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Monday, September 10, 2012

Cool Text Effects: Inkscape's Path Intersection Tool

There are so many different tricks that we can do with Text. In this post I'll show you how to use Inkscape's Path Intersection Tool. You can also find out about other Free Open Source Applications like Inkscape on my blog post on Open Source.

  • Select the Text Tool from the Toolbox on the left. Type the Text on the screen. On the Tool Controls Bar, select a big and bold Font from the Font Family List by clicking the Down Arrow. I used NotMaryKate which I downloaded from FontSquirrel. You can find out more on Free Fonts here. Set the Font Size to 95.
  • Change the Color of the Text by clicking one of the colors on the Color Palette at the bottom of the screen.
  • Create some duplicates of the Text by holding down the Ctrl + D keys. Each time you hit these keys together, you will create 1 Duplicate. Create 3 Duplicates in all. Don't be alarmed if you don't see them at first. They will be directly on top of each other. Use the Select Tool to move each one down. The longer way of doing this would be to go to the Menu Bar and select Edit > Duplicate, 3 times.
  • Change the Color of each Duplicate so that they can be easily distinguished.
  • Using the Select Tool, move 1 Duplicate directly over the Original Layer. Be certain to line them up perfectly.
  • Select the Star and Polygon Tool from the Toolbox. On the Tool Controls Bar make sure that the Polygon is selected. Draw a Polygon on the page. 
  • With the Select Tool move the Polygon over the Text then hold down the Shift key and select the Text. By doing this you will be certain that only the Polygon and the visible Text are selected. Remember is you have to drag the mouse over the Text and Polygon, you would select both layers of Text as well. 

  • Go up to the Menu Bar and select Path > Intersection
  • The Polygon and the remaining part of Text that was not intersected by it have disappeared. The piece that is left can be moved and edited. 
  • You can change its Color.
  • Move another Text Layer above the original Text. Arrange its order by selecting the Raise Selection To Top Icon from the Tool Controls Bar
  • Draw another Shape. Select the Circle Tool. Draw an Oval on the page. Repeat the steps to select both and do the Intersection.
  •  The Text should look like this so far.
  • Repeat the steps to place the last Text Layer over the Original Text. Select the Star and Polygon Tool. This time change to the Star on the Tool Controls Bar. Set the Corners to 5 and Spoke Ratio to 0.5
  • Rotate the Star to get more of the Spokes over the Text. While the Star is selected, click once more over it to change its handles to Rotation Arrows.
  •  Repeat steps to select both and do the Intersection.
  • Change the Color of each Layer to what you would like. Then drag the mouse over the Text to select all layers. Hit the Ctrl + G keys together to Group the layers into 1. You can also Group by going up to the Menu Bar and select Object > Group or by clicking on the Group Icon on the Commands Bar.
  • To make the Text stand out even more, add a Drop Shadow. With the Text selected go to the Menu Bar and select Filters > Shadows and Glows > Drop Shadow.
  • This opens the Drop Shadow Window. Use these settings - Blur Radius 2, Opacity 100, Horizontal Offset 4, and Vertical Offset 4. Then click the Apply button.
  • We can also give the Text a Stroke. Select the Text and right click over the color White on the Color Palette. Select Set Stroke from the popup menu. 
  • Let's make the Stroke stand out a bit more. With the Text selected click on the Fill and Stroke Icon on the Commands Bar. The Fill and Stroke Docker will appear on the right. Click on the Stroke Style Tab and set Width to 2px and hit Enter.
  • There you have it, a pretty cool Text Effect using Inkscape's Path Intersection Tool
So which special Text Effects do you like to use or would like to learn more about? Leave a comment below.