Using Inkscape's latest official release, I created a text element, and would like to underline its text (or part of it).

How to do that?
I don't see any option to underline.

2 Answers 2


Update: since Inkscape 1.0.1 use Selector and CSS dialog

As stated by davidvandebunte, Inkscape 1.0.1 introduced in the the Object menu the Selectors and CSS dialog (that was previously experimental), the shortcut is Shift-Ctrl-Q.

Selectors and CSS dialog

The dialog allows to edit the CSS properties of the selected item, and is possible to add new properties by clicking the + button near the CSS selector definition:

+ button

A drop-down menu helps to insert the properties. In this specific case we need to add the property text-decoration with the value underline.

At the moment there is no help in the insertion of the value, so pay attention to what you write.

The result is immediately visible: The underlined text

For previous versions of Inkscape use the XML Editor

SVG standard supports text decoration and Inkscape aims to be fully compliant with SVG standard, so I've tried to add this properties at xml level, and it worked:

text-decoration: underline;

It's very simple to do: after typing your text, press the button for the XML editor (Edit → XML Editor for Inkscape 1.x):

XML editor

Your text is selected, and the corresponding XML node is selected in the editor (there is no need to find something). Now, you need to click on "style" row, add the desired CSS style at the end of the current style, (e.g. text-decoration: underline;), using a semicolon ";" as separator, and press the Set button:

Set your change

Once the attribute value is set, you see your text underlined:

Underlined text

Be aware that in order to remove the underline you need to find it in the XML attribute value and delete it manually (it's not difficult).

  • 2
    Do you know if this is possible to do on a part of a text box only?
    – Luis
    Aug 2, 2017 at 14:25
  • 5
    For a part of the text box the fastest way I've found is to select the text using the Text and font tool of Inkscape, changing the style of the selected text, open the XML editor and edit the svgFlowSpan section created by the tool itself. Aug 2, 2017 at 16:14
  • 1
    There are two caveats, though. First, editing the surrounding text will often cause inkscape to "clean up" the XML markup and silently remove the underlining. Second, when converting to PDF (or converting text to paths in general) all underlining will also be silently removed: bugs.launchpad.net/inkscape/+bug/1467794
    – a3nm
    Jun 8, 2018 at 10:10
  • 1
    Thank you @davidvandebunte, I have updated my answer. Jan 4, 2021 at 1:33
  • 3
    Converting object to path sadly also removes the underline
    – NiKiZe
    Aug 7, 2021 at 20:55

This feature is currently being developed, so it is not available yet.

An option is to use a custom build, including this patch:

2023 update: Unfortunately it seems like the patch did not get merged into the main release.

  • 2
    This is one possible option, but you need to apply this patch to every new version of Inkscape (until it is not available in the official release) and repeat this for each of your working station. Feb 15, 2016 at 15:44
  • 2022, still no underline option for text in Inkscape 1.2 Apr 21, 2023 at 8:48

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