Monday, 16 June 2014

Linux Image to TEXT - use an image instead of colour

I'm writing this so I remember it can be done easily.

One of the neat things about Xara ExtremeLX for Linux was that it was fast, it worked with SVG files and it was easy to use.  For the last couple of releases of Linux Mint KDE, Xara has been able to be installed, but has failed to load.  A quick search on google show I am not the only one with this problem.

Now one of the simple things I used Xara for was to make things like logo graphics, maybe just something with a message, and instead of changing the font colour, I would put the text over the image, then use Xara to remove the image from everywhere except the actual text.

Sounds silly and I will put some images up to show it better, but imagine cutting a photo into shapes to form the letters of a word.

In xara it was simply a matter of placing the image on a page, writing the text over it, scaling the text to fit then selecting both the scaled text and the image and choosing the shape menu then 'Intersect Shapes'.

I have done this same thing in Inkscape, but I can never remember what to look for in the menus.

So I was messing around with LibreOffice Draw, where I do a lot of my design work.

Open Draw
Put an image on the page
Type some text and choose a font you like
Select the text, Right click and choose Convert > To Curve

This gives you a vector graphic that you can scale to any size and do other stuff with

Scale the Text (now a graphic in itself) however you want it on top of the image
Click a blank area of the page and choose Edit > Select All from the normal menu at the top of the page.

Now Right Click on the selected items and choose Shapes > Intersect

It is that simple.

Then choose File > Export, and because it is going to be transparent everywhere except the actual letters, choose PNG as the export format.

LibreDraw will export the background shape of the page, so you then need to go open the result in GIMP to crop the area to just around the text.

The sample image is just for now and is not a good font to choose, and I haven't even adjusted the spacing, although all the tools are there in Draw to do it.
But it gives a general idea of how it works. 

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