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I've played around with this too -- the shadow, without offset, isn't strong enough for what you want.

Ideally there would be a "size" slider for the shadow so you could scale it out a bit as well as blur it.

Two ideas from me:

1. Shadows can have colour AND opacity adjusted in the colour panel, just like other fills -- make sure your shadows are at 100%. That will help a bit more.

2. Depending on the font you are using, you could align two copies -- one underneath that is bold, white and has the white shadow and the one on top that isn't bold, and is the colour you want. This, with some kerning, creates a bit more outline. Not a great solution, and my tests this morning worked, but not perfectly.

-- Morgan
That's a cool idea too! So I need to use fixed width fonts for that one, right?

Another question about this line labels: is it possible to change the default for adding a label to a line? I want to make it per default "slightly offset, no background, parallel to the line".

I've played with the text tool favorites but no success so far: it seems to only remember the font, size, color and such things.
There's no way to set any positioning default for the line labels created, however it sounds like a pretty good idea, so I've filed a feature request for it in our tracking database.
"Vroom! Vroom!!"
So, in case somebody is interested in a wrap up, the best solution for me was (here is the case of black text with white shadow):
– creating one text box with the black text
– duplicate it, change the font color to white in the duplicate
– make 20 copies of the duplicate (10 may be enough for you, I use 20)
– superpose everything while making sure the original text box stays in front
– group all and add a white shadow using the shadow inspector.
– Still in the shadow inspector, set the shadow offset to 1pt horizontally (better aligned like this, don't know why) and 0pt vertically
– click on the "shadow immediately beneath this object" button in the shadow inspector
– play with the "shadow fuzziness" slider to get the effect you want (for me, it is around 20-30% fuzziness)

– quite a lot of work for one text field.
– no batch text editing for a group of text boxes.
– no possibility to use the group of text object as a line label: when the line moves the group won't follow, so you'll need to move it manually.

If anybody has some suggestions for the drawbacks, I'd be glad to hear about it...

Last edited by Kaz219; 2009-12-14 at 02:49 AM..
Is it planned to add this "thick white shadow" in a future version ? (Is there some place where this "feature request" database is viewable, so I could check what the status of a feature request is, btw?)

Instead of linearly decreasing opacity of the shadow, it should be 100% up to a certain (very small) distance around the "0% blur shadow" of the object, and then a very fast gradient to 0% opacity. (see example)

I have no idea how difficult it would be to implement this, but I do think this is a very very usefull feature, as it makes text readable independently of the background color: the current shadow feature doesn't allow to read black text on black background (see example).
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Bump. Any news here?

Basically, I want the same as what is used in google maps to make the text readable independently of the background. Very useful for line labels for example, it removes the need to have a filling and unhides a big part of the line thus.
Originally Posted by Kaz219 View Post
Or maybe somebody knows of a font with a white "outlining"?
AW Conqueror Carved Two is an outline font, white with a black outline. I haven't played with it at all though you might be able to set the outline to white and the fill to black. The other thing is it's all caps, but that might not be what you want.

that’s a good idea, but it doesn’t work. Fonts have only one color as far as I know:

In the case of the Conqueror Carved Two, I can choose the color of the outline, but the inside of the letter will have the same color as the background, which doesn't help me:
– either I put it in white and it’s readable on a non-white background but then it’s not readable on a white background
– or I put it in black, but that doesn’t help when overlapping black lines.

But thanks anyway!

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