VisualGlyph – a hieroglyphs writer for PC's

VisualGlyph is a hieroglyphic text processing program that offers new possibilities for preparing hieroglyhic texts on computers. VisualGlyph was designed specifically for creating parallel hieroglyphic texts similar to de Buck's Coffin Text edition (see Example 1 below). It can also be used for producing any other style of text (Examples 2 and 3 below).

The user can freely position, size, or rotate hieroglyphs. It is also possible to write conventional text or draw line objects such as cartouches, circles, lines, etc. Hieroglyphs as well as conventional text and line drawings can be created directly on the screen.

All the images below were created entirely with VisualGlyph. They exemplify the program's capabilities.

VisualGlyph offers


• Different page formats
• Multipage documents
• Definition of rows or columns
• Writing hieroglyphs in groups
• Free positioning of signs
• Writing text
• Creating line objects
• Page counter
• Creating guidelines
• Clipboard functions
• Export to word processors (Format: WMF)
• Export to MAC (Format: PDF)
• Help file with detailed explanations
• New: Bitmap editor for creating hieroglyphic signs
• New: Undo / Redo function
• New: Image object


• Four basic fonts with Gardiner signs and additions
• New: Total number of signs: 2500
• More fonts are in preparation
• It is possible to add user-created hieroglyphs

Format Hieroglyphs:

Creating glyphs:
Before writing hieroglyphs you determine their properties: font size, rotation angle, mirror property, and color. All hieroglyphs are shown on the screen with these properties.

Editing glyph:
Once a hieroglyph is written, you can change its properties. To select it, you click on it. Then you can, for example, mirror, resize, rotate, or move the hieroglyph with the mouse or arrow keys.

Creating hieroglyphic text:

The hieroglyphic text is first typed in transliteration, which is divided into short groups (one square or less). Before typing you can determine the direction of writing, which determines the way the glyphs will appear on the screen (see a-g). Signs are grouped in different ways for the vertical and horizontal writing directions:

Horizontal writing direction (for a,b,e,f,g):

Vertical writing direction (for c,d):

After [Enter] is pressed, each group appears immediately on the screen.
The transliterated text is then no longer used and is not stored by the program.


Non-Egyptian text is written in a separate small window, in which you determine the fontname, the fontsize, and properties such as bold or italic. All fonts installed on the system are available. After you close the window, the text is transferred to the writing area. It is possible to reposition or edit the text.

Line drawings:

VisualGlyph offers a set of line objects designed specifically for egyptologists:
- cartouches (flexible size and rounded edges)
- lines (with a great variety of different types)
- circles
- lunettes
- rectangles
These objects are drawn with the mouse directly on the screen.

Example 1: BD17beg.

A page is divided into three sections: header, body, and footer. Hieroglyphs, texts etc. that are placed in the title or footer section are automatically transferred to all pages. In Example 1 the title includes the abbreviated names of the papyri and a surrounding frame.
The body section in this example is divided into columns that can be calculated by the program (in this example 11 columns have been defined). These columns can be defined as blue guidelines, which are not printed, or as solid lines. The horizontal blue guideline in this example is user-defined, while the line numbers (here: -1) are text.
The hieroglyphic text includes some signs from the additional font: the sign for destroyed passages, the plural sign, etc.

Example 2: Offering table

In this example four different writing directions are used.

Example 3: Round offering table

The circular offering table is a more complex example of VisualGlyph's capabilities. Rotated signs have to be written one by one. No group writing is possible.
To create this example a circle was drawn first. After the hieroglyphic text was typed, the circle was deleted.