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How to Work With Text in Gravit Designer

Gravit Designer is a completely free vector design application. It’s available in the browser as well as on Linux, Mac, ChromeOS, and Windows.

In this video from my course, Gravit Designer Quick Start, we’ll take a look at Gravit’s text system. You’ll learn how to create and align text, adjust it, scale it, and make it follow paths.

How to Work With Text in Gravit Designer

 

Text Basics in Gravit Designer

We’ll start with the basics, and that is the default way of creating text. So if we grab the Text tool from the toolbar, all we need to do is just click where we want our text to appear, and we get a text box with some dummy text that we can fill in with anything we want. 

Dummy text box added

And then we can select our text and start taking a look at the options on the right-hand side. 

One of the most helpful things about Gravit Designer is that you have instant access to every single font in the Google Fonts library.

Typically, if you’re working with a graphic designer offline, and you want to use Google Fonts, then you’ve got to go to the Google Fonts website, find a font you like, download it, and install it. Then you may need to restart the application that you’re using for your design, and test out the font. And then if it’s no good, then you’ve got to start the whole thing over again. There are ways to speed that process up, but nothing is quite as fast as having all of the fonts available for you right here.

So we’re just going to grab Noto Sans, and you can see that it has loaded that font in for us. We’ve got font sizing control and weight control right underneath, so you can choose Bold and 60 pt

Text in Noto Sans with size and weight changed

You may notice a tiny bit of lag when you switch the font and the font weight. That’s just because it’s loading in that font for the first time, but if you go back from Bold to Regular now, you’ll see that it’s instant. So you just have a little bit of a delay as it caches each new font that you want to work with and each new weight.

Working With Text Alignment

So just clicking directly on the canvas is one way that you can create some text. Another way is grabbing the Text tool, and instead of just clicking on the canvas, you click and drag to create a box that’s going to hold your text.

Click and drag to create a text box

These boxes are helpful for a couple of things.

One, you can fill them up with paragraphs of text instead of just headlines. And the other is, if you are creating headlines, this box can help you to control the alignment and positioning of your text. 

So, for example, let’s say you’re using this box for a headline. If you click outside this box, it will take away the cursor, and you will just have the overall object selected.

Once you do that, you’ll see that it adds some alignment tools on the right-hand side. So now you have the ability to take this text and center it both vertically and horizontally. 

Centered headline text

So now if you change the size of the text, the headline is going to stay perfectly centered vertically and horizontally. With the first text we created, on the other hand, that’s not the case.

So if you want to control layout in that way, use a box. 

If you have text that you created by clicking on the canvas and you want to have it function like the box we just created, you can actually do that quite easily. Because if you look closely at the Sizing section on the right, you can see that our new box has Sizing set to Fix on both the Width and Height.

But our first box has its Sizing set to Auto on both the Width and Height. So you can just set them both to Fix, and that will make our first bit of text behave just like our second bit of text. 

Create Filler Text Automatically

Often we want to fill out boxes like this with filler text. You can do this automatically in Gravit by just typing out lorem, and then hitting the spacebar. That will automatically give you a nice paragraph that you can use to fill up the space and test how your typography is looking. 

Lorem ipsum text

Working With Text Spacing

When you’re working with text in Gravit, you also have the ability to control spacing. 

So if you look at the Spacing row on the right-hand side, you’ll see the first box is the Character setting. This controls how much space there is between each individual character in our text.

So, if you boost that up to 10, you’ll now have quite large gaps between each of your letters.

Large character spacing

You can also change the spacing between the words. So change Word to 10, and now you’ll have larger spaces between each of your words.

Larger word spacing

You can also change the line height. The default value for Line is 100%, but you might want to change that to 160%, for example, and you’ll see the line height increase. 

Bigger line height

The last setting in this section that you need to know about is the Scale font on resizing setting. By default, if you rescale the box, it’s just going to reflow the text. But if you check this option, now the text will shrink down in proportion with the box that’s containing it. 

Scale font on resizing

Create Text on a Path

Next up, I’m going to show you how to do something really useful, and that is make text follow along a path. This is great for if you want to do, say, curved text.

So start by drawing an ellipse, and then just grab the Text tool. And all you need to do to make this text follow the path that’s going around the outside of this ellipse is just hover on the outside edge and click. So now this text is going to follow the path around the ellipse.

Text on an ellipse

You can do this with any type of path; it doesn’t have to be just a circle. So, for example, if you grab the Bezigon tool and draw out a wavy path, then you can make your text follow along this path just as easily.

Text on a wavy path

Once you have some text following a path, you have a couple of ways that you can edit it. The first thing to note is you have a little orange circle marking the start point. You can click and drag that to determine where on the path your text is going to begin.

You can also control whether the text goes around the outside of the path or not. So right now it’s on the outside, but if you want it to go on the inside of the circle, you can just flick the Outside switch in the panel on the right-hand side. And if you want to reverse the direction of your text, you can just click the Reverse switch right next to it, and the text will change direction.

Create Stylized Text

It’s also very easy to customize your text and create your own designs. Simply right-click on your text and Convert to Path.

Now you can go in and directly alter how each of these individual letters is going to look. So you can just drag the anchor points to create some stylized text of your own. 

Customised text

So that covers all the essentials of working with text in Gravit. 

Watch the Full Course

Gravit Designer is packed with professional-level features that position it as the next big up-and-coming graphics app. Whether you’re a UI designer, an illustrator, or any other kind of digital artist, Gravit could quickly find a regular place in your design workflows.

In the full course, Gravit Designer Quick Start, you’ll get moving with Gravit Designer as I step you through its key features and major strengths, showing you how to get productive fast.

You can take this course straight away with a subscription to Envato Elements. For a single low monthly fee, you get access not only to this course, but also to our growing library of over 1,000 video courses and industry-leading eBooks on Envato Tuts+. 

Plus you now get unlimited downloads from the huge Envato Elements library of 420,000+ creative assets. Create with unique fonts, photos, graphics and templates, and deliver better projects faster.

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5 exciting new HTML and CSS features to look forward to in 2018

Native <dialog> element

Released along with the new HTML 5.2 spec in December 2017, the <dialog> element offers the possibility to create native dialogs in pure HTML.

As of January 2018, <dialog> only works in Chrome/Chrome mobile.

<dialog>  
  <h2>Your title</h2>
  <p>Your content...</p>
</dialog>

CSS scroll snap points

CSS Scroll Snap is a recent module of CSS that introduces scroll snap positions. These determine the specific positions that a container’s scrollport may end at after a scrolling operation has completed.

This feature is unfortunately not yet implemented in most browsers.

img {
    /* Specifies that the center of each photo
       should align with the center of the scroll
       container in the X axis when snapping */
    scroll-snap-align: center none;
}
.photoGallery {
    width: 500px;
    overflow-x: auto;
    overflow-y: hidden;
    white-space: nowrap;
    /* Requires that the scroll position always be
       at a snap position when the scrolling
       operation completes. */
    scroll-snap-type: x mandatory;
}
<div class="photoGallery">
    <img src="img1.jpg">
    <img src="img2.jpg">
    <img src="img3.jpg">
    <img src="img4.jpg">
    <img src="img5.jpg">
</div>

In the example above, a series of images arranged in a scroll container is used to build a photo gallery.
It is taken from the W3C working draft, make sure to take a look at it for more info about this exciting new functionality.

Inline CSS in <body>

The new HTML 5.2 specification has made inline CSS style in body a valid practice. Not the most exciting new feature, but this could be a real relief in several cases.

<body>  
    <p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.</p>
    <style>
        p { color: #069; }
    </style>
    <p>Vestibulum interdum pellentesque massa</p>
</body>  

Variables

CSS preprocessors have offered variables for a long time. Still, I’m very excited about the idea of native variables in the CSS spec.

CSS variables are pretty well implemented and will work perfectly in most browsers. More info can be found on the W3C page.

Now, here’s a quick, self-explanatory example of how to use native CSS variables:

:root {
  --main-color: #069;
}

h1, h2, h3 { color: var(--main-colour); }  
a { color: var(--main-colour); text-decoration:underline }  

Support queries

As seen with the previous features I wrote about, browser compatibility is still always a big problem when it comes to using new CSS features.

The relatively new @supports feature provides developers a way to condition rules based on whether particular property declarations are supported in CSS.

@supports is currently supported by all browsers but Internet Explorer 11.

@supports (mix-blend-mode: overlay) {
  .example {
    mix-blend-mode: overlay;
  }
}

For an in-depth look at the feature, I recommend you this interesting article.