Why does manual kerning not work?

Asked by nayrhcrel on 2008-01-08

When I try to use Manual Kerning of text (ALT + Arrow Key) nothing happens.

Question information

English Edit question
Inkscape Edit question
No assignee Edit question
Solved by:
Ryan Lerch
Last query:
Last reply:
Best Ryan Lerch (ryanlerch) said : #1

Manual Kerning does not work on Flowed Text, only on Normal Text. To convert your flowed text object, select it, and choose Text > Unflow (or Shift + Alt + W) and manual kerning should now work.

nayrhcrel (ryan-lennox) said : #2

Thanks Ryan Lerch, that solved my question.

An extra tip -

If you create the text by click-dragging a box with the text tool, it will be created as flowed text. Clicking once with the text tool will create normal text.

It would have been very helpful, and would have saved me a couple hours, if the Tutorial-advanced that comes with v0.45 and covers kerning, had mentioned that the text is first created as "flowed" and must be converted to "normal" before this operation can take place. It was only this problem report and solution that made clear what was my problem. I did not find that clicking "once" - or even more - with the text tool did anything to change from flow. I had to do that from the menu.

Zach Smith (zvsmith) said : #5

This still confuses me a little, because I don't know how to do some pretty important things without text flows, like making auto-wrapping text or justified text blocks. If you unflow text it will just produce a single line of text, and although I can tell it to be justified, I have no way to say how big of a box it is fill if it isn't a flow, right?

I am fairly new to Inkscape and SVG, but this is my take:

If text is in a flow, the flow is in charge of the kerning. Thus you have to choose between having text in a flow (and having Inkscape take care of the formatting) or having text that you can manually kern.

You can use Text -> Convert to Text as a one way operation to turn flowed text into an unflowed text with all of the kerning embedded, then you can change this manually, to do things like super/subscript. Convert to Text is different from Unflow text in that all of the kerning and line breaks are kept. Convert to text would have to be a "post processing" step, something I would do to a document right before printing and would not save it, as you cannot edit the text as easily after this is done (all of the formatting will get screwed up).

I am working on a poster and am putting the abstract on it. I would like to have the abstract be justified, so it seems I should use a flow. I would also like the text to contain superscripts (for the references). This is the only way I can seem to do this.

How does that sound? Is there a better way to deal with this stuff?