Using Greek: How do you get the textext extension running so that you can use Greek

Asked by Robert H. Biggadike on 2010-04-06

I want to use the Greek alphabet in my drawings. Someone said you need to install the textext extension in order to use Greek. I looked at text under the Extension menu but I did not see anything about Greek. How do you install the necessary extension to use Greek?

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sas (sas-sas) said : #1

Textext isn't included in Inkscape (and the Textext website seems to have disappeared), but you can do Greek letters in other ways.

One way is to use the LaTeX formula extension. If this doesn't appear on the menu (it should be at Extensions -> Render -> LaTeX formula), it's probably because you don't have all the dependencies installed (it needs LaTeX and pstoedit).

Another way is to use the text tool with a font that includes Greek letters (e.g., Times New Roman, Arial or DejaVu). If your keyboard isn't set up for typing Greek it won't be that easy to enter Greek letters, but you can either use Unicode entry (see the manual: or copy and paste Greek letters from elsewhere into the Text tab of the Text and Font dialog.

su_v (suv-lp) said : #2
Marc Stewart (marc.stewart) said : #3

You can enter Greek characters without any extensions by using the character map.
In the Ubuntu main menu, go to Applications > Accessories > Character Map.
In the left pane, headed "Scripts", scroll down and click Greek.
The right pane will now be populated with Greek characters; double-click them to add them to the "Text to copy" field at the bottom. (You can also drag letters there.)
Once you've created the string you want, click Copy

Now return to Inkscape, and with your text frame selected/created, paste in your string (Ctrl + V).

Robert H. Biggadike (rhb100) said : #4

In Windows XP, I chose All Programs / Accessories / System Tools / Character Map. At the top I chose Font Symbol. Greek letters and other symbols appeared below. I copied a sequence of Greek letters.

But when I pasted them onto the canvas in Inkscape, the English alphabet equivalent of the Greek letters appeared, (i.e. a for alpha, b for beta, etc.) rather than the Greek letters themselves.

Best sas (sas-sas) said : #5

Symbol doesn't work in Inkscape (at least, not under Windows), due to the way the characters are encoded. Use Times New Roman or Arial, as I suggested above, or even Palatino Linotype or Verdana or Tahoma - they all have Greek letters, you just need to scroll down a little in the Character Map.

Robert H. Biggadike (rhb100) said : #6

This appears to solve the problem. Thank you. I verified it using Arial. In your earlier suggestion, I did not realize that it was to be used in connection with the character map.

The solution you provided appears to be very useful.

Robert H. Biggadike (rhb100) said : #7

Detailed Solution for putting Greek letters on Inkscape drawing when using the Windows XP operating system:

From the Windows XP Start Menu, choose All Programs / Accessories / System Tools / Character Map. At the top, choose Arial or Arial Black as the font. sas has pointed out that Times New Roman or even Palatino Linotype, Verdana or Tahoma also work. Scroll down to find the Greek letter and case you want to use. Then double click on it and click copy below. Then in Inkscape from the extended "Tool Box", choose text. Select the location to paste the Greek letter or letters and paste it using "Ctrl + V".

PS: If your favorite font is not included in those above then check the character map to see if it has the Greek letters you need. A check of all fonts to see if they contain Greek letters has not been made.

I know it is an old question, but using Greek symbols on Inkscape does not need to rely on textext. See here

1 - Select Font Tool
2 - Click on the place you want to insert the text in
3 - Press Ctrl + U (You can see "Unicode" written on the status bar)
4 - Type the 4 digits of the Hex Entity, e.g., type "03A3" and press Enter to create the Sigma symbol (Summation symbol). Check for an extensive list Unicode entities.