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Can I make other fonts "draw" well?


Imported fonts don't draw nicely like the fonts that are included with videoscribe. Is there a way to use a font of my choice and make it draw well?

ANSWER: (this topic was written for version 1.3.26 of videoscribe, but it may work in other versions as well. Version 2 now includes the ability to import fonts from your computer and they may draw better than they did in version 1 without the extra work of making them into an SVG. However if you can't get the results you want by simply typing the text into videoscribe, the following process should work very well.)

In version 1, there is not a built-in way to make imported fonts work the same as videoscribe fonts.. BUT...

with some extra effort, you can make an SVG that will draw your font well. requires a little knowledge of inkscape or illustrator or a little self-teaching and google searching)

1) type your text in illustrator or inkscape. or copy and paste it in. write a word or a sentence or a paragraph in a font of your choice.

2) convert the text to outlines with color fills (black or whatever color you want your text to be) and no strokes. This step prevents the videoscribe hand from trying to draw the outline of each letter.

3) on a new layer, use the pencil tool with a stroke big enough that you can manually trace (quickly and simply without too much precision) over each of the letters and they will be covered by the stroke. you don't have to be precise. You are basically just adding a path for the hand to follow that APPROXIMATES the motion of writing the letters. it can be one continuous curvy/squiggly line. try to cover each letter before moving to the next.

5) set the opacity of the new stroke to zero so it is transparent.

6) export the finished image as an SVG and play it in videoscribe.

It will be more work than just typing in the text into videoscribe, but you can make pretty much any font draw well. The faster the words draw in videoscribe, the less accurate your transparent stroke needs to be, and the less noticeable  any inaccuracies will be.

This method should work with Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, mathematical equations, and any other written languages regardless of the direction in which you would like them to be written or read.

-Mike (videoscribe user)

1 person has this question

Thanks a million Mike! 

It took a few tries to get this one right but the result is exactly what I was looking for. And you're right, with the speed it works out almost as well as the default fonts. A few tips that might be useful to some:

  • If you don't have a wacom tablet this is going to be a painful process. 
  • Use a contrasting color for your lines. I had grey letters and used a red line. This makes it easy to see what you're doing. 
  • Changing the cap and corner radius to round (stroke menu) made the tracing work better for me than the square ends and hard corners
  • When I first read this I was thinking that you needed to create a continuous line, almost like you were tracing the movement of the hand, but you can trace each individual letter as a separate line.
  • Start with a line-width that doesn't completely cover the width of the stroke of the letters so you can see what you're tracing. Again, as Mike said, you don't have to be precise, but as an anal designer I found I had to be somewhat accurate. After you've traced all of the letters select the lines you've just made and increase their stroke width to completely cover the letters so that very little, if any, of the font is seen underneath. This is the magic because the line-width determines how much of the letter is revealed when the hand animation takes place. If your line-width doesn't completely cover the letter the full stroke of the letter isn't revealed until the hand completes all of the text block. It works like a mask. If this doesn't make sense it will once you give it a try. 
  • After Mike posted this solution I spent an hour googling, trying to figure out a way to automagically do this in Illustrator. While you can create outlines for a font, you cannot create a single stroke that follows the center of a font, or an object for that matter (after convert to outlines). That would save some serious time for some projects. So, if the next version of VideoScribe figures out how to import fonts and animate the letters like their default, they will have figured out what Adobe hasn't. 
Thanks again for the quick post and a great solution. 


greaqt work

any chance you could create a video that show that process ? it would be great help

any chance of adding new language fonts and speed up the whole process.

I believe that in version 2 you can import whatever fonts are installed on your computer and in some cases they will draw better in version 2 than in version 1. You will need to test specific fonts to determine if they work to your satisfaction.

-Mike (videoscribe user)


A big thanks Mike,i followed yr instructions and it come to be what i was expecting.

Good continuation for u n yr team

Hi, I am a user and follow the video tutor about how to add text by select the  font(F icon)from library.

However, when I add text in the screen, then I choose the "Tradition Chinese text" to import the font, but fail to display. Can someone advise me what is  wrong to show the Chinese text? .

Mano chen

can you give me a video, about this

i test it ,but the chinese words can not be draw. 

i dont know your guide

Hi there,

We currently do not support Chinese characters in VideoScribe.

You can create your text as an SVG and import the text.

We have a tutorial which explains how to do this on our YouTube Channel.

Do you have any plans to create a functionality for Chinese or Arabic letters (reverse writing direction)? And if so, what is the time frame? It would be great to have that. We have started an educational serious on a couple of health issues, which would be specifically useful in the Middle East and Asia.Thx, Anke


Hi Anke,

Thanks for your question.

We are currently reviewing how text works in VideoScribe, the current system does not allow Chinese characters to be used and the Arabic options does not seem to work that well either.

We do not have a specified time frame for this but we do want to ensure as many languages are incorporated when the feature is updated.

In the meantime we do have a work around where you can import text as SVG's.

update (November 2015): the instant answer mentioned by Joe is now a dead link but the information is still included at the bottom of the following instant answer:

related note: videoscribe has trouble with some of the data in SVGs made with Illustrator CC and inkscape 0.91 .  You can avoid the problems by using older versions of those programs or using these save options:

-Mike (videoscribe user)


additionally Matthew(I think) mentioned in another thread:

If you are using Illustrator CC or the newest inkscape and your SVG has problems in videoscribe, then running your  SVG images through SVG Cleaner may correct the problems by stripping out extra code.

I have not tried it myself.

To be honest Iam disappointed from not supporting Arabic language. After I purchase the video scribe I fell its useless. Iam sorry to say that

I have Inkscape but don't know much about it. Does this work with just text or also with an image file of text that I want to look like it's drawn like text? I am trying to do this, but it is showing the stroke I did on another layer (and the actual text fills in after it's all written). I am making it transparent but obviously I'm missing something.

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