Is there any automated or semi-automated way of tracing outermost outline or whole path of letters in TikZ?
That I would be able (e.g. by using positioned nodes) to draw
a letter using
a letters, like shown below in my ascii-art (agreed, not really an art in this case):
aaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaa aa aa aa aaaaaaaa aa aaaaaaaaaaaa aa aaa aaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaa aa
Martin's note made me certain what I already suspected, that within PGF/TikZ I am unable to trace any glyph from any font. IOW getting outline of glyph in a format supported by TikZ is a separate issue, rather not TeX-related, but worth being mentioned here.
Obtaining glyph outline
Let me summarize already mentioned techniques toward getting it to TikZ:
- Inkscape + inkscape2tikz extension for exporting glyph to TikZ commands (provided by Azoun)
- FontForge for exporting to SVG (provided by Andrew)
Obtaining glyph "filling"
It's something I wasn't asking at all, but it's other interesting idea that was brought up in answers:
Mentioned earlier tracing is now part of preliminary process, as glyph outline (which can be any other path, but I'll stick with this particular example) is assumed to be known, so question should be rephrased.
What are the techniques available in TikZ to outline (fill) glyph outline with text [like one letter]?
Support for diversification of outline/fill style depending on "density" and in-path "neighborhood" (e.g. style changing in case of serifs, bent parts, etc. would be a nice feature.
I'm mostly interested in TikZ, but if you want to share non-TikZ solutions, do it immediately!
If you know or just came up with not described yet method of obtaining glyph outline (or "filling") and you think it's interesting or simply worth to be mentioned, tell us about it.
Afterword, i.e. paragraph about myself
Maybe I should add that I'm really new to PGF/TikZ. Even though I was using LaTeX for about ~8 years already (with various frequency, so I am far from being an expert), I never really get to TikZ. Back in the old days I did some work with PSTricks, but frankly speaking I forgot all of that since then. I saw TikZ examples a few years ago and was amazed how PGF/TikZ can provide nice abstractions for performing different drawing tasks. Lately I had to touch TikZ and meanwhile I started to think about using it in less common way, i.e. for creating some "artistic" drawings instead of plain diagrams, sketches and whatever it is used usually. PGF/TikZ manual is great, no question, but you must know what to look for and even if you know that, your wording maybe not exactly the same as used in the documentation, which makes finding sometimes hard (it's true especially for non-native English speaker, as in my case). You may say: just browse it! Sure, but ~700 pages is pretty much, so it's rather not something you will read and understand well even within month (correct me if I am wrong). Sorry for too long OT paragraph, but it should clear some things, because it's not like I am unwilling to look to manual myself, just sometimes it's far more productive to ask experts, because they have invaluable things that cannot be found in manual - experience and better intuition!