I want to include a simple vector graphic (SVG, 1 circle and a path with 20 nodes) in the text, so it appears like a character.

ifsym does this with metafont, however metafont generates only bitmapped fonts.

My current solution is to create a new font with FontForge, export it as OTF, include it with \newfontface\foo{foo.otf} and include it with {\foo\symbol{1}}.

This works (with XeLaTeX at least), however it is cumbersome and I need to distribute the font file every time I need to send someone the .tex-files.

How can I insert a simple vector graphic as a character into the text?

  • 3
    Convert the SVG into PDF and use \includegraphics.
    – egreg
    Mar 31, 2012 at 17:07
  • The graphic might be used 200-300 times in the document and I'm not sure if it's included just once in the resulting pdf.
    – tstenner
    Mar 31, 2012 at 17:24
  • If I understand you correctly you really want to change a character into a graphic. Lets say the 'g'. I would make a Tikz-picture, and make the 'g' an active character that deletes the 'g' and inserts the Tikz-picture. -- If this is not what you want, please explain more thoroughly what you mean/want.
    – jmc
    Mar 31, 2012 at 17:24
  • 2
    @tstenner It's included only once. If I include a 6KiB PDF file 100 times the PDF file is 13484 bytes; if I include it 500 times it becomes 14658 (pdflatex). With XeLaTeX I get 7186 bytes for 100 times and 10333 bytes for 500 times and
    – egreg
    Mar 31, 2012 at 17:34
  • 1
    @tstenner In that case I would define a macro which puts a TikZ-picture in the text. That is quite convenient. The pgfmanual (very very good) contains several examples of these inline graphics.
    – jmc
    Mar 31, 2012 at 17:36

1 Answer 1


I suggest the following.

In your preamble include TikZ.


Also in the preamble, define a macro, e.g.,

\def\myGraphicChar{\tikz \node[chamfered rectangle, white, fill=red, double=red, draw, very thick]
   {\bf STOP!};

Next, in your text, just write \myGraphicChar where you want your graphic. All inline.

  • Looks great, I'll make myself familiar with TikZ.
    – tstenner
    Mar 31, 2012 at 18:22

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