# How do I break apart scanned letters using Gimp or Inkscape?

I'm trying to create a set of vector letters from lettering that I have scanned in. An example is shown here:

I scanned the letters in groups of 4 instead of the whole page, but doing the whole page might be faster if breaking the letters apart is faster.

In Inkscape, I've opened the scanned image and used the Path > Trace Bitmap tool. When I try to use Break Apart, I get a solid fill on the letter counters. I can delete those, but then I end up with two paths for each letter.

Is there a a better way to do this? Help from professional typographers welcome... although I realize that most don't use Inkscape.

• Note that if you want to make a typeface, you are better off using a font software from the beginning. – Wrzlprmft Apr 17 '17 at 7:37
• Before continuing the battle, check this: high-logic.com/font-generator/scanahand.html. It's the home page of High Logic's Scanahand. It has a form that can be filled by hand or in a photo editor. Input the filled form. The output = a font file, ready to install and use. – user287001 Apr 17 '17 at 10:57
• These are both great suggestions. But at the moment, I'd like to have a full set of vector objects. – Rick Henderson Apr 18 '17 at 12:52

## 1 Answer

Your problem is that the outline and the counter are now separate paths. The easiest solution is to select the outline and the counter of a given letter and use Path → Combine (Ctrl+K). This way, they will be part of a single path object like before breaking up and the counter will act as such.

• Great help. I loved your article on Blackletter and re-tweeted it. Strange: I teach in a department of Physics & Computers Science and live near the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics :) – Rick Henderson Apr 18 '17 at 13:11