Using MSWord to generate circular text for cutting

April 16, 2009 at 4:01 pm 45 comments

I have been getting a lot of questions about how to make circular text since I posted the video on moving the letters with mesh. While circular/curved text can be done in Inkscape, (see this video) the best tool out there is probably already on your computer, its the WordArt widget that’s been in Microsoft Word for years. (Microsoft’s WordArt feature is also included in Publisher, Excel and Powerpoint, as well as MS Works versions earlier than 8.5. You will also find a similar feature called FontWorks in Open Office.) It is an incredibly powerful and flexible feature with a friendly user interface (did I really just say that about a Microsoft product?) and the best part is that it generates vector output. So here’s how to use it for your cutting projects.

Step 1: Generate your circular/curved text in a blank MSWord document. If you don’t know how to do that, see this video.


Step 2: If you have a Mac, print to PDF as shown in the screen shot. If you have Windows, see this post for how to print to SVG, then skip to Step 4.


Step 3: Import the PDF file you generated in Step 2 (default settings, click OK). Click to select the circular text object and then click the Ungroup button repeatedly until you see the word “Path” instead of the word “Group” indicated in the tip bar. (In my example it took 4 clicks). If you don’t see the Ungroup button widen your window, or select Ungroup from the Object menu.



Step 4: Save and name your file in Inkscape’s default format (SVG). Open a new document in Sure-Cuts-A-Lot and import your SVG.


Another update: A reader reminded me that the Microsoft’s WordArt feature is also included in Publisher. I should also mention it’s in Excel and Powerpoint, too, as well as MS Works versions earlier than 8.5. Might be worth picking an a bargain bin or ebay copy of Works or Publisher just for this feature.

Latest update: Replaced SVG Factory technique with reference to this post about printing to SVG.

Entry filed under: Computer Crafts, Cricut, Digital Scrapbooking. Tags: , , , , , , .

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45 Comments Add your own

  • 1. stelt  |  April 16, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    Very nice.
    SVG everywhere indeed.
    Even through MS Word :-)

  • 2. Suzy  |  April 17, 2009 at 12:06 am

    YOU ARE AWESOME!! TFS this tip!!…everything I have learned so far has been self-taught…and learned through the SCAL forum….thanks to people like you who are willing to share their talents. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! :-)

  • 3. Mary HK  |  April 17, 2009 at 9:01 am

    OK, you are absolutely amazing! That was sooo easy. I downloaded the SVG factory and followed all of your instructions and was able to import into the scal program….now, maybe I will take some time to use my SCAL since it is so easy to convert without using inkscape….thanks again for being such a wonderful resource. Mary in Hong Kong

  • 4. Amy  |  April 17, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Thanks for all the tips and tutorials on your blog. I’ll have to check back when I’m ready to try something new!

  • 5. Darth_Gimp  |  April 18, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Krikie!! I don’t have MSWord.. I use OpenOffice!

    • 6. Kay  |  April 18, 2009 at 11:45 pm

      Here’s the best I can do, Darth. Go to the web-based test drive of MSOffice 2007.
      You can create your word art there and then save a screen shot for autotracing in Inkscape. Copy and paste of the vector into svgfactory, or even another word document, doesn’t work.

  • 7. Carmen  |  April 18, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    thanks so much for your tutorials! I learned something today – need lost more learning!


  • 8. Kgscrapper  |  April 20, 2009 at 10:57 am

    WOW!!! You must have been reading my mind!! Unfortunately I didn’t read your post in time!! I spent several hours,Friday Night, trying to figure out how to get my MSword circle text into inkscare to cut with SCAL. I nixed the circle text idea on my last project, but now I know how to do it for the next one!!

    Now if anyone has any ideas on my my SCAL keeps locking up and how to make it quit this will be a perfect day!!

  • 9. lesliefolks  |  April 20, 2009 at 11:45 am

    wow!! i just did this following your directions!!! i just did something on my very own!!!! wow!! this will be perfect until i can get the inkscape thing down!!! awesome thanks for sharing!!

  • 10. Marjorie  |  April 26, 2009 at 8:36 am

    Thanks so much for this information! I’m happy I discovered your site.

  • 11. ffreeman  |  May 11, 2009 at 8:42 am

    I tried convertin my circle text using the copy and past method with SVG Factory. However, when I imported the SVG file into SCAL the circle characters where not there. It was just blank. I made the cirlce in MS Word then saved it as Adobe PDF. Opened PDF and copied and opened SVG Factory and pasted and it saved it as a SVG file. Then imported it into SCAL. Do you have any idea what I did wrong?

    • 12. Kay  |  May 11, 2009 at 10:54 am

      Sounds like you got the 2 techniques confused. Either use SVGFactory, or PDF, but not both, please try again following the instructions exactly for one method at a time.

  • 13. ffreeman  |  May 11, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Yes that was the problem. Thanks. This is way cool.

  • 14. Patsy  |  May 24, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    I have come to this tutorial so many times. It is one of the best I’ve found for doing titles in the roiund. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • 15. Carolyn  |  May 28, 2009 at 9:20 am

    I followed your instructions but when I tried to cut, not all my letters cut. They all showed on my screen.

    • 16. Kay  |  May 28, 2009 at 10:55 am

      That is what happens if the fill and stroke are not set correctly. Please try again and follow the instructions exactly.

  • 17. Sylvia  |  May 30, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Your information is worth all the gold in the WORLD. This has opened up so! so! so! many windows. Like JEHOVAH said “ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE” I truely appreciate you and all of your efforts

  • 18. Angeles  |  July 27, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    I think this is great. I have tried to do this without success but with your explanation sooo easy. SVG Factory is also a great tool.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • 19. Sally  |  August 15, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Thank you for the instructions to make circular titles. Could you also give instructions on putting additional text within the circle?
    Thank you for sharing your talents.

    • 20. Kay  |  August 15, 2009 at 6:51 pm

      To put additional text within the circle, choose the shape that has the bar in the middle of the circle instead of the empty circle shape. Then place the lines of text in the top, bottom and center of the circle as desired and follow the same procedure as outlined.

  • 21. Clare D  |  August 19, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    I have watched the video and can’t find the icons used in Microsoft Word after the text is created at the bottom. Can you tell me where to find them in the menu? Thanks! I am hoping to make a circle with the alphabet around the edge for a school scrapbook. Thanks!

    • 22. Kay  |  August 20, 2009 at 7:13 pm

      This will be different depending on which version of Word you have. Check the help files in Word or support at for instructions specific to the version you have.

      • 23. Clare D.  |  November 11, 2009 at 10:38 am

        I finally figured it out! At least part of it. I was able to generate the circular text. Then when I tried to print to file a prn file was generated. How do I get a pdf generate? Thanks so much for tutorial and your help!
        I just got some wall vinyl and am hoping to use the phrase in my laundry room.

      • 24. Kay  |  November 11, 2009 at 9:52 pm

        Go to and follow the instructions there to learn how to print to pdf for your OS.

      • 25. Clare D.  |  November 12, 2009 at 11:51 am

        Kay, I finally got it working! So happy with my file, I posted it on my blog and directed people here for your tutorial! I ended up just doing a screen print and pasting it into Paint. Saved it as jpg and then just scanned it in SCAL 2. So easy with your instructions of course that I will use this technique all the time! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • 26. vj  |  September 18, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Is there a way to do circular text where the bottom of the text is upright like you would do for a college decal so that if the top said Cricut University the bottom said Vinyl Queen, but the Vinyl Queen is right side up?

    • 27. Kay  |  September 18, 2009 at 2:16 pm

      Yes, just choose the shape from the word shape panel called “button (curve)” that has separate top, bottom and center text fields and just leave the center blank.

  • 28. vj  |  September 18, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Thank you so much!

  • 29. B.P  |  October 5, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Does anyone have the actual SVG Factory software?? The site is down and I can not find it anywhere?

    let me know

  • […] program and create word art-this is especially good for text distorted into a shape.  See this post from CleverSomeday for more info on word art from MS […]

  • 31. Nancy Ward  |  October 11, 2009 at 10:34 am


    Today I posted an entry on my blog with a link to this tutorial.

    I’d appreciate your letting me know if that’s OK.


    Nancy Ward

    • 32. Kay  |  October 11, 2009 at 8:21 pm


  • 33. Sheila Alls  |  October 18, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    I tried to go to the website to download the svg factory but it says that the website declines the showing of the website. Could you please tell me what the problem might be?

  • 34. AzAnna  |  October 27, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I’m missing something here… I love the tutorial and it works fine, but once the letters are cut, they’re only in a circle til you pull them off the mat, right??! Then you have to put them in a circle again (you could use the magic mesh method –
    But how do you make a circle and WELD THE LETTERS TO IT?! So you get that circle cut out with the letters attached?!?? Do you see what I mean??

    • 35. Kay  |  October 27, 2009 at 2:13 pm

      That’s not the look I was after here, but you could just follow these instructions, then draw a circle in the middle of the circular text image in SCAL and weld it all together.

  • 36. Courtney  |  November 17, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    You are so helpful!!! I’ve been trying to figure this out for weeks and came across your answer on the cricut mb. Thank you so much.

  • 37. Naidu  |  December 1, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Thanks for the info. Its very usefull

  • 38. john Caulfield  |  March 10, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Excellent I am now completely convinced that there is no othe way to create curved text in Word

  • 39. MoSh  |  October 18, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    that’s good! but do u know how i can make this text reverse? (i mean the top part of a linear text, to be as internal circle.)

    • 40. Kay  |  October 19, 2010 at 8:25 am

      Not sure what you mean, but MS Word has many options to make text in either direction so check out tutorials for MS Word Art feature.

  • 41. Leslie  |  November 9, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    hi. Is there a way to get the curvy effect with whatever font you want, rather than what word has in its word art section? I tried choosing my font, typing my phrase, then the kind of word art i wanted, but it replaced it with its own font.

    • 42. Kay  |  November 9, 2010 at 4:58 pm

      Yes, you can use any font you have installed. Click on the Edit Text button in WordArt and it will let you change the font there.

  • 43. Melanie  |  February 18, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    This is exactly what I needed! Thank you SO much!

  • 44. jeopardy template powerpoint  |  June 20, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    Superb site you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any user discussion forums that
    cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get comments from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Kudos!


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