Write with non-Western text characters

Last updated 2019-07-28 13:32:59 +0100

This article explains which alphabets are supported in VideoScribe and what to do if the alphabet you would like to use is not supported.

Import new fonts into VideoScribe if you want to write with non-Western characters. Please ensure that the font you have chosen supports the alphabet you want to use.
Currently, the alphabets supported in VideoScribe are:

  • Latin
  • Greek
  • Armenian
  • Hebrew
  • Cyrillic – not all fonts that support Cyrillic characters will work in VideoScribe although there are a number that do. The following fonts are compatible:
  • Arabic - it is possible to import fonts that support Arabic into VideoScribe, but as the software draws each letter in a word separately it is not possible to join up the lettering at this time. See our blog post Scribing Tip – How to get Arabic words to draw well.

To see a full list of the characters included in each of these categories please see the VideoScribe supported character sets article.

If your preferred alphabet isn't currently supported, follow the instructions below to import your text as an SVG image. You can also request for your alphabet to be supported in VideoScribe on the Ideas and feature requests forum.

Here are a few that have already been requested - please like the idea by clicking the link beneath the original post to show your support.
Arabic - letters in Arabic connected not separated.
Hindi - Hindi text in VideoScribe.
Chinese - 
When will video scribe launch Chinese letters?

Import text as an SVG image file 

To import text as an image file using the steps below. There are two ways of creating text as an SVG; an easy way and a bit more complicated way that has better results. There is a very useful thread on our community forum for specific instructions if you are using Adobe Illustrator - Make Any Font, Text or Equation Draw Well (2016).

Method 1 - Quick and easy.

Step 1. Type the text you want to import into a writing programme or word processor.

Step 2. Copy the text.

Step 3. Open Inkscape (free image-editing software).

Step 4. Select the type character in the sidebar (A) and paste your text into Inkscape.

Step 5. Select ‘Path’ (A) from the menu above and then ‘Object to path’ (B) to convert your text into an SVG image.

Step 6. Go to ‘File’ (A), ‘Save as’ (B) and save the text image to your computer as an SVG.

Step 7. Open your VideoScribe project and click ‘Add image’ (A).

Step 8. Click the import icon (A) in the bottom left of the window that pops up.

Step 9. Use the file browser to select the image from your computer. 

The outline will draw before the image is filled but you will still be able to read the text as it is being drawn and it will become clearer at the end.

Method 2 - A bit more complicated but worth the effort as will draw better than method 1. 

Here are more detailed instructions for getting text to draw well in VideoScribe by creating a text image using Inkscape, a free SVG editor.

The following instructions will take a little more time to complete but the result will be a lot better.

Step 1. Using the text tool in Inkscape, type or paste the text into a text box.

Step 2. Export the text as a bitmap, by selecting File -> Export Bitmap (may be .jpg in newer versions of Inkscape).

I use the following settings when exporting 145 dpi (dots per inch) - the higher the DPI the better the image quality.

Step 3. Delete the text you have just put into Inkscape and import the Bitmap/JPG image back into Inkscape, that you just exported by selecting File -> Import... and select Embed.

Step 4. When you have the image on the canvas use the Pencil tool to roughly trace over the letters of the text in the same way you would if you were writing it.

Step 5. Select all the Pencil strokes that you just created and select Path -> Simplify from the menu.

Step 7. With the paths still selected, double click on the word 'Different' next to Fill and set the fill to No paint.

Step 8. Double click on the word Different next to 'Stroke' and increase the stroke width value so the text image is covered.

Step 9. Set the stroke paint to have an Alpha value of zero so it is invisible.

Step 10. Save as an SVG and import into VideoScribe.

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