Jon Aquino's Mental Garden

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Putting text on a spiral using Inkscape

If you ever need to put text on a spiral (or some other shape), a free tool that can do this is Inkscape. Just draw the spiral with the spiral tool, draw the text with the text tool, select both, then click Text > Put on Path.

Here's a spiral I did for an exercise on turning criticisms into strengths. I got the color scheme from Adobe's slick Kuler color-scheme site.

Me in Spiral Form


  • this is so useful and beautiful - just what I needed to know thank you for sharing :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/19/2007 2:51 a.m.  

  • carrie - glad you found it useful!

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 9/20/2007 1:26 a.m.  

  • well I thought it was useful- but i followed the instructions exactly and can't make it happen! what am i doing wrong? I can only select multiple things by using 'select all'.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/04/2007 5:45 p.m.  

  • ok got it! you must just select the text tool from the left menu then click in the page somewhere and start typing text - DO NOT drag to 'draw a textbox' first!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/04/2007 6:19 p.m.  

  • Carrie - great!

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 11/04/2007 10:05 p.m.  

  • its open source! thankyou, thankyou thankyou!

    By Blogger Unknown, at 2/09/2008 4:00 p.m.  

  • i'm joining the chorus of thank yous. wow.
    by the way how one can apply the theme colours to the spiralized text.
    Thank you a lot again

    By Blogger victor bueno, at 10/25/2008 7:43 p.m.  

  • Hi Victor - It's been a while so I can't remember the exact steps, but Inkscape has tools to let you apply colors to shapes.

    You might need to convert the text into paths.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 10/25/2008 8:06 p.m.  

  • Jon, I've been following your instructions to create spiral texts with Inkscape, i've downloaded it ok, made the spiral, but can't type just plain text without the text box so can't merge the text and spiral - any ideas??? Thanks

    By Blogger The Cynical Naturalist, at 8/27/2009 12:58 a.m.  

  • Hey Glasgow Humanist - Go ahead and type the text in a text box (using the "A" tool). Then select both the text and the spiral by holding down Shift and clicking both. Then click the Text > Put on Path menu items. Hopefully that should do it.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 8/27/2009 8:51 p.m.  

  • Do you know how to apply color to the spiral without covering up the words? Anything would be helpful. Thanks!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/18/2009 3:22 p.m.  

  • How I colored the text on the spiral? I think I had to do something tricky, like make the text into a "mask", then cut it out of the black, then put colored shapes under the "holes" to show through. Or something like that.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 12/18/2009 8:19 p.m.  

  • Now tell us how to mirror the spiral and make the text go from the outside to the inside...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/25/2009 8:24 a.m.  

  • It's been a while since I've used Inkscape actually, so I can no longer give specifics unfortunately.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 12/25/2009 4:17 p.m.  

  • Thank you, my friend.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/09/2010 10:52 p.m.  

  • How do you go from outside to inside?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/08/2017 10:03 p.m.  

  • Been ages since I did this, so I wouldn't be able to remember:(

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 2/10/2017 2:50 p.m.  

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