In Illustrator, the Type Along Path Tool gives you the option to align the text to the path in different ways (baseline, centered, etc.). It also lets you change where the text actually goes on the path by dragging around the little line that's at a right angle to the path.

I was trying to put some text on the top and bottom of an ellipse in Inkscape 1.1. I wanted the text to be perfectly on the same ellipse, but since flipping the text would change the position of the lower text, I had planned to just set the the text-to-path alignment to centred, so that all the text would be situated so its centreline would be on the ellipse, then just duplicate the ellipse and use do the same for the lower text. Unfortunately, I can't find anything to move the text onto the path, it only wants to be over top of it.

The other thing is I can't find out how to 'snap' the text along the path. I also want the text to be centered, so it balanced (not slightly to the right or the left on the ellipse). Whenever I try to find something on moving the text along the path, it talks about kerning, using this little number box in the corner. This is kind of useless because it doesn't snap, so the best I can do is drag the ruler line down and guess what looks even.

2 Answers 2


Easy workaround: Split a closed path to 2 open paths and put the texts to paths separately. Before splitting make an offset path and use it for the bottom side to get the text to the right side of the curve.

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In the left I have 2 ellipses. The smaller one was drawn first and converted to path (Path > Object to Path) because ellipses, rectangles etc. preset shapes are not paths.

The bigger one is made by applying Path > Dynamic Offset and converted also to path after it.

Both ellipses are splitted with the node tool at 9 and 3 o'clock nodes. The halves are separated to free paths by applying Path > Break Apart.

This works also with other paths than ellipses. Instead of ellipses converted to paths and splitted to 2 halves you can use any open paths.

The texts were aligned to center when they were written. It must be done before putting on path. It's useful to put on path the duplicates of texts because releasing a text from path leaves something invisible which affects if you retry to put on path again - the result can be unpredictable.

Path can be flipped or one can apply Path > Reverse path to change the side where the text is. Unfortunately the text is flipped, too. I have found that at least another path which is made with offset is an usable workaround. The bigger ellipse is made invisible in the right (=no fill, no stroke).

Drawing or editing your SVG images by writing XML code can allow more options than Inkscape's GUI. I do not speak programming languages well, so I skip it.


There's a comment written by user Xrot. He suggest to select the text with the text tool and moving its placement in relative to the baseline by pressing Alt + Down Arrow. It works and it's simpler than offset path, but the letter spacing will be changed. On convex side it becomes sparser and in the concave side it becomes denser. That may need a fix, too.

  • Instead of using a dynamic offset of the ellipse, you can easily offset the text with 'Alt' + the arrow keys. So you'd put the text on the lower ellipse half, which would place it inside, then select the text object with the text tool, 'Ctrl+A' to select the whole text, then use 'Alt+↓' until it looks like your example on the right.
    – Xrott
    Sep 14, 2021 at 9:04
  • @Xrott It can be used, but it's not the same. The text becomes sparser - or denser, if you are on the concave side. It must be fixed to the same as on the upper side. But as said, it can be used. I mention it in the answer text, too. Thanks.
    – user82991
    Sep 14, 2021 at 9:47

In Inkscape you need two circles, and two lines of text, one of each for the top and bottom. Forget Illustrator here, Inkscape isn't the same as Illustrator and has its own way of doing things.

Also the Align Text Centred option only seems to work if you align the text centred before applying it to the path. If you try to do it afterwards, it appears to chop off half the text. I suspect this is probably a bug.

Anyway, here's one method that works. Make sure to do all the steps in the correct order. This looks like it's quite complex, but honestly it's easier than it appears.

  1. Draw a circle by holding down Ctrl as you click and drag to constrain it to a 1:1 ratio. Note it's easier to start with a perfect circle, and you can easily make it an ellipse later (*see notes below)

  2. Type two separate lines of text, one for the top and one for the bottom, and align each centred by highlighting the text, and hitting the align centre button in the text alignment dropdown

  3. While holding down Shift select the top line of text and the circle and do Text > Put on path

  4. Deselect the circle by clicking away from it, then click twice on the circle and use the rotation handles to rotate by clicking and dragging into position. When you start rotating hold down Ctrl to snap the rotation to 15° increments

  5. Do Edit > Duplicate to create another circle directly on top of the first

  6. Hit the Flip Vertical icon in the tool controls along the top

  7. Again select both the circle and text to go along the bottom, and do Text > Put on Path

  8. Deselect the circle by clicking away from it. Click twice on the circle and rotate to get the position as in Step 2

  9. Switch to the text tool. Mouse over the bottom text until you see the selection box appear, click in it and do Ctrl+A to select all the text

  10. Hold down Alt and use the Down Arrow on your keyboard to move the baseline down until it's correctly positioned under the circle. Or you can do this in the tool controls along the top. It's called "Vertical Kerning" in Inkscape. I've no idea why they call it that

  11. Changing the vertical kerning will space the letters out a bit too much, so fix that by changing the "Spacing between letters" in the tool controls along the top

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*Note: If you need an ellipse rather than a circle, select everything and squish it. Looks like everything is going to go haywire as you do this, but when you release the mouse button, everything should look fine.

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If you want to remove the circle/ellipse lines, select each in turn and remove the stroke.

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