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I am trying to design an image where I take equations that I type in LaTeX and export as SVG images and bend them along curves. All the methods that I find leave me doing thsi for individual characters. The equation aren't text so I can't use text to path. Any suggestions before I abandon this idea. Alternatively, is there a way to type LaTeX equations in inkscape?

Wave equation enter image description here

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I have used the LaTeX Previewer for something similar to this. It's an online service so there's nothing to install. It allows you to type in an equation and download an SVG which can then be opened and edited in Inkscape.

For this example shown below, the code I typed into the previewer was as follows:

$$x=\frac{-b\pm\sqrt{b^2-4ac}}{2a}$$

Then I downloaded the SVG and opened it in Inkscape

To get it to bend as one graphic however, you will need to jump through some hoops.

  1. Ungroup everything.
  2. For some reason the LaTex Previewer adds symbols as clones, so you would have to unlink all the clones for each symbol by selecting them one at a time and then do Alt+Shift+D (unlink clone). There may be an Inkscape extension somewhere to do this automatically, but I couldn't find one.
  3. If there are any strokes in the equation you would have select those and do Path > Stroke to path. The purpose of this is to ensure that everything is a filled path. In my example, I had to do this step with the divisor line and the line extending from the square root symbol, since they were only a paths with a stroke applied.
  4. Then select everything and do Path > Combine
  5. Select and copy the combined graphic
  6. select the Bézier tool, and in the tool options along the top set the Shape to "Bend from Clipboard"
  7. Finally draw a curve, and then graphic will be applied with a Bend Path Effect

Example below: shows everything converted to a combined path, then shows the final steps 5 to 7.

enter image description here

Just a note, there's an extension to type LaTeX directly into Inkscape, but unfortunately I've never been able to get to work. That's why I use the LaTeX Previewer.

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  • Thanks for the reply. I have been using CodeCogs latex editor which can export SVG, it's mostly just for math - codecogs.com/latex/eqneditor.php. After a lot of research and installing side packages, I got an extension called TexText to work. – Earthling Ben Sep 22 '19 at 19:53
  • That's great, then you would really just need to ungroup everything, and convert to paths, then follow steps 4 to 7. – Billy Kerr Sep 22 '19 at 20:03
  • The ungrouping and combining isn't necessary for the Bend path effect. Just apply the effect to the group and edit the bend path. – Moini Sep 29 '19 at 22:05

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