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SignMaker 2017

Version 2.1.0
February 19th, 2020


Write signs in any sign language with the SignWriting script using the Sutton SignWriting Fonts.


SignMaker is a standards based editor, utilizing HTML, CSS, JavaScript, SVG, TrueType Fonts, and PNG images.

SignMaker is browser based without the need for a server connection. It can be used online or it can be downloaded and run directly from the user's computer.

The primary online website can be used to create a private dictionary in the browser's LocalStorage or view dozens of sign language dictionaries from around the world.

The secondary online website can be used to create a private dictionary in the browser's LocalStorage.


  • TrueType fonts
  • Experimental Unicode
  • Multilingual user interface
  • Symbol Palette access to the entire International SignWriting Alphabet 2010
  • Drag and Drop sign construction
  • Integrated dictionary with searching support for both spoken and signed languages
  • Supports SVG and PNG images
  • Available online
  • Download and open in any browser
  • MIT License


Windows, Mac, and Linux

  1. Download source code in zip file.
  2. Unzip source code on your computer.
  3. Open the index.html file in a browser.

Sutton SignWriting Fonts

The Sutton SignWriting TrueType fonts are available for download and installation.

Installing the fonts using the instructions below is not required, but it will improve the user experience. If the fonts are not installed on the system, CSS declarations will install the fonts in the browser cache.

Sutton SignWriting Fonts
Copyright (c) 1974-2017, Center for Sutton Movement Writing, inc
Licensed under the SIL Open Font License v1.1

Help and Documentation

Help and documentation is available online:

Consider joining [Sutton SignWriting on Facebook] or the SignWriting Email List for news and discussion with writers from around the world.

If you wish to participate in SignMaker development, you can submit patches, fixes and new features through GitHub. Questions, feedback, and ideas regarding SignMaker can be sent to


SignMaker is highly customizable. The config directory contains configuration files that can customize the interface, data, and functionality of SignMaker.


The text file messages.js contains a list of configurable messages for the various user interface languages.

var messages = {
    en: {
        language: 'English',
        signmaker: 'SignMaker',


The text file keyboard.js contains a list of configurable keyboard actions that can be tailored for the various keyboards.

var keyboard = {
    left10: [37,'shiftKey'],
    left: [37],


The text file alphabet.js contains a list of configurable group of symbols keys that controls the arrangement of the symbol palette. The files contains the entire ISWA 2010 as arranged by Valerie Sutton.

window.alphabet = {
    S10000: ["S10000", "S10110", ...
    S10e00: ["S10e00", "S10f10", ...

The alphabet subdirectory can contain language specific subsets of the ISWA 2010. Subsets are based on sign language dictionaries of [SignPuddle Online][sp-org], recreated daily. Subsets are available on SignBank. Download the desired alphabet subsets and place in the alphabet subdirectory.


The text file dictionary.js is a multi-line file, with one dictionary entry per line. Each line starts with a Formal SignWriting string, followed by one or more spoken language terms, separated by tabs.

window.dict = "";
dict += "AS14c20S27106M518x529S14c20481x471S27106503x489	hello\n";
dict += "M522x551S18711488x449S18719495x479S2e800507x504S2e818479x518S20500493x473S2fb04498x545    world    globe\n";

The dictionary subdirectory can contain language specific dictionaries. Dictionaries are custom export of the sign language dictionaries of SignPuddle Online, recreated daily. Dictionaries are available on SignBank. Download the desired dictionaries and place in the dictionary subdirectory.

Support Libraries

The lib directory contains several JavaScript support libraries.

Sutton SignWriting JavaScript Library


The Sutton SignWriting JavaScript Library provides support for SignWriting images and queries. Released under the MIT License, the library includes a guide, API documentation, and testing suite.



Draggabilly provides cross-browser dragging functionality. Released under the MIT License, the library includes documentation, demo page, and testing suite.



Mithril is a client-side MVC framework - a tool to organize code in a way that is easy to think about and to maintain. Released under the MIT License, the library includes documentation, tutorials, and testing suite.



Translate is a translations (i18n) library with support for placeholders and multiple plural forms. Released under the MIT License, the library includes documentation and examples.


Steve Slevinski

Special Thanks

Valerie Sutton


The Formal SignWriting character encoding used in SignMaker is defined in an Internet Draft submitted to the IETF: draft-slevinski-formal-signwriting. The document is improved and resubmitted every 6 months. The ASCII character design has been stable since January 12, 2012. The Unicode character design has been stable since July 14, 2017.


This is a work in progress. Feedback, bug reports, and patches are welcomed.



To Do

  • additional customizations for smaller screens
  • enable app downloads for PNG, SVG, and dictionary export
  • CSS for checkbox: white inside, bigger, centered

Version History

  • 2.1.0 - Feb 19th, 2020: font cdn update to unpkg
  • 2.0.5 - Jan 4th, 2018: fix safari object eval
  • 2.0.4 - Dec 18th, 2017: fix fswview and swuview
  • 2.0.3 - Dec 18th, 2017: fix fswnorm
  • 2.0.2 - Dec 18th, 2017: fix image output
  • 2.0.1 - Dec 15th, 2017: version string for JS file references
  • 2.0.0 - Dec 15th, 2017: update for SignWriting in Unicode (SWU)
  • 1.4.0 - Aug 2nd, 2017: update for SuttonSignWritingLine font
  • 1.3.3 - Feb 10th, 2017: SuttonSignWriting.min.js v1.1.1
  • 1.3.2 - Nov 11th, 2015: sw10.js v1.7.0
  • 1.3.1 - Sept 2nd, 2015: colorize and click search additions
  • 1.3 - Aug 27th, 2015: styling string and dialing search
  • 1.2.5 - July 8th, 2015: sw10.min.js update for trunk centering
  • 1.2.4 - June 26th, 2015: Spanish UI
  • 1.2.3 - June 24th, 2015: messages fix, svg overflow, and mithril update
  • 1.2.2 - June 10th, 2015: Chrome fix in sw10.min.js
  • 1.2.1 - June 5th, 2015: Android app download links
  • 1.2 - June 4th, 2015: app customizations and dictionary source
  • 1.1 - May 15th, 2015: dictionary sizing and remote font loading
  • 1.0 - May 6th, 2015: initial release


write signs in any sign language with the SignWriting script






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