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Microsoft Font Maker review: Creating fonts with handwriting on Windows 10

Windows 10 has always made it easy to install different fonts, but now you can easily create your own fonts out of your handwriting. All you need to do is download the Microsoft Font Maker app and write some characters and sentences using a stylus.

The app is free on Windows 10. It's important to remember that this app requires a stylus. There seem to be a lot of negative ratings for the app in the Microsoft Store and my guess is that people downloaded the app and then weren't able to do anything with it without a stylus and assumed it was broken.

See in Microsoft Store

A simple font creator

Creating a font using Microsoft Font Maker couldn't be more straightforward. When it boots up, you have a screen full of characters to write by hand and then after selecting next you have to write some sentences. You can then make adjustments to kerning and spacing to make the font look more like your natural writing.

You can then save your font with whatever name you'd like. Installing the font is just like any other font on Windows 10. You can create the font on a device with a pen and then install it onto any Windows 10 device that you'd like.

There are quite a few bad reviews in the Microsoft Store about the app not detecting any input. My PC is four years old and didn't have any issues, but it is possible that the app has issues on some devices. While you can see in my photos that my created font looks bad, that's due to my poor penmanship, not the app.

A versatile creative tool

Microsoft Font Maker is a versatile tool. It allows anyone to create a custom font including calligraphers who want to use their talents on their PC, to kids who can use the tool to teach them penmanship and computer skills.

If you wanted to, you could create a custom code using your own characters or just transfer your handwriting to your PC so you can create notes and documents that look more personalized.

Overall thoughts on Microsoft Font Maker for Windows 10

I love seeing apps like this added to Windows 10. It brings inking and typing together and creates a platform for creativity. For example, my handwriting is terrible, but my mother-in-law could have had a career in calligraphy with how good her handwriting is. I'd love to have her create a font based off of her writing using this app.

Pros

  • Easy to use.
  • Drives creativity.
  • Free.

Cons

  • Practically flawless.

See in Microsoft Store

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

23 Comments
  • Practically flawless is a huge con.
  • That's just there as a filler so people know I didn't leave it blank on accident :-)
  • Clicking the "See in Microsoft Store" link opens WebToApp instead of linking directly to Microsoft Font Maker.
  • Same for me, easy to find via search though. Neat app.
  • The link has been fixed. Thanks.
  • This is actually a really cool app. Installed.
  • "There are quite a few bad reviews in the Microsoft Store about the app not detecting any input." These are simply people using Wacom tablets in Wintab-only mode. Basically Wacom drivers have a checkbox to make them Wintab only or Wintab + Windows Ink compatible. Many users literally uncheck the "Windows Ink" checkbox in their tablet's configuration software and then complain to Windows 10 Ink apps developers that their tablet isn't recognized properly! If you're facing this issue, open your "Wacom Tablet Properties" utility, select your tablet, and on one of the tabs, check the "Use Windows Ink" checkbox.
  • Wow didn't know you could even uncheck something like that
  • The ironic thing with Wacom and their drivers, is that older devices from the early/mid 00s, work just fine with Windows Ink, often better than newer devices/drivers from Wacom. Simply, Microsoft wrote an interface driver for these devices that cleanly wraps all Stylus/Digitizer input into one simple model. This was also the intent of the Win7 input and 'Ink' driver changes. It wasn't supposed to be complicated or leave things behind or be an either/or scenario, as they were just 'expansions' of the driver input model and with Win8 had framework specific interfaces to the driver. (Although some of the Windows 8 'Ink' separation was crazy/goofy and I just assume was a Sinofsky thing that didn't get why adding an additional interface layer to the new framework was dumb.) Wacom (for whatever reason) has continued to use a dual/split driver input model, even with their latest products and tablet based digitizers. This creates problems/issues like disabling Windows Ink as you detail and also creates problems by not providing the right interface to various applications. This is where you find issues of trying to draw, and by holding down the Pen, instead of drawing, the 'Pointer level' Right Click is invoked instead.
  • I created a font with my handwriting using a tool from Microsoft back in the tablet PC days.
  • Yeah, that was the "My Font Tool" for Windows XP Tablet PC Edition.
    I don't know if this one is an evolution or just the same concept. The My Font Tool was pretty good already, but I always found it frustrating that you couldn't then embed the font in documents or on the web because they were flagged as copyrighted no-embedding. This new utility marks the fonts as embeddable-installable instead, which is a huge improvements.
  • I was just thinking about My Font Tool, but couldn't remember its name...thank you. One cool thing about My Font Tool was that it had a way of including your signature that you could then use/access via a couple of keystrokes. I used that function more than I used the font I created! Eager to try this one out.
  • The Font Maker still has a huge limitation, it doesn't let you add characters outside of the basic set shown in the first screenshot.
    To be usable outside of the US, and even for several loanwords and proper nouns in English text, we need to be able to write a set of characters with diacritical marks (accents,...). At least being able to use the tool to build a complete Latin-1 compatible font. Help tell them to work on a usable version and not leave it as a tech demo, upvote "Font Maker needs support for accented letters (and other diacritics)" in the Feedback Hub: https://aka.ms/AA1vk4l
  • As a Swiss person, I already can't make use of it since it's missing the letters ä, ö and ü common to the German language and French-related stuff like ë, é, è and ê with similar combos available to a, i, o and u soo... Not quite flawless.
  • Same here for Ukrainian or any language except English. I hope they add more languages in the future updates.
  • As I mentioned in the post above, please upvote my feedback about this exact limitation in the Feedback Hub : https://aka.ms/AA1vk4l I suspect the tool is currently just a fun side project that got enough interest to get published officially, but if we want them to schedule more time to improve it, we need to let them know support for other languages is important to us.
  • I can't create my fonts with touch screen, needs multi presion pen
  • Okay, I downloaded the old Microsoft "My Font Tool" and it's a little better than the new one! I believe this tool was released in 2007. Anyway, the most fun feature is that for the "|" pipe character, you enter your signature. This is awesome...allows you to write an email -- work email for instance -- using Calibri or another standard font and then simply switch to your personal font to input your signature. Love it! Also, it has a number of pens (Fine tip, Medium Tip, Fat Tip, Calligrapher Tip) and a custom function that allows you to play around with thicknesses. The only real problem I had was that it is not aware of high rez displays so punctuation is hard to make out.
  • Except that the old tool builds fonts that explicitly forbid embedding, which means even if you select to embed fonts in a document, your handwritten font will get replaced by a standard font.
    Basically your document will appear in some standard font and your signature will show as the pipe character if the recipient doesn't have your personal font installed on their PC.
  • Philippe, Thanks for the clarification...found it out the hard way last night. Ugh! Why, oh why. Okay, it's back to the new one. Maybe they'll add the signature option as it's really a great addition.
  • Actually, the signature as a special character isn't the best solution. First it should be a Unicode private-use character instead of replacing an existing characters, but anyway, there's a better way. Microsoft Office (desktop apps) supports ink as a native data type, which means you can write, store, copy and paste handwritten strokes in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook.
    This means you can have a Word template with the signature as a set of ink strokes. They're technically seen as handwritten annotations, but you can include them in prints and PDF exports (enable "Print Markup" in Print Settings). This has several advantages over a private-use character, namely that you can easily change the thickness of the ink, as well as its pen style, depending on the size of the signature you want to use. For e-mails, Outlook lets you ink directly in e-mails, or copy/paste ink from other apps.
    Unfortunately, it converts it to a PNG image for compatibility with other e-mail apps. Best would be to have the ability to send ink as SVG to keep it vectorial. InkPaint can convert ink to SVG, and copy/paste ink with Office apps. However, currently, even if you embed an SVG in an e-mail, it typically gets converted to bitmap (such as PNG) because some e-mail apps still cannot read SVG.
  • Good app, but it has one big problem - useful only for English people, no chance to add slavik or even specific latin symbols.
  • As I mentioned above, I really think we need to let them know this is important to us.
    Unfortunately most things at Microsoft are only a question of metrics, the more of us tell them this is important, the more chances it has to get done.
    Upvoting on the Feedback Hub can basically +1 that item in their priorities Excel sheet : https://aka.ms/AA1vk4l