Adding text to connectors

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To add text to a connector double click the connector. The end and control points will become active and you will see the familiar flashing text cursor (the cursor position is determined by the last used setting). At the same time the Text Formatting toolbar will appear (under the menu bar). This toolbar allows you to set the desired text properties and you can directly input the text.

If you draw a connector and and then click on it, only the end and control points become active. In spite of this a connector has its own object frame – in this case an invisible one. You can picture it easily by imagining a rectangle enclosing the start and end points of the connector (see Figure 14).

Object frame of a connector.
Figure 14: Object frame of a connector.

When you add text to a connector, the location of the text is referenced to this rectangle. The exact position of the text can be set in the Text options dialog (Figure 15). This dialog appears when you double-click on text and then choose Text from the pop-up menu or when you single-click on the connector and select Format > Text from the menu bar.

The Text dialog.
Figure 15: The Text dialog.

You should take particular note of the following fields in the Text dialog. In the Text anchor section you can see the possible locations for the text. In the above example the text is anchored at the top left. In the Spacing to borders section at the lower left you can input also negative values of spacing, to position the text outside the frame.

Adjusting text to suit the connecting line

If you want the text to follow the slope or curve of a line, you need to activate and use the Fontwork tool. To make it available for use, for example to add it to the Draw toolbar, open the menu Tools > Customize. Choose the tab Toolbars and in the upper list of toolbars (pulldown list) choose Drawing. Click on Add and select the Category Format and the Command Fontwork. Click Add, then Close and you should now see the button with the arrow in the list of commands under Toolbar Content. Move the FontworkShapeIcon.png tool to the location you want and then OK to confirm and close the dialog.

If you want to write slanting text, two steps are necessary. In the first step text is added to the connector as normal, as described above. The anchor location of the text is not important at this stage. Select the object with the text (in this case the connector) and click on the Fontwork FontworkShapeIcon.png button.

This opens the Fontwork dialog. To make the text lie along the inclined line, click on the Rotate icon and set the distance to the line you wish.

Adding text to an inclined line, Step 1.
Figure 16: Adding text to an inclined line, Step 1.

Adding text to an inclined line, Step 2.
Figure 17: Adding text to an inclined line, Step 2.

The Fontwork dialog opens up many other possibilities to manipulate the text. You can, for example, turn the text around 180 degrees with the Orientation OrientationIcon.png button (this was done in the example above) or place the text under the line by assigning a negative value to the spacing between text and line.

In addition it is possible to use the Fontwork dialog to generate curved text which follows the shape of a curved line. It pays to experiment a little to investigate some of the possibilities.

Content on this page is licensed under the Creative Common Attribution 3.0 license (CC-BY).
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