Currently what I have to do is open up a font file (OTF/TTF) in FontLab, then click on a specific glyph, then select the actual glyph in that window, then copy/paste it from FontLab into Illustrator. One-by-one, one glyph at a time.

I tried just going to the zoomed-out grid view of the whole font in FontLab, and selecting a bunch of glyphs at once, and copy/pasting it like that into Illustrator, but all it "copied" to illustrator was the textual name of the glyph lol. It didn't copy the actual vector data of each glyph at all.

Wondering if there is any way to do this differently. Any approach at all, to take an OTF/TTF font file and layout every single glyph in Illustrator. What do you recommend to do this? I want to do this for the Chinese/CJK font, which has 65,000 individual glyphs, so 65k shapes/objects. I can't possibly copy/paste those one at a time from FontLab into Illustrator like I'm doing now, there's gotta be a better way :)

One other solution I am thinking is taking this library and generating an SVG font out of it. Then converting each SVG font <glyph> into a <path>, separating the paths, then importing that entire SVG "sprite sheet" into Illustrator. That's about as best as I can come up with now.

  • 2
    Type in* all char points and expand? * or just copypaste
    – joojaa
    Aug 31, 2019 at 10:40
  • What do you mean by that, I don't quite understand.
    – Lance
    Aug 31, 2019 at 10:48

1 Answer 1


Start a text object... point text or area text, it doesn't matter. Set it to the font containing the glyphs.

Open the Glyphs Panel (Window > Type > Glyphs).. double-click the glyphs you want in the panel. They will appear in your text string.

When done, if you want the text as shapes rather than live text... Select the text object with the selection tool and choose Type > Create Outlines from the menu. You may need to then use Object > Ungroups so that each glyph is its own object.

enter image description here

(CS6 animation, but it's the same procedure in newer versions.)

If you have a text string with all possible character, merely changing the font to a different font would then render all it's glyphs in that text string. So, theoretically, you would need merely one text object containing all possible glyphs, then reuse that object for different fonts.

  • 1
    OP mentioned a font with 65,000 glyphs, that would mean 65,000 double clicks, so not sure about using the Glyphs panel. Probably needs some automated way, eg. scripting possibly.
    – Lucian
    Aug 31, 2019 at 18:08
  • Just a text object containing all the characters is all that's needed. 6500 double clicks is better than 6500 copy/pastes :)
    – Scott
    Aug 31, 2019 at 18:10
  • 1
    @Lucian Im pretty syure you can find a list of all the characters somewhere like here, just edit the file and 5 minutes later you have 8300 chars flattened (can not zoom much further or we cant see anything). No biggie, just basic googling and editing. Illustrator can handle it but does get a bit laggy
    – joojaa
    Aug 31, 2019 at 19:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.