Inkscape Tricks

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This page is meant to store the many things we find out about using inkscape. In particular, the questions that come up repeatedly.

Text Along Path

Sometimes you don't want your text to follow a curve instead of going in a straight line. We've got two methods so far:

Using Hershey text extension

From Paul Hart, 2011-12-22:


If you're like me (my commiserations!), there are situations where you'd like to make something lazzor'd that includes text on a curve. Having rummaged around the internets for a good hour or so today and played with the suggestions I found there, here's how to do it.

First, you'll need the rather wonderful Hershey Text extension. Use that to render the straight line of prose that you wish to commit to material.

Second, you need your path that the text will follow. My testing has only been to use circles, but I'm sure any other arbitrary curve would be fine too. Don't forget to "Object to Path" the thing as well.

Now, there's some magic that comes in here. The extension we're about to use considers one of the paths to be the pattern, and the other the path to be patterned. I'm still not sure which one needs the higher z-order, so be prepared for some trial and error. Also it really helps matters if both things are on the same layer (say hi to my experience).

Select both the path and the text, then go to "Generate from Path -> Pattern along Path…". You should just be able to click "okay" and have it do something. If it does the right thing, it'll be pretty obvious that it worked. If you see an error message, or it seems you've created a picture that looks like it was generated by the LHC, reverse with the z-order and try again.

Happy text-writing!


Using regular text

From Adina, 2011-12-22

If you're ok with outlined text instead of hershey text, you can make text follow a curve without extensions by doing the following in inkscape (works for me in 0.48, and I know I did this on the just-works computer):

  • write some text
  • create a curve
  • select both
  • Text -> Put on path
  • once you've done this, you can keep manipulating the path and the text as text until it looks the way you want it
  • To make it laserable, do an object to path and ungroup as necessary

That's what I did to make the text on the ipad case follow a curve. Of course, I don't think anyone saw that, since I didn't take/post any photos before I gave it away and it was made so last minute that only Trevyn got to see it before it was given away. It looked cool though! Take my word for it!