How to Create Your Own Font for Free

by Kate Moody
"Private Character Editor," included in standard Windows installations, can be used to make your own fonts.

"Private Character Editor," included in standard Windows installations, can be used to make your own fonts.

Windows includes software with its standard installation that helps you make your own fonts. The little-known "Private Character Editor" is so private, Windows Support instructs you to run a search for the program to find it before you open it. You can create simple, black and white fonts on a pixel grid, using drawing tools similar to Microsoft's old "Paint" program.

Click "Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Private Character Editor" to open the program and create your own font in Vista and Windows 7 environments. If you can't locate the program in "System Tools," click "Start" and type "eudcedit.exe" into the "Search" text box. Click "Enter." When the file is located, double-click to open it.

Click "OK" at the bottom of the open "Select Code" window to select "Unicode," the default character code. A grid measuring 50-by-50 pixels opens along with a drawing menu of 10 tools along the left. Hover your mouse over each tool to see its purpose.

Click the "Brush" tool (three pixels-wide) or the "Pencil" tool (one pixel-wide) and draw a character using your mouse. Hold the left button down to draw in black. Holding the right button down draws in white. Click the "Erase" tool and go over mistakes while pressing the left button to make corrections.

Associate your new character with all fonts installed on your machine for easy access after you have finished drawing it. Click the "File" drop-down menu and select "Font Links." Click "Link With All Fonts" in the window that opens and click "OK."

Click "Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Character Map" to access your font. The "Character Map" displays every character associated with each font installed on your machine. Click the "Font" drop down menu at the top of the window and select "All Fonts (Private Characters)" to locate your characters.

Click the character you want to use and click the "Select" button next to the "Characters to Copy:" text box. Click "Copy." Place your cursor where you'd like to insert your character, right-click and choose "Paste."

Tips

  • check If you plan to use PCE often, you can place a shortcut to the program on your desktop for easy access. Instead of left-clicking the program to open it, right-click instead. Click "Send to," and then choose "Desktop (create shortcut)."
  • check You can use other fonts as guides when drawing your own characters. Click "Edit," click "Font," highlight a font, and click the character you want to use as a template. Click "OK" and the character will appear on the drawing grid.

Warning

  • close You will not be able to see your custom-made characters on other computers unless you install them on both machines, or embed them into a document.

About the Author

Kate Moody began writing in 2002. She has written for the "Oregonian" and the "Statesman Journal" among other publications. Moody's feature story on hospice care won a 2009 award from the Society of Professional Journalists. She holds an Associate of Applied Science degree in chemistry from Ferris State University and has worked in research and development for a pharmaceutical company.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera candle numeral font (1) image by wildman from Fotolia.com