Tutorial

How to access swashes in Word, Photoshop, FontBook, Character Map

We get a lot of questions from customers who have purchased my fonts, on how to access the extra’s. If you need help installing your font click here. If you need help accessing alternate glyphs and swashes keep reading.

What are alternate glyphs and swashes 
Some fonts include multiple characters for the same letter, these are called alternate glyphs. The swashes are the decorative, swirly parts of the font.

Which programs can you use
You can use the basic font character set in any text editor or program such as MS Word, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, InkScape, GIMP, Corel, Silhouette, Cricut, etc. Fonts that have alternate glyphs and swashes, need to be accessed with a glyph panel through programs such as Adobe Photoshop CC (not all versions), Illustrator, InDesign, Inkscape and Microsoft Word 2010 or later versions. Below I have highlighted 4 different options to open extra glyphs.

1. Photoshop glyph panel
Not all versions of photoshop have a glyph panel. Photoshop CC and higher do have a glyph panel. Select the type tool (T) and the correct font and go to Window > Glyphs > and double-click the glyph you want to use.


2. Word glyph panel
Microsoft Word 2010 or later versions have a glyph panel. First, select the correct font and go to Insert > More symbols > select the “Private Use Area” and select the glyph of your choice and click Insert.

Tip for MS Word Users: Be sure to have ‘kerning for fonts’ enabled for proper letter spacing. Kerning is the letter spacing between two individual letters. By default Microsoft Word has this feature turned off and this might make some of your words look a little off. Here’s how to turn on the kerning feature in Word.

3. Windows Character Map
You can access alternate glyphs and swashes for Windows with Nexus Font, PopChar or a pre-installed program named Character Map.
When using Character Map, check ‘advanced view’, select ‘Unicode Subrange’ and select ‘Private Use Characters’
Now select and copy the glyph of your choice and paste it in your editor or program. And don’t forget to select the right font otherwise you will only see rectangles.

4. Mac Font Book
To access alternate glyphs and swashes on a Mac you can use PopChar or Font Book. When using Font Book be sure to switch to ‘repertoire view’, it’s the little icon at the top left with the grid/dots.
Simply select and copy the glyph of your choice and paste it in your editor or program. And don’t forget to select the right font otherwise you will only see rectangles.