Single line (engraving) fonts recommendations?



Now that I have a Tooli, I would like to have a small collection of “engraving” fonts. These are fonts that consist of strokes to create the letters rather than fills. (A good explanation of this is here.) The filled fonts don’t work very well with the CNC style tools, and are also less efficient when using lasers if you engrave the font rather than stroke the outline.

I found a few single line fonts from links in the above reference, but they don’t seem to work very well in Illustrator (they execute a stroke where the “pen” should be lifting). I’m aware that Inkscape has the Hershey Text extension which accomplishes this goal, but I’m really hoping I don’t have to download Inkscape just for that one function when I’m so used to using Illustrator.

Any help or recommendations?

How to "score" text?

I get the impression that the connecting stroke between the two endpoints of a true single-line font is sorta unavoidable, unless the design software is equipped to handle them.

Hopefully someone here has a procedure to make them work in Illustrator!

In Rhino, there’s a dedicated check box in the text-creation dialog, it’d be nice if all software offered an easy option like that!

“RhSS” is my favorite font from that site you posted. It’s a shame that the license is not clear.


I found something that will work in Illustrator! It is here. I installed it and it works fine in CS5, but only one font style (kind of a Monaco style) and I’d really like to find a handwriting style one. If I understood javascript I might be able to do it…


Nice find. Works in CC as well.

I ran across a site of one-line fonts for sale, and they have a script font for $12.50. I have not ordered from them, and I can’t say whether their fonts are actually any good… or if they even work. I am under the impression that the TTF/OTF standards specifically do not allow unclosed paths (which is what a one-line engraver’s font would be if I understand correctly), so I’m a bit curious. I might try them out once my GF arrives, although I already own a fair number of fonts that include interior decoration which should work great for stroke-score.


Yeah, I saw that site. I kinda think they are probably like the Machine Fonts in Illustrator, which showed the closing of the path. It’s not terribly expensive, might be worth a try.

I really only need the fonts for my Tooli–I want to write my name in a cup of coffee with whipped cream.


Pics. :sunglasses:


Oh, you’ll see it if I ever figure it out!


If you only need your name-letters, you could try using the pencil tool in your design program to draw the letter shapes from single lines. Kinda painful with a mouse, zero-thought with a pen

going to google images and searching “one-line-fonts” might give you some calligraphic inspiration.


I was going to suggest looking up some of the old monotypes that were included in early CAD systems before inkjet tech moved in and replaced the ol’ pen plotters, but they were not particularly artistic.

Although, “City Blueprint” was one that I always liked… hmm now I have to look that up… rabbit hole!! :smiley:


You’ve probably found all the monoline fonts that you need, but I found a list of ones in Googles free catalog.


Thanks! I’ll look into it.


unfortunately, while these all look like one line fonts, they don’t really work as such because of how TTF/OTF fonts work in AI and Inkscape. To use them as true one-line laser-scoring fonts, you will have to break them up and do a fair bit of node editing (or use a program that is able to break fonts / use broken fonts, such as certain CNC-engraving softwares).

*if you figure out a way to easily use these as one line fonts, please update the thread!


As I mentioned elsewhere, the CNC software VCarve Pro ( has a collection of true 1-line fonts. I don’t know for sure, but their lower-functionality software (Cut2D Desktop) probably has the same functions and costs $149 (vs. $699 for VCarve Pro) and has a free trial available as well. If nothing else, you can probably download the trial of any of the Vectric software options, create some one-line text, export as SVG, and give it a try.


Flexi Sign&Print ($3,295) and Flexi Designer ($999) also handle one-line fonts, as do some other plotter-control softwares (might be called plotter-pen fonts, engraver’s fonts, technical lettering fonts). Not sure about the software that comes with the craft-cutters, but those might have some options too.

I found a fairly reliable script for AI that produces a one-line font. It only has one style (Ann), it’s missing certain non-letter glyphs, and has no real control over layout (it reads line breaks from the return key, but that’s about it). But it does work for some stuff, and is free.

The script is here, and still mostly works with the current AI CC release (there are occasional bugs).

Single Line Engraving Fonts - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly :thinking:

Here is what I get from scrolling through the available one-line fonts in VCarve.
Nothing too fancy - and not sure why the Connecting Script does not really connect, but maybe this is a suitable set for some purposes? And not sure whether you can add any others to the collection.