I have a document with several text boxes. I want to preserve the existing layout but want to replace the text. If I enter text, that exceeds the existing box, the text won't move to the next line, but the box gets larger. I do not want to manually enter line breaks to preserve the layout.

I know, that I need a flowed text to achieve this.

I know how to add a new flowed text.

I know that I can convert flowed text to normal text via the "Convert to Text" menu entry.

But I am missing an option to convert normal text to flowed text.


I have imported an AI-template in Inkscape. Now I want to replace the dummy texts.

  • Hi. Welcome to GDSE I am not entirely sure what you are asking. Why can't you type in the text boxes to replace the text? Why would you have to enter line breaks? Is the text not just moving to the next line as you type?
    – Billy Kerr
    Sep 25 '18 at 11:05
  • 1
    @BillyKerr Have a look at this answer. It describes the difference between "normal" and "flowed" text. If I have a text box with "normal" text and enter new text, that would exceed the box, the box gets wider. If a have a text box with "flowed" text and enter new text, that would exceed the box, the text will move to the next line. My question is how I can transform a text box with "normal" text into a text box with "flowed" text. Sep 25 '18 at 11:57
  • Yes I know what flowed text is. I'm just wondering why you have text in lines which are separate text boxes. That isn't normally what happens when you create a text box in Inkscape. You say you imported an AI-template, but Inkscape doesn't fully support AI files. Better to look for native Inkscape SVG templates. I suspect that is the source of your problem, but without seeing the actual file or how it's constructed, I don't know how much help I can really give you except to suggest you create native Inkscape text boxes, and cut and paste the text into it.
    – Billy Kerr
    Sep 25 '18 at 13:32
  • @BillyKerr Import from ai format is working fine (with this template), except that multiline text is imported as normal text, not as flowed text. Which is fine if I can manually convert this into flowed text. But this does not seem to be possible... Sep 25 '18 at 14:38
  • Well, you can do it manually. Cut and paste one line of text into a native Inkscape text box. Then cut and paste the other lines of text one at a time into the Inkscape text box. Sorry, there's no easy fix. The problem here is the fact you are using an AI template. Native Inkscape SVG files don't suffer from this problem.
    – Billy Kerr
    Sep 25 '18 at 14:57

Unfortunately, you can't simply convert a normal text (<svg:text>) to a flowed text frame (<svg:flowRoot>). There is the flow into frame, but that, like flowed text, relies on SVG 1.2 and isn't reliable outside Inkscape. For all intents and purposes, converting a text flow into a normal text is a one-way operation in Inkscape.

The workaround I usually do is to have two layers for text. One layer has the original flowed text; the other is a copy of the layer with flowed text, but with all of the text converted to normal text frames. I do this.

  1. Delete the "normal text layer"
  2. Edit the "flowed text layer"
  3. Duplicate the "flowed text layer" and rename it "normal text layer" (or whatever)
  4. Hide the "flowed text layer"
  5. In the "normal text layer", ctrl + a and convert everything to text.

(You can always duplicate individual objects and move them between layers as well)

Maintaining a separate layer for flowed text is the most reliable workaround I've seen.

  • Thanks, I will experiment with "flow into frame". This sounds like this could help resolve my problems... Sep 25 '18 at 13:48
  • Yes, "flow into frame" has helped me, thank you. Sep 25 '18 at 14:52

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