sampledoc

textext

Inkscape is a great program. But if you try to make a conference poster with it, you’ll see that what is missing is this:

Tex Text in action

Namely, scientific typesetting.

Some solutions, such as Inklatex, have been written, but generally these do not allow editing the generated objects afterwards. Textext aims to cover this need, by adding re-editable LaTeX objects to Inkscape’s repertoire.

Usage

To create a new LaTeX object, choose Effects -> Tex Text, and type in your LaTeX code. The dialog has two additional fields:

  • Preamble file: name of a LaTeX preamble file, where you can put common definitions.
  • Scale factor: this affects how much a newly created LaTeX object is magnified. You can later change/reset this via Object -> Transform -> Matrix.

Afterwards, the object can be re-edited by selecting it and choosing Effects -> Tex Text again.

Note

For Inkscape versions earlier than 0.46, Inkscape’s user interface freezes while you are editing the LaTeX object. This is a limitation of the Inkscape extension model. (If you know better, please inform me how it should be done ;)

Files

Releases:

For the adventurous:

For developers:

Bugs and enhancements

You can report bugs and other issues, and suggest enhancements in Textext issue tracker:

Before reporting, please check if the issue you see is already listed. Also, please always provide the following information:

  1. Exact steps to reproduce the problem you are seeing.
  2. What does Textext currently do?
  3. What did you expect it to do?
  4. Are you using Windows, Linux, or Mac?
  5. Which versions of Inkscape and Textext you have?

If one of these is missing, it may not be possible to triage the problem without further information, so it is usually best to supply this information even if you’re not sure it’s relevant.

Installation

On Linux, you’ll need to have pdflatex and one of the following installed:

If you have Inkscape 0.47, unpack the newest version of the Textext package and copy its files to ~/.config/inkscape/extensions/. If you have an earlier version of Inkscape, the correct location is ~/.inkscape/extensions/.

Note that Textext (starting from version 0.4), like the other Inkscape 0.46 extensions, requires that lxml is installed. (On Ubuntu, this is in the python-lxml package.) Textext 0.4 requires Inkscape 0.46, so if you are using an older version of Inkscape, stick with Textext 0.3.4.

On Windows with Inkscape 0.46, get the installer, and see the instructions below.

On Mac OS X, you will need to install a working version of pstoedit (apparently Fink and MacPorts offer binaries). After that, you may be lucky and get Textext to work on Inkscape 0.46 by copying textext.py and textext.inx to the extensions folder under the Inkscape folder; but I haven’t tested this.

If you want to use Inkscape from MacPorts, there are notes written by Brian Clarke on this that may be helpful.

On Mac, you may also find these Inkscape forum posts useful:

Instructions for Windows

Inkscape 0.46

These instructions have been tested with Inkscape 0.46 for Windows.

  1. Install a Latex distribution, eg. MikTex

  2. Install Pstoedit

  3. Install Ghostscript

  4. Download and run Textext installer

    (It’ll install necessary library files from PyGTK in addition to the Inkscape extension. The library files go under python\Lib\site-packages in the Inkscape directory.)

If you get some “command not found errors” or other problems,

  1. Check also that you can run pdflatex.exe (from Miktex) and pstoedit.exe on the command prompt (cmd.exe). If not, add the directories where these files reside to your PATH environment variable.

Sorry about the blank terminal window that opens while the extension runs, it is forced by Inkscape.

Inkscape 0.45.1

These experimental instructions have been tested with Inkscape 0.45.1 for Windows.

  1. Install a Latex distribution, eg. MikTex

  2. Install Pstoedit

  3. Install Ghostscript

  4. Download tcl.zip and copy the ‘’tcl’’ folder inside it to

    c:\Program Files\Inkscape\python

    This package contains some files necessary for building graphical user interfaces that were stripped from the Python distribution shipped with Inkscape.

  5. Unpack textext-0.3.3.zip to

    c:\Program Files\Inkscape\share\extensions

  6. Check that you can run pdflatex.exe (from Miktex) and pstoedit.exe on the command prompt (cmd.exe). If not, add the directories where these files reside to your PATH environment variable.

The extension dialog will look somewhat ugly. However, it should anyway Work(TM).