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I converted the letter "Z" to a path. Now I want to make the Z extra bold. The corners should stay sharp. I don't want to make the letter bigger, I want it to be more bold. Any hints?

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I realize that it might be waste of time asking this, but just to be on the safe side.. Why can't you make it bold before making it into a shape? – Joonas Apr 15 '12 at 21:01
I don't see how a letter won't get bigger when you bold it, as that's what bolding essentially is? – Johannes Apr 15 '12 at 22:00
TRUE bold type is typically the same height as the standard weight. Of course, you can't do that unless you redesign the letterform itself. Otherwise, Scott is correct and that adding a stroke is usually the easiest solution (though note that the height of your letter will increase by the width of the stroke). – DA01 Apr 16 '12 at 13:31
If you're going to use tricks like this to make "faux bold" text, you might as well just scale the whole text down to compensate (and/or start with a slightly smaller size). Also, don't forget to add some extra letter spacing. – Ilmari Karonen Apr 28 '13 at 16:26
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Add a stroke to the shape.

Am I missing something?

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Yes, that's solved my problem. I come from gimp, and searched for something like resize selection. But this worked, too. – user4297 Apr 16 '12 at 7:00
@guettli It's always nice to accept the correct answer by clicking the checkmark next to the answer. – Joonas Apr 16 '12 at 11:37

If your font (and thus also the stroke) is semi-transparent, you get an ugly line where fill color and stroke overlap.

I like Xav’s method here better even though it’s a tad more complicated.

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Nice link. If you added a summary of the method into your answer, I'd upvote it. – Ilmari Karonen Apr 28 '13 at 15:14
Your answer is much more detailed than any summary I could’ve written. I’d upvote it if I had 15 reputation. – Denis Drescher May 13 '13 at 13:37
Heh... I'd upvote your answer just to give you the rep, but I seem to have done that already. :) – Ilmari Karonen May 13 '13 at 17:55

As Telofy notes, simply adding a stroke to the letter shape (like Scott suggested) may produce unexpected results if the stroke / fill color is semitransparent. For example, here's a semitransparent letter Z:

Example image 1: semitransparent letter Z

This letter has an RGBA fill color of #0000007f, i.e. 50% transparent black. The random ellipse behind it is there just to demonstrate the transparency. If I simply add a 10px stroke to this letter, with the same semitransparent color, here's what the result will look like:

Example image 2: semitransparent letter with stroke

Note the conspicuous dark lines where the stroke overlaps the fill.

There are (at least) two ways to avoid this. The simple one is to make the fill and stroke colors fully opaque and just move the opacity slider (which affects the entire object) down to compensate. For example, here's the same letter Z with #000000ff fill and stroke and with 50% opacity:

Example image 3: letter with stroke, 50% opacity

This simple technique, however, might not work if you want your letter to have a more complicated texture or gradient fill. In that case, an alternative solution is to:

  1. convert the text to a path (PathConvert to Path),
  2. duplicate the object (EditDuplicate),
  3. select one of the duplicates, add the desired stroke to it, and convert the stroke to a path (PathStroke to Path), and finally
  4. select both duplicates and unify them (PathUnion).

Here's what the result looks like, both with a plain #0000007f fill and with a fancy gradient fill, just to show that it works:

Example image 4: expanded letter with semitransparent fill Example image 5: expanded letter with gradient fill

Ps. Here's what you get with PathDynamic Offset. It's not the same:

Example image 6: semitransparent letter with dynamic offset

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