Text is created with the Text Tool. To add text to a document, select the tool by clicking on the icon (F8 or t) in the Tool Box.
The Text and Font dialog has an entry box for entering text on the Text tab. This entry box will not be active unless some preexisting text object is selected or at least one character is entered into a new text object using the Text Tool. This is because a text object must be created first. Simply clicking on the screen with the Text Tool does not create an object.
There are two ways to add text to an Inkscape drawing. The first is as regular text. In this case, as text is typed, the text box grows to accommodate the text. Line breaks must be manually added.
The second way to enter text is as a flowed text object. The text is typed into a presized rectangular text box. Line breaks are automatically made. Once the text fills the box, no more text can be entered unless the box is enlarged. The flowed text object includes both the box and text and is thus moved and transformed as such. For a discussion of flowed text in an arbitrary shape, see the last section in this chapter.
A few things to note that apply to both entry methods:
If you click on an already existing text object with the Text Tool, the text object will be selected and the cursor will be placed between the letters closest to where you clicked. The text can then be edited.
Many of the keyboard shortcuts will not work while in the enter text mode. The + and − keys on the numeric keypad will type the corresponding characters if Num Lock is on; otherwise, they retain their zoom functions.
Special characters can be entered by switching to Unicode mode. To toggle between normal and Unicode modes use Ctrl+U. Typing any non-hexadecimal character or Esc while in Unicode mode will return you to normal mode. Once in Unicode mode, you can enter by typing the two to four hexadecimal digits corresponding to the character you desire. Hit the Space bar to register the character and to start entering another Unicode character.
One problem you may encounter with saving text in SVG files as text objects is that if the font is not available on the computer where the file is to be viewed, it may not be visible. To avoid this problem, you can convert the text to a path. This, though, will prevent the text from being edited as a text object.
Make a duplicate of the text before you convert the text to a path. Put the copy on a separate layer and make that layer invisible. Then if you ever need to edit the text as a text object, you will have a copy available.
To add regular text, click on the document where you desire the text to start. You should see a cursor (blinking bar) indicating you are in the text enter mode and showing where the text will start. To add text, just start typing. You can enter multiline text by inserting a carriage return. The text box will grow as text is entered.
Flowed text was a draft SVG 1.2 specification that will not in the end be adopted. The text is not likely to be viewable by other renderers. In addition, some programs will not render any of a file with flowed text (Squiggle, for example). You can convert the flowed text to a regular text object before saving to avoid this problem.
To add flowed text, click-drag on the document with the Text Tool to create a blue rectangle box for the text. Once the box is drawn, you can move the cursor into the box area and begin to type. Carriage returns are automatically made. If the text fills the box, you can not add more text with out enlarging the box. The box can be enlarged or the proportions changed by dragging on the handle at the lower-right side with the Text Tool, Node Tool, or any of the shape tools; however, the text box will only be shown when using the Text Tool. Use the Ctrl key while dragging to constrain the change in box size to a horizontal or vertical direction. The box and text can be moved together.
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