I need to convert a Unicode character (e.g. ⦿; CIRCLED BULLET; U+29BF) to a PNG image for use within a reporting tool (Crystal Reports). I need to preserve the font, size, and formatting of the character.

Is there a more-accurate way to do this than just ⌘⇧+4 and a less-burdensome way than Gimp or Seashore?

  • 1
    The character viewer does not work for you ? ⦿ CIRCLED BULLET Unicode: U+29BF, UTF-8: E2 A6 BF
    – Ruskes
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 16:07
  • how large does it appear that ⌘⇧4 isn't accurate enough?
    – dwightk
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 16:08
  • While I can use the character viewer to select the desired character, pasting the value into a Windows XP application (Crystal Reports) is problematic--the result is a box.
    – craig
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 16:13
  • @TomGewecke: I tried quite a few fonts--didn't work.
    – craig
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 16:32
  • 2
    Feel free to self-answer this! The answer shouldn't really be in the question
    – grg
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 16:33

4 Answers 4


Using ImageMagick:

convert -pointsize 64 -font /System/Library/Fonts/Apple\ Symbols.ttf label:⦿ output.png

convert -background transparent -fill 'hsb(0%,0%,0%)' -font /System/Library/Fonts/Apple\ Symbols.ttf -pointsize 64 -size 200x200 -gravity center label:⦿ output.png

  • Is 200x200 default Emoji resolution or is this just an example of setting the target resolution?
    – MCCCS
    Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 17:36
  • 1
    @MCCCS Original Resolution seams to be 160px, but they're highly detailed and sharp, so you could increase the resolution and it should still look decent.
    – albuvee
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 6:56

The way I would do it is by typing it in a graphics editor and rasterizing it to a png to whatever size I need. Why not use Gimp or Seashore?

  • I need to have the resulting image's dimensions to match the character itself (plus a few pixels buffer). Honestly, I'm not familiar enough with either tool to know if this is possible.
    – craig
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 16:17
  • 1
    Well i mean it's going to be imperfect no mater how you slice it. Youre going from a vector image (made of measurements that dictate the absolute shape and size of the strokes) to discreet pixels in a bitmapped image
    – Alexander
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 16:22

Character Map is the (clunky) equivalent of Character Viewer on OS X:

Windoze Character Mope

Note the Font — only certain typefaces contain U+29BF and U+2318. Most applications including Crystal Reports support Unicode Fonts.

  • How did you know that the Segoe UI Symbol contained this character? Trial and error?
    – craig
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 12:12

Possible solution: Create Banner Image from Text

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