Using MSWord to generate circular text for cutting
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.