After creating an illustration with a text element in Inkscape, I would like to reuse the illustration by only changing the text. However, the individual letters are broken into path elements. I cannot recreate the font and its styling definition anymore.

I have the following questions:

  1. What happened? I assume some object to path magic, but why?
  2. Can I restore the font properties? If so, how?
  3. How can I prevent that from happening?

See the XML output as it should be: enter image description here

And the XML output after reopening and adjusting something: enter image description here


1 Answer 1

  1. What happened? I assume some object to path magic, but why?

I'm not sure. There could be several possibilities: saving in a file format other than "Inkscape SVG", such as PDF, EPS, or some other format. Performing a Path > Object to Path operation, or a Path > Flatten operation before saving, overwriting your original Inkscape SVG by accident.

  1. Can I restore the font properties? If so, how?

No. When text is converted to paths, the font information is lost permanently. It's destructive and results in data loss. The only way to get editable text back is to delete it, and retype it.

  1. How can I prevent that from happening?

Keep all text objects as editable text objects, and save your work as an "Inkscape SVG". This is Inkscape's native file format, and this is the only format that preserves all editable objects - not only editable text but also Inkscape-specific functionality such as shape objects, path effects, etc. It contains Inkscape-specific XML within the SVG.

Use this file as your original artwork file. Try not to overwrite it. If you need to create another SVG for output, make sure to choose a new file name so you don't overwrite the original. Alternatively, only use a copy of the file for editing purposes. Sometimes it's even a good idea to apply a read only file attribute to your original artwork file so you can't accidentally overwrite it.

  • After some digging we found the following: Someone in the team works with Adobe Illustrator and does not use the correct font. This is really annoying. Still, I learned a lot from this answer and am very grateful, you considered this problem.
    – Yahalnaut
    Jan 7 at 14:31
  • @Yahalnaut Well yes, if the work was created by someone else in another application, and they converted the text to paths, that would certainly be the source of the problem.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jan 7 at 14:33

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