I have a font that does not include bold support. To my surprise, LibreOffice Impress will bold and italicize the font without complaint whereas InkScape only provides the normal face.

How is this possible?


The following is a workaround to Inkscape's lack of support, not a solution. It was posted by Xav to inkscapeforum.com in 2011:

An alternative approach is to apply a dilation filter to the text:

  1. Create your text object and select it
  2. Filters=>Filter Editor
  3. In the left pane click the "New" button to create a new filter. Ensure that the checkbox is enabled to make it apply to your selected text object
  4. In the right pane pick "Morphology" from the popup menu list, then click "Add Effect"
  5. In the bottom pane pick "Dilate" from the popup list
  6. Adjust the "Radius" slider until you get the desired effect - you should see the text in the main Inkscape window update in real time. If you click the "Link" button to de-select it, you can adjust the horizontal/vertical sliders independently

Of course, it's still no substitute for a proper bold font, but might be useful to someone. Plus the text remains editable, as does the amount of dilation, should you need to change things in future.

  • I need to find Xav and upvote his answer then... – Solar Mike Jul 12 '17 at 5:26

If your font don't have support of Bold or Italic, most "office-like" software (LibreOffice, Microsoft Office and many others) will simulate it.

For serif fonts (Times, Georgia) it's easy to determine the difference, because real italic looks like "written by hand", whereas "fake italic" (so-called "Slanted" or "Oblique") repeats the form of non-italic letters.

Georgia font in normal, italic and fake italic variants

In the example above, to make a screenshot of 3rd line, I just temporary removed Georgia Italic from my PC.

For sans-serif fonts (Arial, Verdana) the difference sometimes isn't very easy to determine.

And also, note that there is a difference between "software-generated" slanted styles and "hand-made" ones. For example, as a font designer (actuall I'm not), I could create a font with this set of styles:

  • Normal
  • Normal Bold
  • Normal Italic
  • Bold Italic
  • Slanted
  • Bold Slanted

Note, there is italic style and also slanted style. Both were created manually by font designer.

Obviously, there will be a difference between hand-made slanted style and software-generated slanted style. (The former will be good, the latter will be ugly).


Software for professional book designers, professional typesetting, working with fonts, as you understand, don't need such replacements (I mean, fake italic, generated by software). Such applications will show you raw "fair" result without any simulations. At least, they should.

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