Want to take your design skills up a notch – whether that be for designing logos or simply creating eye-catching text pieces? In this tutorial, I’ll help you do just that by showing you how to put your text around a circle in Inkscape. The technique is fairly easy, requiring just a few simple steps, but the final result can drastically improve your graphic design capabilities when working with text.
This tutorial is easy enough for beginner Inkscape users to follow, and will follow a step-by-step process to help you thoroughly understand the concepts discussed. Without further adieu, let’s dive in!
I have my Inkscape canvas set up to look like Adobe Illustrator’s artboard, which you can learn how to do in this tutorial.
Step 1: Add Your Text
I’ll start this process off by grabbing my Text tool from the Toolbox (red arrow in the above image) on the left-hand side of the Inkscape user interface (you can also hit F8 on your keyboard to access this tool).
Next, I’ll click anywhere on my Inkscape canvas to start a line of text (red arrow in the photo above). I’ll then type my first line of text (we will have two lines of text total – one line going around the top of the circle and the other line going around the bottom of the circle). For my first line of text, I just went with “Easily Wrap Text.”
I’ll then click somewhere else on my canvas with the text tool still activated to start another line of text, and will type my second line of text. For this example, I went with “Around a Circle” as my second line.
Step 2: Set Your Font
Now that we have both lines of text created, I will select the font I want to use.
To do this, I’ll start by clicking on the Selection tool from the Toolbox (which you can also activate by using the F1 shortcut key – denoted by the red arrow in the photo above) and will click and drag my mouse over both lines of text. This will select both lines of text.
Next, I’ll access the Text and Font dialogue via the Commands bar icon (red arrow in the above image) on the right-hand side of the Inkscape user interface. Clicking this icon will open the Text and Fonts dialogue (green arrow).
Once opened, this dialogue allows me to edit multiple lines of text simultaneously. So, I’ll scroll through the fonts (outlined in green in the image above) until I find one I like (you can click on a font to generate a preview of what your text looks like in that font). In this case, I went with a font called “Wicked Grit” which I download and installed as a third-party font (in other words, this font does not come with Inkscape by default). You can learn how to install fonts in Inkscape with my Help Article on the subject.
Once I have the font I want, I can click the “Apply” button (red arrow) to apply the new font to my lines of text (blue arrow).
Now that I have my new font, I have decided I also want the text to be a little bit larger. To change my font size, I can simply click on the “Font Size” drop down (red arrow in the photo above) and choose a new size. In this case, I went with 48 for my new font size (blue arrow). I can then click the “Apply” button again to apply this new font size to my lines of text.
Step 3: Draw a Circle
With my text ready to go, I’ll now need to draw a circle shape that I can wrap the text around. To do this, I’ll click on the Ellipse tool in my Toolbox (you can also use the shortcut key F5 – red arrow in the photo above).
Next, I’ll click and drag my mouse on the canvas, and will hold the ctrl key as I drag to draw a perfect circle. When the circle is the size I want it, I can release my mouse to apply the circle drawing to my canvas. If you want the circle to be a specific size, you can always manually type in the “Rx” and “Ry” values (outlined in green in the above photo) based on whatever values you want to use (by default the units will be in pixels).
I’ll then click on the “Align and Distribute” dialogue icon from my Commands bar (red arrow). This dialogue allows me to align my circle on my canvas.
I want to align the circle to the center of my canvas, so under the “Relative to:” dropdown I’ll select “Page” (green arrow in the photo above).
I’ll then click the “Center on vertical axis” option (red arrow in the above photo), followed by the “Center on horizontal axis option” (green arrow). This will center my circle on the canvas (blue arrow).
Step 4: Add Top Line of Text to Your Circle
I now have all of my elements on my canvas to begin the process of wrapping my text around the circle. I’ll start by adding the top line of text to the top portion of the circle.
To do this, I’ll hit the F1 key on my keyboard or will click on the Selection tool in my Toolbox (red arrow in the image above). I’ll then click on the first line of text we created (green arrow), which is going to be the top line of text on the circle.
I’ll then hold the Shift key and will click on the circle. This allows both the top line of text and the circle to be selected simultaneously (red arrows in the photo above).
Now I’ll go to Text>Put on Path. This will place my text on the circle.
To rotate my text to the proper position, I’ll need to first click anywhere on my canvas to deselect the circle and text I had selected. Then, I can simply click on my circle twice to bring up the rotation transform handles. I’ll then click on one of the rotation transform handles (red arrow in the photo above) and drag it until my text is in the position I want.
Step 5: Add Bottom Line of Text to Your Circle
I’ll then duplicate my circle from the previous step while it is still selected by hitting the ctrl+d key.
Next, I’ll click on the circle (which will select the top circle – or the duplicated circle we just created), and will drag the scale transform handle in any of the corners of the box around the circle (red arrow in the photo above) to scale the circle up. I’ll hold the shift+ctrl keys while I click and drag to ensure the circle scales from the center and also maintains its 1:1 aspect ratio (or in other words remains a perfect circle while I drag).
I will release my mouse once the circle is large enough to cover the top line of text we created.
Now I’ll click on the second line of text, which will be the bottom portion of the text, and will shift+click on the larger circle so that we now have both objects selected (denoted by the red arrows in the photo above).
I’ll once again go to Text>Put on Path. This will place the second line of text around the outside of the circle.
The issue is that we need the text to be at the bottom of the circle, but we don’t want it being upside down (which would occur if we simply used the rotation method performed for the top line of text in the previous step).
So, what I’ll do to remedy this is simply click the “Flip selected objects vertically” in the Controls bar (red arrow in the image above). This will both place your text at the bottom of the circle and flip it so that it is not upside down (green arrow). However, you won’t be able to see this at first if you have a fill added to your circle (i.e. the circle is colored in). In my case, I have a light blue fill which is covering the text.
To remove the colored fill for your circle, click on a random area of your canvas to deselect your objects, then click on your circle to select only the circle, and finally click the box with a red “X” in it in your Color Palette (red arrow in the photo above). This will remove the color fill from your circle.
I also recommend that you shift+click on the color black (or any color – green arrow in the above photo) so that your circle will have a stroke and thus be easy to locate for the final steps.
Now that we can see our text and the circle it is inside of, I’ll perform a few last steps to get our text in the proper position. First, while my circle is still selected, I’ll use the arrow keys on my keyboard to lower the circle until the bottom line of text aligns with the smaller circle (red arrow in the above photo).
I’ll then want to grab my text tool, select all of my text in the bottom line, and increase the spacing between the letters so that they match (or are more similar to) the spacing in the top line of text (I set my spacing to 5 – denoted by the red arrow in the image above).
I’ll then click on the larger circle again until the rotation transform handles appear. I’ll click and drag these handles (red arrow in the above photo) until my bottom line of text is positioned where I want it.
Step 6: Remove the Circles From Your Composition
Now that our text is wrapped around the circles we created, we’ll want to delete the circles from the composition as we no longer need them.
To do this, I’ll first need to essentially “release” the lines of text from the circles. I’ll click on my first line of text using the Selection tool (F1) and will then go to Path>Object to Path.
I’ll repeat this action for the bottom line of text.
Each line of text has now been separated from the circles. So, I can simply click on each circle with the Selection tool and hit the Backspace key on my keyboard to delete the circles.
What we are left with is two lines of text wrapped around a circle shape!
That’s it for this tutorial. If you like it, you can check out my other Inkscape Help Articles on my site. I also have tons of GIMP Help Articles and GIMP Video Tutorials.