Fonts in SVG

When loading a webpage with SVG on it, text contained within the SVG can differ in appearance because of differences in browsers. I assume that SVG files sent to the glowforge will be rendered on the cloud, so what’s my best chance of having the text appear on my object exactly like the image on my screen?

I’ve had stuff engraved before and it bugs me that the preview I saw in my browser didn’t match the physical object. I’m a programmer, so I’d prefer a method that I could automate, rather than opening the file in Inkscape and change stuff. Any ideas?

1 Like

Is it only text that changes or do other objects as well? If it’s just the text and the objects are fine it’s possible that the file is referencing a particular font that isn’t on the destination system. Not sure how to do it in inkscape, but converting font based text to outlines in illustrator usually gets the image to look identical across systems for me.


Yep. :slight_smile:


I should have explained my problem better. Text in an SVG looks different in different browsers, even when the same font is specified. The following example is taken from:

Appearance of fonts in different browsers: ASV+IE, FF1.5 and Opera 9 respectively

Is there a way to specify a font that would appear the same regardless of browser, and by extension, print that way on the glowforge?

the answer is still to convert to outlines.
remove the “font” from the equation altogether.


Right – exactly what others are saying. The problem is that the text is still remaining a text. You want it to be a shape – just another outline like any other part of the svg, not a separate component open to interpretation. Once it’s just a line, everything will always be displayed exactly as intended.

Depending on the software you’re using, one easy way to do this is to break apart, ungroup, or de-compound-shape (different programs call it different things) the text. If you can move, say, the triangle within the A completely independently of the rest of the letter, it’s just an outline and exactly what you want. Then regroup/collapse/recompound-shape everything immediately because guaranteed you’ll accidentally mess the entire thing up. Or… maybe that’s just me. “Oh, I’ll just move this over her- NOOOO! Edit undo.”

If you can change the text from one font to another, then it’s still a text element and not just lines.


the only way to 100% preserve fonts is to do as mentioned and convert text to outlines. What programs will you be using?

For AI files, if text is an issue, my workflow will be to keep a fully functional AI file (text intact) and then a SVG output file. When you save as SVG from Illustrator you can specify to have text converted to outlines.

You do bring up a good question as to what will happen since the file is being processed off the host Computer and returned in a proprietary format.


If the SVG is being converted to laser-driving signals in the cloud, then the conversion would depend on what the font of that name looked like on the machine doing the conversion? So there might be some difference between that and what you see on your design device, but at least the final version would be stable, no? (Some of what I see as differences in the pix above seems to be about font/display quality. Do SVGs printed from different browers look different on a laser prints, for example?)

I’ve seen the right answer many times, but yes - convert to outlines. Otherwise it won’t work at all, since our server won’t have the fonts you want.


Funny true Font story…

Back in the beginning of time, at the start of the cutter movement, I created a little Chinese food carton template for sharing with a couple thousand dignified scrapbooking ladies on the forum.

Only I got cute at the end of a long day…I needed to put some Chinese characters on the box, and just typed a word that “rhymes with duck” before hitting the sack.

Next day, i posted a pic of the file with the Chinese characters on it, shared the file, and everyone was tickled pink…and they downloaded the file to save for when they needed it.

A year later, one of the ladies finally commented on the boards that it was a weird little file with a cuss word in it…


“Want to get away?” :no_mouth:

1 Like


i never, ever, failed to outline a font again!

Fortunately, by the time someone mentioned it, they opted not to ban me from the forum for it.