Creating Text

Text is created with the Text Tool. To add text to a document, select the tool by clicking on the icon 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. 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:

Entering Regular Text

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.

Entering regular text.
Entering regular text.
[Note]SVG and Regular Text

Regular text created by Inkscape is always inside a <tspan> object that is wrapped by a <text> object. The first <tspan> in a line is marked by a private Inkscape attribute to indicate it is the start of a new line. This is how Inkscape knows how to insert new lines in the middle of a section of text and move the following lines down (SVG includes no such mechanism). Text in SVG files created not by Inkscape will be missing this attribute and may be structured differently. Inkscape may have problems editing such text.

Entering Flowed Text

[Warning]SVG and Flowed Text

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. Prior to v0.48, if the text fills the box, you cannot add more text with out enlarging the box. As of v0.48, you can add text but it will not be shown. Instead the rectangle will turn red to indicate that not all the text is displayed. 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.

Entering flowed text.
Entering flowed text.