Thursday, June 7, 2012

Your Inkscape Envelope (Arched Text) Tutorial

Dear SixThings,

Thank you for all your work on your tutorial about how to create arched text in inkscape.  It looks like comments are closed for this post, so I thought I would email you.
First of all, this tutorial is the premier tutorial on the web for using inkscape to envelope deform text.  We thank you heartily for it!!
Secondly, I notice a lot of people in the comments having trouble with the technique.  I have experimented with it, and here are some additional helpful suggestions I can make.
  1. Make sure both the object and the bounding box have been Path > Object to Path converted.
  2. As you have pointed out, the order you select things in before using "Extensions > Modify Path > Envelope" is important.   Select the object you want to deform first, then the bounding box (I'm using Inkscape version 0.48).
  3. A bounding box must have only four nodes.  Don't bother adding vector curving because envelope will ignore it.
  4. If you start having strange results with this process, double check these constraints.  Then press Ctrl-N and start trying these things on a new, blank document.
  5. If your artwork gets rotated during the envelope process, undo and then rotate your bounding box to compensate in anticipation of the rotation you think will happen. Adjust the rotated bounding box's nodes to match your original, then try again.
  6. You only need to do this envelope process one letter at a time if you need a curved look to your text. If you just want to envelope your text into a straight 4 node quadrilateral, first break apart and combine all your letters into one path, then do a bounding box for the whole thing. (Also try Modify Path > Perspective this way!)
Best regards,