How To Flow Text Around An Object with Inkscape

How To Flow Text Around An Object with Inkscape 1024 602 Nick Saporito

In this tutorial I’ll be demonstrating how to make your text flow around objects in Inkscape without having to manually add spaces and line breaks. We’ll be using the Flow Into Frame feature, which will leave us with completely editable text that wraps nicely around any objects of your choosing.

The following is just a brief overview of the steps taken to achieve this effect. Please watch the video tutorial at the top of the page for complete step-by-step instructions.

Flow Text Around An Object

For this tutorial I’ll be using the following example image…

Example image

The goal is to make the text occupy all of the colored area without it overlapping with the headphones. To accomplish this we are going to manually create a vector tracing of whatever object(s) we’d like the text to avoid.

Grab the Bezier Pen and manually create a green tracing of the object(s) you’d like the text to avoid. It doesn’t have to be green, I just chose green because it contrasts with the image so that I could see it better.

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Step 1

It doesn’t have to be an exact tracing. A rough outline will work.

Now we’re going to create a blue rectangle over the entire image. This area represents where the text will be, so we’ll be subtracting the green area from it shortly.

Step 2

Before we subtract the green area, we’ll use the Dynamic Offset feature to give the subject some padding. This is because we don’t want the text to run all the way to the edge of the subject; we’d like there to be a little bit of space.

Step 3

Now we can subtract the green area by selecting both the blue and green objects and performing Path > Difference. Then take the remaining shape and perform Path > Simplify to ensure that the object isn’t too complex for the text function to work.

Once you’ve done that, go ahead and generate some text using the Text tool. Then, select both the text object and the blue shape and go to Text > Flow Into Frame. This will flow the text into the blue object.

Step 4


Now you can go ahead and edit the text however you’d like. You can change the font, color, justification, line spacing, kerning, or anything else that you would normally edit on a text object. For this example I simply copy and pasted an excerpt from the Inkscape Wikipedia Page.

Once you’re finished, grab the blue object and remove its fill color so that it’s no longer visible. Make sure not to delete it. If you delete it then the text will be removed from the frame.

Finished text effect

And with that we are finished! That is how you can flow text around an object with Inkscape. If you have any questions just leave a comment below, and as always, thanks for watching!

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Nick Saporito

Hi, I'm Nick— a Philadelphia-based graphic designer with over 10 years of experience. Each year millions of users learn how to use design software to express their creativity using my tutorials here and on YouTube.

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