How to "erase" parts of text

I am using Affinity Designer to create an SVG file that consists of just text. I am essentially trying to create a birthday card by cutting out the text from the front flap. Because I’m not using a stencil font, I am trying to “stencilize” the text by creating white lines to erase parts of the font that connect so that there is no material that is complete surrounded (like O’s and A’s). However, if I export this as SVG and import into GFUI, it sees the white lines as a separate item and will still cut the font out and the surrounded material will fly away. If I flatten the layers by using Rasterize, then GFUI won’t allow me to use the Cut function.

Is there another way to accomplish this goal?

I don’t use that tool but there’s likely a “merge” function to merge the text and the cutouts.

or maybe you want subtract…

1 Like

Thank you so much! That seems to work except for one small problem I can’t seem to figure out now. For some reason, what it subtracts does not perfectly match the vector line I’m subtracting. Here are some pics of what I mean:

Here is the white line superimposed on the text before hitting Subtract:

Here is what happens after I hit subtract:

Problems and support is for opening support tickets regarding issues with the Glowforge or their user interface. They can’t help with third-party application questions. I’ve moved this to an appropriate section.

Instead of a line, try enclosing it as a filled white shape. I’m not familiar with affinity designer at all (I use illustrator) so I’m not sure how it handles those types of operations but I know illustrator acts differently if it’s a line vs shape.


Will do. Thank you so much for the prompt response and help! I’ve been struggling with this for hours!

I recently had to figure out something very similar with AD…precisely a stenciI for my daughter. don’t know if this will help nor if this is exactly what you’re trying to do, but here is what I did.

• Created the word/letter (stroke with no fill)
• Expanded the stroke (which in outline view shows two sets of curves)
• Separated the curves, then deleted one of them
• Created the bridging in the needed letters
• Since some letters would end up being used more than once, I was able to copy/paste them where needed.

I cut the word out, leaving the bridging for the applicable letters intact, then my daughter cut the bridged parts out with an exacto knife.

This may be a pretty weird way of doing it, but it worked.


Your method seems like it requires a bit more manual work but if the method mentioned above by @kanati doesn’t work then ill give it a shot. Thanks!

Alright so with the help of the fine folk in this forum I’ve successfully accomplished what I originally wanted. For anyone that may find this in the future, the following is the method I’m using to accomplish this:

  1. Create text
  2. Right-click text > Convert to Curves
  3. Use pen tool with stroke of 0.1pt and create an enclosed shape that matches what you want to cut out from the text. Place it over the text in the area where you want the cutout to be.
  4. Ctrl+Click the letter you’re working on (if you don’t hold down Ctrl while clicking, it will select the whole group) and then Shift + Click the shape you drew with pen tool.
  5. At the top right that’s a Blue square with minus sign. Click that to subtract your shape from the letter (If you want to do the subtraction in a non-destructive way (refer to video @kanati posted), you can hold down Alt when clicking the Subtract button. This will also let you move the shape around after the fact and have the cutout move with it as well. )

That’s it! Thank you all for your help!


Not to be too contrary, but there are a lot of very good stencil fonts out there. Maybe hunting for stencils that you like might be the way to go for your future projects? Google yields so many options, but here’s just one:

1 Like

I initially went that route since I didn’t want to bother “stencilizing” a font but I didn’t like any of the stencil founds I found for what I wanted to make.

1 Like

Yeah hunting down the font can be time consuming. That’s why I said “for next time” :slight_smile:

I did a custom stencil once, the font was decided before I ever heard about it, so I had to convert it manually. This is how it turned out:

Stencil for roadside signs

I tried this way and it does work very well. It can be abbreviated even more though by just using a stroke/no fill rectangle rather than the pen tool… the choosing both the letter and the rectangle, hit the subtract button.

Yes you can use shapes as well. My font has a lot of curves so I made the shape manually with a pen tool so then I would have nodes I could adjust to form curves.

1 Like

That’s me all the time. I don’t remember the last “stencil font” I used. I find it’s almost always faster to stencilize the font I am using. And I get to put the cutouts where I want them using shapes that are more in line with the way the font looks.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.