Radial text?

I get text on a path and have used it, but I can’t find a way to have the edge of the text follow that path, like this:

I do know how I could make lines, and then type over each line as a path, but I have a list of around 900 phrases that I want radiating out around a shape like this (that may in fact not be round). Inkscape, but that shouldn’t matter.


Hmmm. Maybe a starburst or gear shape, with really thin spikes/teeth, as the text path? Seems like it would still be pretty fiddly, though, getting the words to break to the next spike the way you want them to…

Interesting problem!

Can tell you how I’d do it in Illustrator, but I’m not sure Inkscape has the equivalent.

  1. Type the first line - horizontally. Make that line one letter long.
  2. Set a rotation point a certain distance from the start of the text - the distance is going to be dependent on how large the circle has to be to accommodate the height of your text without overlap X 900 phrases. (hint: It’s gonna be big.)
  3. Using the rotation menu, with the axis of rotation set at the rotation point you created earlier, make a Copy of the text, rotated through 0.40 degrees.
  4. Without touching anything else, CTRL+D, 899 more times.
  5. Go back to each of those lines and change the text to what you want it to read.

(This is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but that’s how I’d do it. Divide 360° by the number of phrases to get the degree of rotation to use.)


to piggyback on Jules a little here. i would create the circle first. then i would set a horizontal and vertical guideline crossing at the center point of the circle. and i would place that first line of text centered vertically on the circle/horizontal guideline. that makes it easy to then figure the exact point to set your rotation anchor at.

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To piggyback piggyback, in inkscape I would use the same technique to set the rotation point and then use tiled clones to make rotated clones. (Set the clones to rotate but not translate)

Select them all and unlink them and now you have tons of rotated text elements that you can then edit as you like.


I can do that in Corel, but don’t work in inkscape or illustrator so I’m no use LOL

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Hah! There are several, nay, many of us Corelers here. :slight_smile:


Thanks… lots of good ideas but I don’t see a way to paste all of the text in once I get the paths laid out - it would have to be one at a time. I’m going to try it with a small piece and see, however…

It seems it should be possible to take a large text block, and bend the left edge around a shape/along a path…

Ha! I think I’ve found a way … only the resulting file might be way too large for the GF…

Made a star, brought the arms in until they were 0 pts apart, then increased the “spoke ratio”, which leaves the center open.

The spokes are two-sided and, as pointed out, I’ll need to space the text out so they run in one direction then skip the path back down the spoke, starting on the next one. I can easily write the code to do that and a fixed-width font will be great for this project!


Yay, I was useful! My day is now complete. :slight_smile:


Yes, thank you - I meant to say your star idea is what got me started. I had no idea you could manipulate them to “flat” spokes and then change the “spoke ratio”…


If it were me I’d probably do the clones path trick then use some clever awk/php/Perl/whatever to modify the svg (which is at its core a text file).

If the stars trick is working for you, then cool :slight_smile:

If you want to do this in the future then I’d probably try to figure out how to do it a bit more automatically.


Yeah actually I am thinking about looking at that method because I’ve seen how some SVG code gets output and wonder “how hard could it be”…

Work in process…


Very interesting…
The source file on my machine has the text.
The uploaded version has those sections removed.

I tried both native IS SVG, and “plain”… same result each time…

Here’s what I’m playing with as a bitmap:

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One Two Three Four

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Hmm… Playing Data Scientist for a moment, I’d use python and a dash of d3.js, then rasterize or export as SVG.


You can create many copies of the text and then just put them in a polar array and still adjust the text in each case even rotating each one or all at once using the transform tool and then at the end set to path then ungroup and then set to path again for the SVG.


There is eight in the array that I needed to edit, but there could be hundreds


:woman_facepalming: Oh, this is a great tip - I never remember to use things like Polar Array.
Definitely the way to go if Inkscape has the equivalent function.


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Inkscape has tiled clones and it’s easy to arrange them in a true radial pattern using it. You just set the rotation point first then set the angle per clone.

It’s what I’ve been saying all along :slight_smile: