How to Use OpenType Fonts in Silhouette Studio or Cricut Design Space

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Update: This is the Windows based tutorial. To use OpenType Fonts in Mac follow these instructions. Mac users, check the last paragraph of this article to find out how to get the popular Samantha font for cheap!


Today, let’s look at how to access some of the additional features of OpenType fonts in Silhouette Studio or Cricut Design Space. To remind you, we looked at several features of OpenType fonts in yesterday’s post TTF vs. OTF – What’s the Difference. To use the tutorial below, you’ll need an OpenType font and a character map or viewer. You can find a character map on your Windows operating system in the Accessories folder or use Font Book on a Mac. Additionally, if you installed NexusFont earlier in the week, you can use the built in character map.

How to Use the Character Map with OpenType Fonts

For this tutorial, I’m using the standard Windows character map and Isabella Script font.

  1. Open Silhouette Studio (or Cricut Design Space) and type in text in the font your want to use in your project.
  2. Open your character map and find the OpenType font you chose in Silhouette Studio (or Cricut Design Space). OpenType fonts appear with an O next to them in the font list. After selecting your font you will see a window with a bunch of tiny characters. For the Isabella Script font, you’ll want to choose Character Set “Advanced View” and Group by “Unicode Subrange”. From the small popup window that appears, select “Private Use Characters”. How to Use OpenType Fonts in Silhouette Studio or Cricut Design Space. Tutorial features Isabella Script font.
  3. Next, select the letter you want to use by clicking on it. You’ll see that a larger character pops up. Then, click “Select”. Now the character has been copied to the box labeled “Characters to Copy”. Click the “Copy” button.How to Use OpenType Fonts in Silhouette Studio or Cricut Design Space. Tutorial features Isabella Script font.
  4. Return to Silhouette Studio (or Cricut Design Space). Highlight the letter that you want to replace and paste the replacement letter from the character map into your project (Control + V). In this example, I replaced the C. The top phrase shows the original, while the bottom show my edited version. How to Use OpenType Fonts in Silhouette Studio or Cricut Design Space. Tutorial features Isabella Script font.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for any other letters you want to replace. Remember, in most cases, less is more! The image below shows me going crazy substituting letters! Now that you’ve mastered Isabella Script – you can tackle the popular Samantha font which works exactly the same way as shown above. Samantha font retails for $75 but if you shop at Mighty Deals, you can find it for $17! (If it isn’t on sale when you visit, check back the following week.)How to Use OpenType Fonts in Silhouette Studio or Cricut Design Space. Tutorial features Isabella Script font.

Cricut users: The process works the same in Design Space. Here’s the same example shown in Design Space:

How to Use OpenType Fonts in Silhouette Studio or Cricut Design Space. Tutorial features Isabella Script font.

That’s it! If you missed any of the posts on fonts you can catch up with them: How to Install Fonts, How to Organize and Manage Fonts, and TTF versus OTF fonts.

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How to Use OpenType Fonts in Silhouette Studio or Cricut Design Space. Tutorial features Isabella Script font.

10 thoughts on “How to Use OpenType Fonts in Silhouette Studio or Cricut Design Space”

  1. I did not know Nexus had a character map. I tried it and found out that if you stretch the character map large enough you can read the characters fairly well. I had been using the Windows character map and the Windows magnifier.

    And one tip, if you have used so many special characters that you cannot read the text, you might want to back off a little. (OK, back off a lot!)

    I still have not figured out why Samantha creates so much space between lines whether I am using it in Silhouette Studio, or in Word or Publisher.

    Thank you!

    1. John, Isn’t the character map the best in Nexus? Get rid of that magnifier now! And yes, less really is more when using alternate characters and swashes. Thanks for chiming in! Christine

  2. Hi Christine!

    I just left a message and A. noticed some typos and B. figured out what I was doing wrong and corrected the issue.

    I switched it to Open Type and still needed to change my font type in design space to match, silly me.

    Thank you for your wonderful blog and Pinterest page!!!

  3. Hello, LOVE your site! I have a MAC, where are the directions for using opentype fonts on a Cricut -on a MAC?? Thanks in advance!

  4. My husband and I recently purchased a Cricut Air 2. I want to use my design and photography skills for projects. My hubby wants to create items that go with his love of antiques and gas station memorabilia. We have not even begun to think how to merge into selling items. Super thankful I came across your site tonight. Great information business wise and for sparking ideas.
    Thank you!!

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