not-often-used character.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

  7. #7
      Coyotemax is offline
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    Good point - that's how I get the copyright symbol when I need it

    My finished maps
    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

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