I want to make a text that looks as handwritten as possible. I’m using InDesign but I’m happy to try other programs if they can solve my problem.

The text should look like it’s written by a human. I already played around with certain handwriting fonts and spacing, tilt etc but when printed it still looks too accurate, too precise. Is there a way to make a variable font size, variable tilt and make the whole thing look more ‘sloppy’? I think the thing that would help the most is if the text lines themself wouldn’t be perfect straight lines but uneven and slightly off. (Variable baseline)

Has anybody done this before and know of some tricks?

(Btw: to just write it by hand is not an option)

  • 1
    This calls for artwork not a type solution. For all of the irregularities you want, type was developed to overcome. Type was designed to sit on a straight baseline, to be accurate, to be regular, to have consistent spacing, to have consistent angle, to have regular and consistent stress, etc. You may find something in the "Grunge" category or highly stressed typefaces. You might have to mix fonts. Try searching those. Short of that, you want to get artwork created and scanned to import.
    – Stan
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 19:11
  • 1
    Have you considered...handwriting? Like, grab a pen and paper? What's the reason that isn't an option?
    – DA01
    Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 5:23

4 Answers 4


Alright, I thank everybody for their answers but to write it out by hand was as I said already not an option. I was looking for a more general solution which I can reuse once set up.

The closest answer to my question I found in the Adobe Forum and it's a script which automates changing the Baseline, Tint and Stroke by a random amount for every character and thus makes the text look more irregular. The script can be adjusted as well, for example to make these random changes not character by character but instead word by word.

Here is the script: forums.adobe.com

EDIT 1: It seems that a file which contains a lot of text seems to get fairly large up to several MBs because the script makes changes to every character.


I recommend Sinyak App: https://dimlight.ru/en/projects/programs/sinyak.html

Sinyak 1.85 demo page Example of Font(Script template): enter Sinyak App Font Template

Once I made it for Fun, but now it's tiny and powerful app with the free version. And you can make your own Script(Font) for 10 minutes. It's quick solution for imitating Handwritten text and export some digital text like essay to printable handwritten. Enjoy :-)


To write it out by hand may be your best option.

Take one of these font templates found online and create your font.

enter image description here

These are meant to draw or write a font on and scan it in to make your font. The main thing to worry about, if it's a script font, is that each letter form connects to the next at the same height location (and of course that your font is legible and cool).

To get software to help recreate realistic sloppy handwriting would be complicated.

  • This is only a start. This will automate each of the hand-formed glyphs to create a very consistent, irregular, and homogeneous effect. After this, some tweaking will be necessary to increase the irregularities enough for the effect the original poster strives to achieve.
    – Stan
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 19:15

There is a trade off you need to be aware of here.

  • You write the text manually, scan, clean up and use that. This is really the only way to really convey a genuinely handwritten piece.
  • You can use a font. There are many decent "handwriting" fonts out there. But there will always be some uniformity to the text. Even manually tweaking characters will still not change the shape of glyphs, unless you were to do something like create outlines and then manually edit the shapes. In which case.. see the option above.

If there's "too much text" to manually write by hand, I would ask myself "is a handwriting font appropriate here?" Handwritten text reduces readability and often legibility. It's great for small quips and blurbs. However, in my work it's often a poor choice if "there's too much text to write" manually.

I've created many 2 sided large mailers where I actually sat down and wrote every line of text. Not mine, but things such as this:

enter image description here

You just can't convey the same informal nature in my experience with any font, no matter how well that font is designed.

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