I find that putting text on a path in Inkscape is not particularly intuitive. The previous tutorial I wrote involved putting text on an unclosed path (a line). This week I had a request to explain how to put it in a circle.

Step 1. Draw your shape. In this case a circle. I've made it a red line so it's easier to see. Make sure: a) The circle is "Made Whole",

b) There is no fill (Shift+Ctrl+F).

Step 2. Turn your chosen object (the circle) into a path. Do this by: 1. Click on the path tool, 2. Select the object, 3. Click on the "Convert the selected object to path" button.

Step 3. Put your text on this new object-shaped path. Write your text, or import it, or whatever. Once you have the text you want, select it, and then by holding down the Shift button, also select the path (our red circle).

This is where Inkscape stops being logical. In my last tutorial, I said that when I put text on a line, I had to use the "Generate from path" function. But this time, only "Text to path" seems to work. (Go figure...)

Step 4. Fiddle. My experiments suggest that the text won't always be in a complete circle. This can be corrected by shrinking in one direction...

...and then in another.

(There are also a couple of other ways of doing this, but I'll let you work them out for yourself by experimenting - which, though frustrating, is how you discover tricks...)

Step 5. Get rid of the red circle. Shift+Ctrl+F brings up the dialogue that allows you to choose "No stroke".

More fiddling allows you to change the perspective, create ovals, put on top of circles/spheres/other shapes, enlarge, etc.


  1. Thomas on August 26, 2007 at 6:56 AM

    Wow, thank you.

  2. CJ on August 26, 2007 at 1:46 PM

    Welcome. :)

  3. feathervane on June 22, 2008 at 11:02 PM

    great trick. I'm new to Inkscape and I found it intuitive to use this approach. Thanks for the help.

  4. CJ on June 23, 2008 at 6:55 AM

    Thank you. Glad it was useful.

  5. Anonymous on July 9, 2008 at 10:13 AM

    Thanks loads. This was helpful.

  6. ke on March 13, 2009 at 4:55 PM

    Same here, thanks a lot.

  7. Paul on March 26, 2009 at 6:50 PM

    I'm struggling with a similar problem. I'm trying to make a logo which requires 2 pieces of text around the outside of a circle. One following the top half of the circle reading from left to right and one following the bottom half also reading left to right.
    This means that the text of the top text touches the circle with its bottom edge while the bottom text touches the circle with its top edge.
    How can I achieve this?

  8. Gimp Lover on March 29, 2009 at 9:20 AM

    The only way you can easily do this is create two circles, add text to each, and then align the layers on top of one another so that it looks as though it were a single circle. (Obviously, make sure the circles are exactly the same size. 'Copy' will be your tool here.)

    I don't have a copy of Inkscape in front of me right now, but memory suggests some experimenting is required. You may have to use 'space' in your text in order to only allow text along a semi-circle. Or you can add rubbish text and delete it afterwards. Have fun trying different methods out and let us know what worked best.

  9. Anonymous on April 20, 2009 at 10:43 AM

    Thanks! - helped a lot.

  10. 7524kes on April 21, 2009 at 1:31 PM

    Thank you so very much! Worked perfectly as you described.

  11. salahuddin66 on August 18, 2009 at 2:15 PM

    thank you :)

  12. X. D. on August 26, 2009 at 3:17 AM

    Little tip : If you edit the path, of course the text follows.

    You can split the path in two pieces, and then move the parts. The text will be splits too.