This page is part of The Ultimate Font Guide, an introductory font manual that explains the basics of fonts and how to install fonts, use them in different applications and more.
PUA stands for “Private Use Areas”. When a font is PUA encoded it means that you can access all special characters such as the flourishes and swirly lines through Windows and Mac and that you can load them into applications such as Cricut Design Space and Silhouette Studio.
Fonts that are not PUA encoded will still work in for example Cricut Design Space and Silhouette Studio, but only with the standard characters. The extra fancy characters that you are looking for won’t work here. They do however work in applications such as Adoble Illustrator.
So, if you are going to use your cutting machine and designing with Cricut Design Space and Silhouette Studio, make sure to use PUA Encoded Fonts. If you are not sure, always ask the designer.
In this example we will access the special characters in the “Marcella Script” font.
When I type normally “Little Big Crafter” with Marcella Script I will see this:
It’s beautiful but I want the extra characters to make it even more awesome!
First thing to do is to install the font. To install the font in Windows, read our installation manual.
After installing you will need to open Windows Character Map. This application is included on all Windows computers. To access Character Map just hit the windows bar and start typing “Character Map”.
Open the application and in the “Font” dropdown, select the font you want to use and make sure the “Advanced View” box is checked.
In the “Group by” dropdown select “Unicode Subrange”
In the “Group By” menu that opened on the right side, scroll to the bottom and select “Private Use Characters”.
Now on the left side you will see all the PUA encoded characters. You can click on the characters to see them a little bit bigger. If you want to use one of the characters click “Select” and after click “Copy”. Now you can go to your application and ctrl+v the character and it will show up!
To use the extra characters on a Mac, first you have to install the font. To install the font on a Mac, please check out this tutorial.
After you installed the font: