I am trying to edit text from a PDF file - but when I enter the new text, it jumbles it up. What do I need to do to fix this? For instance, below I wanted to insert Hourly into 'Percent Maximum Concentration`.

enter image description here

The path for the text object has:

               x="0 6.7870002 12.903 16.566 22.066 28.181999 34.298 37.355999 40.414001 49.577 55.693001 61.193001 63.634998 72.688004 78.804001 87.967003 91.025002 98.967003 105.083 111.199 116.699 122.815 128.931 131.989 135.54201 141.658 144.716 147.158 153.274">Percent Maximum Concentration</tspan>
  • 2
    I don't know Inkscape but I know that .PDFs don't even play well with other adobe products. Try editing it with acrobat pro.
    – Webster
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 20:46
  • The text might not be properly editable. It sometimes depends on how the PDF was made. You could simply delete the whole line of text and add a new line of text to replace it.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 23:53
  • Can you mark the text, and post the XML (4th Button from the right)? Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 5:24
  • @user unknown - Not sure how to export the XML - I can view it on the tree using a button, but there doesn't seem to be a way to move it out of the viewer. Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 23:58
  • You can read, which unique id is given, and then open the SVG in a Texteditor and copy the section from there. Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 2:27

2 Answers 2


To restore normal editing functionality of text in tspan element, set the x-attribute of the tspan element to 0:

      x="0">Percent Maximum Concentration</tspan>

Pdf text import - restore editing

  • Select internal importer during the import
  • Edit the xml using the Inkscape XML Editor Edit > XML Editor
  • Tested with inkscape 0.92.2
  • I just tested it and it works perfectly. Thank you for your kind help @FWrnr. Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 13:14

There was a nice and much simpler solution over the problem which was reported here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/inkscape/+bug/275184 by user Krzysztof Kosinski

  1. Select the text block in the imported PDF.
  2. Go to the Text menu and then select Remove Manual Kerns

Worked as a charm for me!

To generalize it to all text blocks in a file:

  1. Go to top Edit menu
  2. Choose Select Same -> Object Type

Then you can repeat the above-mentioned procedure with Edit > Remove Manual Kerns.

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