How to create 3D text (extruded)

Unless you are good with Blender, Google Sketchup or AutoCAD, real 3D is probably not achievable. However, you can simulate 3D objects quite quickly and easily using Inkscape. I’ve created this How-to guide using Text as an example, but it applies just as easily to shapes and other Inkscape objects. Enjoy!

  • Firstly, open up Inkscape and create a new document.
  • Click on the T button on the tool panel and then click on the page
  • Then write your text. Please note, this techniques works best on straight lines, rather than curves, so choose your font accordingly. You’ll see in the picture below that most of the letters below have straight lines.11
  • Once done, click out of the text editor and then click back on the text once to select it
  • Create a duplicate using Ctrl+D.
  • Move the duplicate slightly below and to the right using the down and right keys.
  • Create a duplicate of the duplicate in the new position
  • Change the colour of the top duplicate to allow you to see it better.12
  • Alt and click the top duplicate to select the black duplicate just beneath it.
  • Then with the shift key held down, click on the original black text. (You should now have the 2 black objects selected)
  • Press Ctrl++ or click on Path > Union to combine the two black objects together
  • Then press the Edit nodes by path button (or press F2)13
  • On the letter T of the image above, I’ve selected the corner nodes that will need to be deleted. They are highlighted in purple (see also screenshot below showing just the top of the letter T)14
  • Select the first node to delete, then press the delete button. With the node deleted, the node handles will become visible.15
  • Adjust the mode handles so that they are on top of the node they came from16
  • Repeat for all of the nodes that need to be deleted
  • You should now have a basic extruded shape
  • Note: You don’t have to move the duplicate shape down and to the right, you could move it up and to the left (as shown below).17
  • You can see, that as stated originally, rounded shapes are not as easy to manipulate (letters X and R). I suggest a little experimentation adjusting the nodes and node handles
  • For even more emphasis, combine this effect with other effects:text here

Alesandra Blakeston

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