Text on Circle Node

john's Avatar


20 Aug, 2022 11:30 PM

A new Nodebox user, Julien, recently asked this:

Centering the text path in the middle?

Is it possible to center a text path, instead of just choosing the beginning or the end for alignment? This could be handy for centering variable size text (in my case, the inscriptions on the lens).

A perfectly reasonable request that is harder than it seems. The text_on_path node will create a text path that follows another path, like a circle, but it has no center option. So when you want to center text atop a circle you have to manually adjust the margin as you change circle diameter or font size. This is not hard to do, but it is a small pain, and it prevents you from automatically centering text over circles that dynamically change their size.

Creating a node (subnetwork) to do this is harder than it might seem even if you limit the guide path to a circle. To make the calculations you need to measure the arc formed from the beginning of the inscription to the end, which will vary in a complex way depending on diameter, font size, and which font you use. An interesting challenge!

Challenge accepted! Behold: the text_on_circle node. Give it some text, a diameter, font name, font size, and offset (above or below the circle) and it will create a text path for you. A rather arcane function, but it does come in handy every now and then.

NOTE: see next comment for an improved version!

I will be adding this node to the next release of my node library. Enjoy!


  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by john on 25 Aug, 2022 05:07 AM

    john's Avatar


    I have improved this node. It is now called Text_Circle.

    • It now has an option to kern the text (adjust the spacing) between the characters and/or between the words. This can make text bent over a circle much easier to read.
    • You can now center the text below the circle as well as above it.
    • I completely rewrote the node and no longer rely on the text_on_path node. Character rotation is now smoother and more consistent.

    Please give this improved version a try and let me know if you have any other suggestions.


    P.S. POWER TIP: To inscribe text inside a circle you can use a negative offset, but this will cause the letters to crowd together a bit. For better results, set offset to 0 and reduce the diameter of the circle.

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