Cutting Text - (Designing Word Art)

I am trying to make a cake topper for my sister in-laws wedding. Since the glow forge will not recognize text in an SVG file and will only engrave a raster file what is the best way to get it to cut out these letters. I know almost nothing about Inkscape. I would appreciate any help. Thanks I have attached an image so you can see what I am talking about.


In inkscape, select the text blocks, and then use “Object to Path” from the Path menu.

After that you can use the Boolean operations in path to make it all one object. (Combine)


I’m gonna take a shot at this…

Combining the letters and different text in that way is going to be a multi-step process if you do it in Inkscape.

First you need to decide which parts will be engraved and which ones will be cut.

I’m assuming that since the Date is unconnected and floating in the center of the pronged banner that you want to engrave those, correct?

Do you want to cut out all around the other connected letters, and have those sitting on top of the banner?

And cut out the banner, still attached to the top words?

I’ll need to get the answers to those questions before giving you the steps to follow, and I think there is an easier way to do it that involves less Inkscape work, but that uses the Trace function in the Glowforge interface. Let me know if you want to try that one first.


That is correct, The date in the base will be engraved, everything else will be cut and still attached to the base. Thank you.


Okay, if you’ll check back later this evening, I want to make sure this works before outlining the steps.

(Unfortunately, have to feed my fella first.) :wink:


When you have time, you should check out all the tutorials on Inkscape that @Jules and others worked on. It’s in the “Glowforge tips and tricks” category. Those tutorials have filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge and saved my bacon a few times. I usually go into the catagory and then search for “inkscape” so I’m just looking at the related ones.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to those, really appreciate it.


Yes! Shortcut.


I’ve found many of these tutorials handy
Thy usually come up with the google search when you put in the feature you are looking for followed by Inkscape.

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Okay, wasn’t quite as easy as I’d hoped, because I’m not sure if you wanted to engrave the cutout letters too - it’s an extra step or two to NOT engrave those before cutting them out.

  1. First thing I did was draw a rectangle around your image to give it a clear boundary:

You can use this image for your own tests, or create one on your original.

  1. Print that out on white cardstock.

  2. Take it to the machine and put it into the bed, making sure that you have the image squared up. (I use these wood spacers for the purpose, pressed up against the front of the door. Any perfectly square object will do - a wide ruler for instance works very well.)

  1. Use the Trace Function in the Glowforge interface to capture the image:
    Add Artwork > Trace Bed Image

  2. Drag a square around the image you want to trace:

  3. Click on the White areas that you want to remove, and there will be a lot of little bits in the center of the letters and the spaces in between them. You can zoom in to get the little ones. Each time you see a pink line created, that will be a cut line. Do not click inside the date banner.

  1. Okay that creates the cutlines. You can Place Artwork using the button in the upper right.

  1. If you want to engrave the GOD gave me YOU text, you are ready to go. You will load your material, set the correct height for the material (or use Proofgrade), and set up your engraving settings and cut settings.

It will engrave all of the black parts, including the box around the outside, and then go around and cut it out.

  1. If you do NOT want to engrave the GOD gave me YOU text, you have to perform another few steps.

All of the dark text is created as one big engrave with a Trace - you can’t separate out the top and the bottom part to just engrave the date.

But you can create a separate jpeg of just the date text, and then drag it onto the open workspace. Then you will need to align that separate date over the date shown in the original. (This is why it was important to square up the image at the beginning.)

  1. Finally, you will set the original engravings to Ignore, set up your engrave choices for the date engrave, and your cut settings.

That should work, and you won’t have to learn Inkscape immediately. (When you can get to it though - it makes for better designs.)

Oh - here’s the date jpeg if you need it:


Like they said, check the tutorials. Once you convert the text to a path, it engraves just fine if it’s filled. (And if you want it to cut, it has to be unfilled – not filled with white, but no fill) The interesting part will be getting the paths for everything else to work out, because where you see a solid join between two letters, Inkscape sees two slightly overlapping shapes that it’s going to cut along the edges of.

(Depending on your skills, it might also be easier to convert all the letters of the top section to a raster image at really high resolution, then use Inkscape’s “Trace Bitmap” function to get you the outline of the whole thing as a vector you can cut.)


Glad you got advice on the cutting…I would suggest you use a thicker font for the “gave me” portion or at least move it over a bit so the “me” is not hanging out unsupported. It will most likely break off…

:smile: I do alot of cake toppers…some bakers are heavy handed and snap them in half!! :unamused:


Thanks for all the recommendations and Jules especially for the amazingly detailed walk through. I will give it a try and let you all know how it turn out. The wedding isn’t until November so luckily I have some time to play around and finalize the design.


Chuckle! Don’t know why I thought it was a rush job - I could have just looked at the date staring at me from the jpeg. :grin:

(Heck, you probably even have time to learn Inkscape by then, and that will give you a better result.)

i’m sure they’ll love it.


Thanks to everyone who made suggestions, especially @Jules with her tutorial. Would you consider posting on Made on a Glowforge when you’ve finished?
Best of luck to you with your print and best wishes to your sister-in-law!