Inkscape is a powerful open-source vector graphics tool that lets you create breathtaking illustrations, posters, and stunning works of art. However, it is not perfect and contains several bugs and limitations. Unwanted font clipping is one of the more obnoxious of these limitations.
There are numerous reasons why Inkscape would cut off fonts. Some of these reasons are from Inkscape, while others are from fonts or human error. By reading further, you will learn the 7 most common reasons as well as a way to correct each issue.
The 7 Reasons Inkscape May Cut off a Font
Vector graphics let you create spectacular and scalable art projects. However, you must use a specialized tool for it, and these tools can get quite expensive. A good, high-end suite can cost thousands of dollars. Fortunately, the free Inkscape program will suffice for most people.
However, Inkscape is not perfect. While the community of developers works hard to ensure that everything works as expected, some quirks are always present. These quirks run the gambit from the very benign to system break, but they all have a trigger that causes them.
For instance, Inkscape can cut pieces of text seemingly at random. You could create your perfect typological poster. You selected the right font for your brand. The words match the images on the screen as if they were always meant to be there. But then, in the corner of your eye, it looks like someone used a knife on your letters. It gets even worse when you try to export it.
While unfortunate, these cuts, or clippings, have easily-understood causes and equally easy-to-understand solutions. All of them arise from how Inkscape and vector graphics handle text. While each incident can be unique, these causes tend to fall into the following 7 categories.
1. You Are Using a Non-Standard Font
As a community-based open-source project, Inkscape has a mostly volunteer development team. As such, they do not have the time or the resources to include everything they want in the program. Therefore, they are restricted to the most commonly used or requested features, and that includes only supporting the most common fonts.
Because of this limitation, Inkscape might have issues rendering some non-standard fonts. These issues can present themselves in numerous ways, including clipping. Fortunately, there is a workaround. You can use the “Object to Path” action from the Path menu to pre-render your text. You can then cut and paste the rendered text where you want it.
“Object to Path” gives you more flexibility and options to manipulate your text. As such, it should be the first thing you try when you have issues with your fonts. Just remember that the action transforms text into image elements. You will not be able to edit it. Therefore, you should finish editing the text before using this solution.
2. Your Text Field Size is Too Small
To add text to your Inkscape project, you must create a text field. While this field works like a word processor while editing, Inkscape will render it based on its size relative to the rest of the image. Because of this, the program may chop off bits of your text to make it fit.
You can fix this issue by making the text field bigger. Adding a blank line to the bottom of the field normally does it, which you can do by hitting Enter with the cursor at the end of the text. You may even be able to fix the problem by adding an extra space if the clipping is along the right edge of the field.
3. Improper Selection Box, Filter, or Blur
If your text field is the right size, Inkscape may still clip your font if the other components are off. For instance, a selection box might be masking your font. You may also have a filter or blur stroke cutting off the text.
Both issues are easily fixed with the Node tool. The tool offers diamond-shaped cursors on the edges of the affected area. Drag these diamonds until your text shows completely.
4. The Font is Improperly Configured
Fonts are more than just different ways you can write text. They are little programs that tell applications how to display text on your screen. While this usually is not an issue, some non-standard fonts are not compliant with any font file standard.
These improperly-configured fonts may still work in applications such as Inkscape, but they may display weird behavior such as clipping. You can usually fix them in a font editor if you know the proper metrics.
5. The Font is Too Big for your Line Spacing
If you are having extension text field size issues, your font may be too big to fit on a single line. You often face this issue if your text field has multiple lines of text. While Inkscape will do its best to display your text as instructed, it may have to clip letters if they overlap. Changing to a larger line spacing should fix the problem immediately.
6. The Text is Not Properly Aligned
Inkscape lets you align the text in your text fields, allowing you to format your work as you see fit. However, if you align the text too close to the edge of the field, the text may clip out of it. You can realign the text to fix the issue or try one of the solutions above as appropriate.
7. You Found a Bug
Finally, if Inkscape clips your fonts, it might just be a bug in the program. While rare, Inkscape programming bugs and defects do happen. Either the developers never considered your unique situation, or one of your plugins conflicts with your font.
You can try to remove your plugins to see if that will work, but your only option might be to file a bug report ticket with the Inkscape development community.
Inkscape will clip fonts and text to make them fit into the space provided. The 7 reasons above are the most common scenarios when this happens. Fortunately, you can easily fix most of them with a few simple steps.