Looking for text manipulating software for nameplates

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Forum topic by Frankell55 posted 11-19-2019 02:24 PM 318 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 781 days

11-19-2019 02:24 PM

I have been asked to how long it takes to make scrolled nameplates/desk signs. I respond with a shrug and say the biggest time hog is designing the text. I have been using MS Word and text boxes but it is not easy for me to scale and bulk up the text to make a durable scroll.
What are some suggestions?


4 replies so far

View LeeRoyMan's profile


420 posts in 287 days

#1 posted 11-19-2019 02:43 PM

First thing that comes to my mind is Sketchup
You can select the Font you want and scale it to whatever size you need.
On top of that you can scale it to change the look of it.

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John Smith

2083 posts in 723 days

#2 posted 11-19-2019 02:53 PM

Frank – you are venturing into the SignMakers world . . . .
we have many software programs available for the craft
and some are pretty expensive.
the ones that I have used for years is CorelDraw and Paintshop Pro (by Corel).
you can find good used and outdated programs on E-Bay.
but, if you are not computer literate and don’t have the basic skills of layout and design,
it can be a real struggle to get into it right away and have satisfactory results.
plus – you need a good printer to print out what you have designed to scale.
a large project can be printed out in the “tile” format where the design may take
3 or 4 sheets of paper. and you cut them to size and tape them together to make
your full size paper pattern. then just trace it out on wood and cut it out.
some people can grasp it rather quickly (weeks) and for others it may take months or years.
there are several sign making websites that you could join and gather the information
that you need and go from there.
if you want to pursue the hobby in a serious fashion, it will cost you time and money.
best of luck in all your adventures !!

and to critique your signs: it is a good idea and a display of your craftsmanship
to engrave the bottoms of the letters with an engraving tool (Dremel, etc.) or by hand
with a “V” gouge, knife or something to define the bottoms of the letters.
(and oak wood will try your patience like no other).


-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View Vicki's profile


1121 posts in 3905 days

#3 posted 11-19-2019 03:47 PM

This is free from Steve Good, but I don’t think you get to choose a lot of fonts.

I use PhotoImpact from Corel and have used Word, but I’m not doing all the nice name signs like you are, so no big deal when you just do a couple.

There’s also a program called Sure Cuts A Lot for about $50 on sale that is fantastic for font and graphic manipulation. There are youtube videos and a huge help file.

Inkscape is Free and I did this in a few minutes, you can choose your font and probably find a better line or base. I just used the program to draw a line.

You can’t save JPEGs, but you can save pngs to load from other programs or print from Inkscape.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

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7530 posts in 2759 days

#4 posted 11-19-2019 04:17 PM

Between Inkscape and Gimp (both free), you can pretty much make any pattern you want – from simple text signs like above to super detailed portraits. Both have thousands of tutorials and how-to videos online.

Inkscape :


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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