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Tools and sample files for making OpenType-SVG fonts


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Tools for making OpenType-SVG fonts

  • addsvg adds an SVG table to a font, using SVG files provided. The font's format can be either OpenType or TrueType.

  • dumpsvg saves the contents of a font's SVG table as individual SVG files. The font's format can be either OpenType, TrueType, WOFF, or WOFF2.

  • fonts2svg generates a set of SVG glyph files from one or more fonts and hex colors for each of them. The fonts' format can be either OpenType, TrueType, WOFF, or WOFF2.


  • Python 3.6 or higher

  • FontTools 3.1.0 or higher

Installation instructions

  • Make sure you have Python 3.6 (or higher) installed:

    python --version
  • Setup a virtual environment:

    python -m venv ot-svg
  • Activate the virtual environment:

    • macOS & Linux

      source ot-svg/bin/activate
    • Windows

  • Install opentypesvg:

    python -m pip install opentypesvg

How to make OpenType-SVG fonts?

Step 1

Generate a set of SVG files from a series of fonts and color values.


fonts2svg -c 99ccff,ff0066,cc0066 fonts/Zebrawood-Shadow.otf fonts/Zebrawood-Fill.otf fonts/Zebrawood-Dots.otf

Step 2

Add a set of SVG files to an existing OpenType (or TrueType) font.


addsvg fonts/SVGs fonts/Zebrawood.otf

You can use Step 2 without doing Step 1, but there are a few things you need to be aware of when using the addsvg tool:

  • After the SVG files are saved with the authoring application (e.g. Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW!, Inkscape) they should be put thru a process that optimizes and cleans up the SVG code; this will slim down the file size while keeping the resulting artwork the same. For this step you can use one of these tools:

  • addsvg requires the SVG files to be named according to the glyphs which they are meant to be associated with. For example, if the glyph in the font is named ampersand, the SVG file must be named ampersand.svg.

  • addsvg expects the color artwork to have been designed at the same size as the glyphs in the font, usually 1000 or 2048 UPM. This means 1 point (pt) in the authoring app equals 1 unit in font coordinates. If the artwork's canvas size is not the same as the font's UPM value, use the -k option to prevent the tool from removing the SVG's viewBox parameter. Retaining the viewBox parameter will enable the artwork to be scaled to the full extent of the viewport (i.e. the font's UPM).

  • If the artwork's <svg> element contains height and/or width parameters, remove them, otherwise the artwork will have a fixed size and won't be allowed to scale to the full extent of the viewport.