Using handwritten fonts and hand-drawn arrows for callouts

I have two different issues with using handwritten fonts and hand-drawn arrows (http://community.articulate.com/downloads/p/817.aspx).

Using them in Articulate Presentations:

I was just wondering which handwritten font everyone uses most often in their presentations?

What size font do you use?

Do you bold it?

I have tried a few but the quality of them don’t present well once published.

Using them in Word Documents:

I would like to be able to use the handwritten font and hand-drawn arrows as callouts to document screen shots in a Word document, but I have been running into problems doing it. 

Can anyone enlighten me on the steps you take to go through the process yourself when you do it in Word?  I’m not sure if I am doing it correctly and most efficiently.

Should I use a Word callout and use the arrow image together?  It seems to cause issues with items moving around.

I recently tried Snagit and their arrows, but I have found that I need to make the canvas larger to fit the handwritten words and arrows, thus making the screen shot smaller than I would like. 

I have also found that the screenshots I place in Word also get distorted a little bit once the document is PDF'd. 

Can anyone offer their best practice for creating Word documents with screenshots and callouts?

I'm just finding the process to be cumbersome and feel there must be any easier way.

Thank you for any help you can provide!

11 Replies
Simon Perkins

Hi Pink Lady

I use '2Dumb' for slides that require text presented on either paper or some kind of board (e.g. whiteboard).  Here's a link.

Usually in size 12 - no need to go bold.

Works well from default. But IMO it looks even better (clearer) if you allow the course window to be expanded to the user's preference.

Kristen Hull

You mention having problems with items moving around.  Have you changed the text wrapping?  I think the default is "in line with text", and that is hard to work with.  I change the images to "in front of text".  Then you can place the arrows and callouts wherever you want around/on top of the screenshot. 

I have also used those arrows, but they don't always give me exactly what I need.  I created my own using this website: http://www.splashup.com/splashup/  You can work with the size, color, brush thickness, etc.  Save it as a .png, so the background is see-through.

Amy Kesman Rossi

Hi Pink Lady,

I am a little bit obsessed with finding the *right* font, so I have downloaded several handwritten ones looking for one that is clear and neat but androgynous (i.e. not too "girly"). Here are a few that I have collected:

Coming Home: more all-caps: http://www.dafont.com/coming-home.font

Commotion Business: http://www.dafont.com/commotion-business.font

Crossword Belle: http://www.dafont.com/crosswordbelle.font (the free version is incomplete, though)

Font-on-a-Stick: http://www.dafont.com/font-on-a-stick.font

Janda Caps Lock: http://www.dafont.com/janda-capslock.font (thin lines, better for writing on "paper")

Janda Everyday Casual: http://www.dafont.com/janda-everyday-casual.font (sentence-case sister font; a little "girly")

Jump Start: http://www.dafont.com/jump-start.font (very teenager-ish)

Kurzets Type: http://www.dafont.com/kurzetstype.font

Mucky Sans: http://www.dafont.com/mucky-sans.font (all caps; nice for whiteboards and such)

Never Let Go: http://www.dafont.com/never-let-go.font (cursive)

Rutmer Hand: http://www.dafont.com/rutmer-hand.font

Kimberly Geswein has an enormous selection at her website: http://www.kimberlygeswein.com/. (Many on my list come from there even though the links are to http://www.dafont.com/. Another fantastic site for fonts is http://www.fontsquirrel.com/.)

Crossword Belle is the only one I've used so far in a published presentation and it came out just fine; I can't vouch for the publishing quality of the others.

There are also a TON of hand-drawn boxes, arrows, lines, etc. that you can find in the downloads section of this site (put hand-drawn in the search box). If you need them in a different color, you can use PhotoShop (or a freeware image editor) to change the color very easily.

Hope these help!

Dave Neuweiler

Here's something to keep in mind when using fonts that are typically not included in a standard Windows installation.

If you create a Presenter Package for backup or another user, and special fonts that are included in your presentation are not included in the package. If the different machine does not have the fonts you've used already installed, they will be replaced by a Windows default font. As a result the text will look wrong, and may be misaligned in the published output.

A savvy user can highlight the affected text in PowerPoint, and see what the name of the missing font is, and then find and install it -- and all will be well.

I've found that manually adding these unusual fonts to the Presenter Package (just copy and paste the font file into the zipped package) and making note of it package notes file is helpful.

Bryan Jones

Pink Lady-

Simon's point is a good one. We have a few hand-written fonts and the #1 error I hear about is that users don't see the font in the dropdown after installing. That's b/c the fonts are loaded when the program opens. So if you install with Storyline or PPT open, you won't see them.

I also suggest you check out Tom's post 100 free handwritten fonts. There is a link buried just above the "Links to Other Free Fonts" section (last 1/3 of the article) to some free handwritten fonts that he created. If you look back at some of my early Screenrs/YouTube lessons, you'll see Tom's handwriting all over my screens.

Hope that helps.

Best,

Bryan