I am trying to learn Inkscape. How can I copy and then paste a text box?

If I press ctrl+C then Ctrl+V, it converts it to an image instead.

  • 5
    You cannot copy paste a text box as it is (except when copying & pasting in Inkscape). You need to select & copy the text inside the text box & then you can paste it in Inkscape without being converted to an image.
    – chanduc
    Jul 6, 2015 at 16:02
  • 1
    What do you mean by text box anyway? From where are you copying it?
    – Wrzlprmft
    Jul 6, 2015 at 21:33
  • @Wzipmft If I go to the "A" icon and click, or if I click and drag to create a box. In both cases.
    – Nrc
    Jul 7, 2015 at 8:13
  • @chanduc, what you say seems the right answer, not just a comment
    – Nrc
    Jul 8, 2015 at 10:57
  • 1
    You create a text with the "A" icon, then select it with F1 > Ctrl+C > deselect with click in empty space > Ctrl+V and the result is a embedded image? It seems the behavior of Alt+B (Make a bitmap copy), there is a problem with the shortcut? just happens with the text box?
    – nukkio
    Jul 11, 2015 at 16:59

2 Answers 2


If you select a text object in Inkscape with the selection tool (the arrow, F1), and then copy/paste it inside Inkscape (using eg. Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V), this produces a copy of the text object. This copy is itself also a text object.

You can also, instead of Ctrl+C then Ctrl+V, press Ctrl+D. This produces a duplicate (a copy) of the original object and places it exactly on top of it. You can do this with a text object, or any other object/path/...

Neither method produces (or should produce) a bitmap copy.

See also Copying, Pasting, and Deleting Objects and Creating Text in the Inkscape User Manual (not updated for Inkscape 0.91 but still accurate for the most part).


This entry on the inkscape forum describes possible reasons why @bartovan's answer doesn't always work, and how to work around them.

  1. copying from one inkscape document to another pastes as a bitmap. Cut&paste doesn't. So the workaround is to duplicate (Ctrl-D), then cut&paste.
  2. on a Mac, cut&paste still doesn't work because of a bug with X11. The workaround is to modify the settings of X11: preferences -> Pasteboard: uncheck "Update Pasteboard when CLIPBOARD changes"

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