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is there a way to create a white shadow around a text?

I'm adding labels to lines, and the labels are difficult to read, when written black on black lines. Since the background is white, using a white font color is not an option. Is there a way to add "outline" a font with a white "halo" or "shadow"?

For now, I'm gonna use an outlined font, but I couldn't find one which looks simple. They're all quite fancy.

The perfect solution would be to outline the text just line the street names in google maps: some sort of white halo around the text, very tight.


Last edited by Kaz219; 2013-02-17 at 10:58 PM..
I found the shadow inspector (thought it was only for shapes), where I can set the color. Unfortunately, it doesn't help. The white shadow is not casted on the line, so the text still look like striked through...

Outlined fonts are really not lisible so I give up and use a white background with 80% of opacity for the text. Still not great, since the bakcground is much too big and sometimes overlap with other objects. Most of all when the text is vertical.
Or maybe somebody knows of a font with a white "outlining"?
To have shadows lie over other objects, you need to click the following button in the Shadows inspector pane:

The object (be it text or anything else) will have to be in front of the one below for it to work, such as your line.
Thank you for the answer. The white shadow was so light I thought it wasn't working.

My problem is that the text in the attachment is barely readable. The white shadow (no offset, middle value for blur) is almost unnoticeable.

Any idea how to make it readable? Some way of making the shadow thicker? I don't want to a background, which would overlap with the neighbours.
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Question: Does the text need to be directly on top of the line? If you open the Geometry inspector, you can change the offset so the text isn't sitting directly over the line, which would make it more legible without requiring complicated shadow effects.

The other alternative would be to make sure your text labels have an opaque (rather than transparent) background color.

To do this, select the text in your line label and select
Format -> Fonts -> Show Fonts
depending on what version of the OS you're running, the panel that appears may look a little different from what's shown here:
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but the one with the help tag is the control you're looking for.

Double-click it, and the color panel will appear.
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You can use the slider at the bottom to make the opacity 100%, which means the line beneath the text will be hidden.

That help at all?
I tried to reproduce your issue but perhaps I'm not understanding your issue clearly? I see no issue with visibility of text labels on lines using black lines and black text. Can you be more specific or provide an example?
One way to increase the intensity of the shadow is to copy and paste the object onto itself multiple times, so that each copy overlays the other, then group them to form one object. The shadows are additive so doing this makes them richer without altering the blur levels.
Thank you for the replies. I wanted one solution, now I have two =)

The stacking trick works very well, I need to stack around 10 to 20 times the text, and then playing with the blur slider gives me the effect I want. The only drawback is that the text seems fat, but that's a detail.

The geometry inspector does also the job, I prefer it when I have place to put the text next to the line without having the line which the label is referring to becoming ambiguous.

Thank you very much!

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