How to Curve Text in Inkscape
  • By Design Bundles
  • 23 Jun 2021
  • 6 Mins
  • Inkscape Tutorials

How to Curve Text in Inkscape

Curving Text in Inkscape is a popular and easy way to transform the shape of text. A circle or ellipse is used to create the arc on which the text is placed. The text is then converted to a path to retain the shape. In this tutorial we will show you how to curve text to a shape.
Let's get started by opening Inskcape and clicking New Document. We will be using the Top Knot Font for this tutorial.

Step 1 - Draw the shape and type text

A curved shape works best for this project. On the left side panel click on Create Circles, Ellipses and Arcs. Hold down the Ctrl key then Click + drag out an ellipse. The arc will depend on how wide the ellipse is. Adjust the size of the ellipse using the arrows if needed.
Next, click on Create and edit text objects (symbol A) on the left side panel. Click anywhere on the canvas and type out the text. While in text edit mode, select a font from the Font Family top left of the screen. Resize the text so it is in proportion to the ellipse.
Add Ellipse and text Inkscape

Step 2 - Place text on Ellipse curve

We are now ready to arch the text over the ellipse. Draw a selection box around both the text and the ellipse. On the top of the screen click Text then click Put on Path. The text will follow the shape of the ellipse. It will also appear upside down but we will fix that shortly.
Place text on Ellipse Inkscape

Step 3 - Adjust the rotation of text on path

With both ellipse and text selected, click once to activate the rotation handles. Click the top right rotation handle and drag around to the left side.
Rotate Ellipse and text Inkscape
Ellipse and text rotated

Step 4 - Adjust arch of Ellipse

Adjusting the ellipse changes how the text sits on the arch.  The smaller or bigger you make the shape, the more the text will change. Click on the ellipse to select.  Using the size adjustment arrows at the corners, resize the ellipse. Adjust until you are happy with the arch of the text.
Resize Ellipse Inkscape

Step 5 - Convert Object to Path

In order to keep the arched shape the text needs to be converted to a path.  If you deleted the ellipse without converting, the edits to the text would be lost. Click on the text to select it. Next click the Path menu top left and select Object to Path. Now the ellipse can be deleted.
Change text to path Inkscape
Once the text has been converted to a path the Text Editing options are no longer available.  You can still adjust the individual letters.  Click the text and right click then select Ungroup. The letters can be moved around as you want.
Finally, select all of the letters, click on Path and select Union.  The individual letters will be combined as a single path. Change the color of the text object by using the color palette at the bottom of the screen.
Add gradient to text Inkscape
You can even experiment by adding a gradient to the text object.
We have lots of great tutorials available here in Design School. Make sure to check out how to create an offset and how to type vertically in Inkscape.

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