How to import vector graphics


What is the best method to import vector graphics (letters etc.) from Illustrator?

Thank you - Alex

You can copy paste them.

You need to find the right scaling of the drawing in Illustrator. Points in Indesign are units in Glyphs. Place the origin point at the “baseline” of your drawings.


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Hi Georg,

Thank you for your answer.

Btw. - Glyphs is a very nice and intuitive application - keep up the good work and hopefully you will be able to release the official version soon!


Hi Georg:
Beautiful program! Thanks so much for sharing it.
I produce my vectors in other programs, not illustrator. I use inkscape primarily. The copy/paste method doesn’t work for me. Is there a way to get my .svg files into Glyphs? Any ideas are much appreciated.

Thanks for your help.

Hi Warbler,

Inkscape does not seem to support copy past of vectors at all (it pastes content from Illustrator as image and put only image data into the clipboard).

This leaves us with importing svg data. I will see if I find time to implement a full svg import filter but will try to find a solution.


Thanks, Georg. An svg import filter would be tremendous!
Thanks again for letting us enjoy your great program.



I wrote a script to import svg files. It is a very early version. It works for the files I tested. If you have any problem, please send the .svg files and I will fix it.

You need to have RoboFab/FontTools installed: (how to install it see: You need to install a copy to the Python 2.5 folder (/Library/Python/2.5/site-packages/RoboFab/)

The download the files from

In Glyphs, goto Scripts > Open Script Folder and copy the scripts into it.

The open a Font, select a Glyph and run the script from the Script menu.

I will later add native SVG support but for now the script is all I can do.


Wow, thanks, Georg!
I went to the Robofab site and wasn’t sure which file(s) to download. Could you please specify? Also, do I download all the scripts on the “glyphs-scripts” page, or just the “” file?
I’m not the most proficient file manager. Does any of this installation effect the rest of my OS? Should I be patient and wait for the native SVG support?
Sorry for all the questions.

Thanks again. Your attention to this matter is impressive!

Hi Georg

I’m new to Glyphs (which looks brilliant), but not totally new to type design. I’m trying to compose an app-specific font with a mixture of classical musical notation and alphabetical glyphs - all drawn and aligned in Illustrator. When I paste them into Glyphs, they are partially distorted - some more, some less. Even shapes completely lose alignement, and curves change orientation…

Am I doing sth wrong here? Back in the day with Fontographer (3.x) I saw the same thing happening, but on a much, much smaller scale. Right now, some of the just-pasted chars ended up completely unusable.

I’m aware of the constraint to 1000x1000 units, but the shift of some anchor points looks more like being realigned to a 100x100 grid. Example: layered screenshots Illustrator/Glyphs


Any idea?
Thanks a lot


What is set in Font info > other settings > Grid spacing? What happens if you put in “0”?

What version of Glyphs and illustrator do you use?



You need to download all.

You need to download “RoboFab 1.2 rev.217 Installer for OSX, FontLab 5.0x.”

Then goto:

and copy:


Hope that is understandable.


Thanks very much, Georg!

Did it work?

Hi Georg

I used the recent version of Glyphs, about one week old - the one before today’s update. Illustrator is CS5, current update.

Grid settings are “1”; left unchanged. The Font “grid” is divided into four 250 unit steps (desc -250, baseline 0, x-height 250, X-height 500, asc 750).

Part of the problem may be due to Illustrators inability to convert font outlines efficiently, (I’m borrowing some chars from different fonts). The amount of anchor points for round shapes is at least doubled. When I remove the superfluous poinst back in Glyphs, the shapes somewhat recover, but tracking the (new) bumps is tedious.

Another source of irritation might be that the characters are really tiny compared to normal fonts, since it is symbol/notation font for a very specific use. There might indeed be a resolution issue adding to the results for AI…

You can possibly reproduce what I’m seeing here: just pick an “O” form HelveticaNeue, scale to maybe 120pt, convert it to outlines in Illustrator and paste it into Glyphs.

Anyway, Glyphs looks/feels really good already.
Do you have a price in mind for the final version?

Hi alexk,

You should use 1000pt text if you what to use it in glyphs. Or the the “grid space” option to “0” and scale it in Glyphs.

I have some price in mind, but have to verify it before going public.


Hi Georg

1000 pt makes sense, given that it will end up in a 1000x1000 unit system in Glyphs :wink:
Price tag hint: 400$ made me not buy the new Fontographer by FontLab…

Thanks a lot


Hi Georg:
I couldn’t get past the 1st step. Robofab wouldn’t install 'cause I don’t have FontLab…
I guess I’ll have to wait for the Glyphs version with vector-import capability.

Thanks much and best of luck!

I fixed some issues with the importSVG script and uploaded a version of RoboFab (that can be easily installed) to my site.

Glyphs scripting


I’m having trouble importing vectors. Some of the points are missing or the tangents get corrupted.
I set the document size and origin. I have trouble specially with glyphs that have ‘holes’ (e.g., lower case ‘a’).

Can you send me the vector files?

Check Layer > Correct Path Direction to fix the holes.

If a path is filled black or white depends on the winding rule. the outmost path has to be counter-clock wise and the next-most clockwise. Illustrator uses a different method and thous it has to be fixed.