Text on a path

Path text is a variation of Artistic text which follows a line, curve or outline of a shape.

Text on a path

Before and after conversion to path text (and final design example).

Applying text to a path allows you to explore a whole range of diverse typographical designs. The path can be created from any line, curve or shape drawn using any of the line or shape tools. These include, but are not limited to, the Pen Tool and Ellipse Tool. The only criterion is that a line, curve or shape must exist on the page before path text can be implemented.

Modifying path text

Once the path has been created, you can adjust the start and end handles on the path to expand or restrict the portion on which text will flow. The start and end handles are indicated by light green and orange triangles, respectively.

First path start and end handles

If path text extends beyond the start and end handles, it will flow onto a second path (below) or wrap around to follow the path in the opposite direction. If this occurs, an additional pair of start and end handles (colored dark green and red, respectively) will become available so this new path can be adjusted separately. Both paths and pairs of handles work identically.

Second path handles

You can also control the distance between the text and the path (i.e., the Baseline) and the direction in which the text flows along the path. Each path section can have a different Baseline value.

Reshaping the path object

You can reshape the path object at any point using the Node Tool. If your text path object originated from one of the shape tools, you can modify it as if it was still the original geometric shape. Text already present on the path will reflow along the changing path when the object is reshaped.

For more information on reshaping a path object, see the Edit curves and shapes and Draw and edit shapes topics.

Path text and snapping

Along the path you'll encounter red perpendicular snapping lines as you drag path text handles. For example, on path text around an ellipse, you can snap to 90° intervals on its circumference, then use text alignment options to precisely position text centrally.

Path text snapping

Hiding overflowing path text

Any path text extending beyond the end handle of a secondary path will be displayed by default, but you can hide this, e.g. for editing, by clicking the strikethrough red eye icon.

Hiding path text
Artistic Text Tool To create path text:
  1. Select a previously drawn line, curve or shape.
  2. From the Tools panel, select the Artistic Text Tool.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • For text running outside a shape or above a line: Click the cursor outside (or above) the object's outline. The cursor will change to indicate path text will be created.
    • For text running inside a shape or below a line (right to left): Click the cursor inside (or below) the object's outline.
  4. On the context toolbar, set a Font Size (or click to use the default font size).
  5. Do one of the following:
    • Type your text.
    • Paste previously copied text.
    • From the File menu, select Place. In the pop-up dialog, navigate to and select a file, and click Open.
Artistic Text Tool To modify the flow of path text:

With the path text selected, do one of the following:

Resizing path object

When resizing a path object you can control whether:

To reflow text:

With the path object selected, do one of the following:

To scale text: