Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 17:28

This is the fourth of Inkscape For Students the series after we learned about Fonts before, now we will learn how to create text. When doing design with computer, you will find text is an important part -- you will earn so much by just learning text alone. This is why this series invite you to practice firstly with text before shapes and colors. Now let's learn and practice!

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  • Fill and Stroke 
  • Text Tool (T)
  • Write text
  • Choose font
  • Color text
  • Formatting text
  • Transforming text


1. Fill and Stroke


Fill is color of the content. Stroke is color of the outer line. Picture below will help you understand it.


Text above is an English word WELCOME! typed with the font Liberation Sans with four different styles. The red fill as well as the black stroke can be replaced with green, blue, yellow color etc. This is the basic of text coloring.

2. Text Tool


Text Tool (T) is the tool you will use to make text in Inkscape. It is located on vertical panel on left, above Gradient and under Calligraphy tools. When it is activated, you will see a Text Toolbar on top and Text Properties on the sidebar on the right.

Below is Text Toolbar divided in 4 sections:



  • (i) font selector, format selector, text size selector.
  • (ii) vertical distance, alignment, super/subscript, horizontal distance.
  • (iii) horizontal distance, word distance, horizontal kerning.
  • (iv) making vertical, horizontal, rotational text; writing mode, text direction Left-Right (like Latin) / Right-Left (like Arabic).

3. Create Text

Use Text Tool (T) and click on the canvas and type a word and press Esc. This is the basic of making text in Inkscape.

4. Change Font

Use Text Tool and click the text and block select it and select a font from Font Chooser on toolbar. For example, change a text font (typeface) from Times New Roman to Liberation Serif.

5. Change Text Size

- Using Select Tool (S)
- Using Text Tool (T)

Use Select Tool and select the text and 8 arrows appear around it and drag one to resize the text either it is shrinking or enlarging. 

6. Color Text

- Color Swatches
- Color Palettes
- Eyedrop Tool (D)

To color a text, select the text, and click a color from the palette. To color the outline of text, hold Shift and click a color. To copy an existing color from an imported picture into the text, first select the target text, second activate Eyedrop Tool (D), and finally click the existing color.

7. Format Text

Formatting a text means making it looks like what you want. Changing its thickness (Bold), leanness (Italic), and of course size (Size) and alignment (Alignments) are things involved in it. You can use Inkscape to create such formatted text.

  • To make a text bold, use Text Tool to select it and click Bold.
  • To make it italic, do the same and click Italic.
  • To align a paragraph left, do the same to it and select align left. 
  • To align a paragraph justified, first use Text Tool to create a text box, then make a paragraph in it, select all, and finally select align justified.

Below is example of basic text formatting. They are an English word WELCOME written in three different formats namely regular (default formatted), bold, and italic.

Below is example of alignments. They are welcome words in several different languages aligned left, center, and right, and also justify.

8. Text Spacing

Text spacing can be controlled freely in Inkscape. You can make blank distance between writings as you wish, either it is vertical or horizontal, either it is between letters or even words.

Vertical spacing. Change this to control space between stacked text lines.

Horizontal spacing, letter wise. Change this to control space between letters, numbers, or characters selected.

Word spacing. Change this to control space from word to word.

Kerning. Adjust this to 'move' a letter horizontally so it pleases your sight while surrounded by another letter(s). Learn more about kerning here.

Below is example of vertical spacing:

9. Transform Text


Text can be transformed in a way or another in Inkscape. They are resizing, rotating, and flipping. 

  • To resize a text, use Text Tool, select it, and select a size among size selections (12pt, 16pt, etc.) from the Font Selector. 
  • Alternatively, resize text by Select Tool, select it, and drag one of 8 arrows surrounding it around. Additionally, holding Ctrl key will make it proportional.
  • To rotate a text, use Select Tool, click the text, click it once again, and drag one of 8 rotating arrows surrounding it. Additionally, holding Ctrl will guide your rotation rigidly. 
  • To flip a text, use Select Tool, click the text, and click either Horizontal or Vertical flip button on the toolbar.


That's all for this time. You have learned basics text creation in Inkscape including how to type, color and manipulate it. Next time, according our Table of Contents, we will learn about drawing and coloring. Finally, I wish you enjoy this. See you next time!

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.