How to Create or Import Text


How to Create or Import Text

Before you embark on your book pages you need to add some text to complete your master file for the generic page settings. This master file is the blueprint for each page yet retains its original file name so as to remain unchanged each time you use it. When you finish a book page, you’ll be instructed to assign it a brand new file name and in numerical order. Then to save it. This way the master file can be still be retreived unaltered, ready to do the next page and your newly completed book page has its own identity and is now safely stored in the BOOK LAYOUT folder.

So it’s time to set up a page of sample text fitted to your margins and guidelines. Here is where you make all your adjustments to get it looking exactly how you want the finished product. It can be changed later or adjusted along the way for books without typical formatting. But ideally it should all be worked out first to save double handling and a lot of extra work. It will however depend on the type of publication and what variations are in the content.

If your book is rich in images then it might be an idea to incorporate an image into the master file design. If the position of the image changes throughout your pages you’ll need to make those adjustments as you do each individual page. Or alternatively you could set up more than one master file if it makes your set up for different formatted pages easier. However it WILL depend on the type of publication and any variations in the content.

Before all this, you need to establish and understand the different ways to incorporate text in a document. Then you can go with the method that suits you best.


There are two ways to add the text for your book pages:

  • Create text directly in the Inkscape program
  • Cut and Paste text from a Word document


Creating text in the Inkscape program is quite easy. You can tweak all your settings before hand or type in default text and alter the parameters afterwards. But it’s really as simple as selecting a font and size and then typing rext just like you would in a Word document. When you finish typing, you are able to pick up the body of text and move or manipulate anywhere on the screen, by using the Object Select tool. If you decide to change fonts or any other parameters along the way, just do so. The settings remain the same until you change them.

The key difference between this type of vector program and a Word document program is the freedom on the docment area and the fact you can pick it up and move anywhere. Not to mention the range of effects available. Any minor adjustments can be made to each page, as opposed to a generic filter that forces all text within a document file to conform to the same settings like Word. With that said, general filters like those in Word can be applied in Inkscape but you have the added benefit of micro adjustments. This is particularly useful in the desing process.


Text can be cut and pasted from an external source i.e. a Word document program or a plain formatting program like Notepad. There are issues with formatted text which are explained but using it does have advantages ONCE you have your parameters set as there are a number of adjustments or conversions that must be accommodated first.

Plain format text or unformatted text is ideal to work with as you can preset the Inkscape parameters exactly how you want them

To Import Text using the Cut and Paste method:

Inkscape should alredy by open

When you open your Book Page Master File it should now incorporate the margins and guides from the previous step. They will currently be sitting on the edge of the document but when your text is posititon in the correct location you can drag the guidelines to the edge of the text. If you pick up the block of text and move it at any time it will snap back to the guide when close for ease of positioning.

The Snap tool can be turned off, just like the Margins and Guidelines can be removed or hidden from sight.  It is accessible from the menu along the top.

See information in the previous step for removing guides and turning off Snap tool if you wish to turn these features off while you are setting up your sample page and moving text etc as the Snap Tool in particular can prove to be a nuisance at times when you don’t want something close to a line and it automatically snaps it onto line when your object is within a certain range.

Creating Your Sample Page

As a rule of thumb, when selecting a font, go for one that is easy on the eye, can be read easily and is also a suitable finished pt (point) or print size. Anywhere between 10 and 14 pt is a good range to work with but it will depend on your type of publication to some degree.

If you can use unformatted text for this procedure there will be less issues in the setting up of your masterfile page. But you may like to utilise the stylish formatting within your Word program and that’s fine too. You just need to know the differences when using both so you can decide what will work best for you.

If you want to work with unformatted text but your manuscript is already typed up and formatted in a Word document, all is not lost.  You can put it through a text editing program like Notepad which removes formatting and changes all text to plain text. It has a few settings but they are not required as this program is merely the vehicle to transform your formatted text to unformatted and then it’s off to Inkscape.

As pages are done indivdiually in Inkscape, the Notepad program can be open in another window and you can cut and paste the text from your Word document to there, and then recut and repaste into Inkscape. It’s quite quick once you get the hang of it and doing it this way means NO issues or glitches.

Now any required formatting can be done within the Inkscape program.

Formatted text DOES present a few problems when importing into a vector program and is definitely ONLY recommended once you have established the parameters and set up details for your sample page first. Or be prepared for a few hiccups.

File  >  Open

Use the double click method to open folder and file OR single click then click on Open


Your master file will appear with the moveable guidelines and margins.

From the left hand margin tool selection box, choose the Text tool

Then position the mouse or cursor somewhere near the margin or thereabouts, it isn’t critical as you can move the text when you finish typing. Type a few lines of text and then pick it up and move in to position exactly on the margin edge. If you are unhappy with the position, relocate text and then move margin guideline to suit.

Then continue typing. Text can be resized afterwards.

and position text on the margin edgestarting to type your text in. But if you’re setting up a printed book, chances are you’ll already have your edit manuscript all typed up and saved as some kind of Word document. You may even have it formatted exactly how you want it to look.

Therefore you’ll need to know how to import your text from Word into your Inkscape book pages at the same finished size and without incident.

There are two options and it will depend on the type of book you are writing and how you have your manuscript saved as to the method you choose.

With all PDF print books that are set up in a vector program it is a page by page process. A vector program can only deal with one document layout at a time. So the text for each individual page must be cut and pasted directly into the vector program book page one by one. This allows the incorporation of graphics, images and colours etc all on the same page layout. When saving as a PDF everything remains together. Some printers will accept word documents and separate images but chances are they’ll be converting it to PDF their end and you’ll be paying for it and there is always room for error when the images are not saved with the page layout. So if you can do this yourself and export the files as PDFs, you’re saving money.

To import the text is quite simple.

It’s a matter of cutting and pasting it from Word directly into vector program. This can be with formatted or unformatted text However this does cause a couple of different problems. Firstly the size of the text will decrease in size when imported. Secondly, it breaks up the body of text into single lines which makes it time consuming if you then decide to change the size.

For example in Word 14 pt text size reduces down to around 10 pt text size when it is imported into Inkscape. If your document files are all single pages, this method works quite okay as it doesn’t effect your page count. If you have multiple pages in the one text document then this will cause problems when your reformat at the larger size to accommodate the conversion in Inkscape. You’ll end up with more pages and a lot of confusion. So the plain text method is advisable. This involves cutting and pasting formatted text into Notepad or a similar text editing program which removes all formatting and converts text to plain text. Then preset the Inkscape font size at the desired size before cutting and pasting your plain unformatted text into the program.

But there are some things to be aware of.  Your book has a predetermined page count, which you have calculated from your manuscript. So it is vital your finished font size in your Inkscape book pages is the same as that of the pages from your manuscript in Word. Otherwise your page count will increase or decrease.

Unfortunately not all programs are designed to be compatible and when importing text from a  Word program into a vector program there can be issues with both font size and it’s availability. Also an important thing to note: Font pt size is not the same as pixel pt size. This means font size in Word does NOT equate to same font size when cut and pasted into Inkscape.This is because vector programs fonts are measured in pixels pts.

So you must fiddle around with sizing to establish your parameters for the first page and when you have your settings correct, save your page as a master file. Leave it unchanged with that file name and then use it to create each new book page which will be renamed differently as you go, thus not affecting the original master file. Copywright page and intro pages may need to be set up differently so you might want a seperate master file to accommodate their guidelines and margins. Simple but effective.

Guides and margins can be preset but these are actually physical guides that you can see and move by dragging into position where required. The onscreen measurements make it easy to set up. And with the text, you can position and manipulate it to sit exactly on the guidelines. Alternatively there is a sneaky Snap Tool which will snap the text into place on the guidelines when within a certain range, if you choose to use that particular feature. Very handy for multiple pages all set up exactly the same.

To make things simple, it is recommended for any version of Word, to cut and paste the text from your manuscript book pages straight into Notepad. This program comes free with all versions of Windows and may be hidden in your computer somewhere and you don’t even know you have it. Notepad is very handy as a go between because it removes all formatting and size parameters when your text is cut and pasted in there. The default font and size in notepad is Arial 16pt.

This is NOT the same in pixel pts though as mentioned, so when you cut and paste from Notepad to Inkscape, it will be a slightly reduced size.

For more information go to this link Pixels vs Points

So it can take little bit to organise the settings initially but as the pages are repetitive, the workload becomes easier from the first page onwards.

See example page instructions below:

Open Inkscape

Open your newly created book page masterfile

Check you’ve imported the template and all settings are correct.

Open up your manuscript in Word in another window

Find Notepad and have it accessible to open inbetween

(Unfortunately it minimizes as soon as you click on anything else but it’s not a big deal)


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