[reportlab-users] vertically centered text

Aaron Spike aaron at ekips.org
Mon Jan 28 18:16:07 EST 2008

Robin Becker wrote:

> The y coordinate of a drawString type operation ends up as being the

> baseline of the text. Typically text is not vertically symmetric so is

> not visually centered.

Yes, and this works great because it is the natural visual anchor point
for most uses of text. But if you want to center text in a tightly
containing shape it is difficult. In my particular application I want to
center text in a circle. If it isn't close to exactly centered it
distracts the eye.

> A good rule of thumb is that the part below the

> base line is 20% of the point size ie the vertical middle of the text is

> 40% of the pointsize above the normal base line.

I tried using some magic numbers like these and found the results

> However, these

> assumptions are clearly dependent on exactly which glyphs are being

> used. I know this is not a decent answer, but you can obtain the curves

> being used for a particular string using

> reportlab.graphics.charts.textlabels._text2path


> def _text2Path(text, x=0, y=0, fontName='Times-Roman', fontSize=1000,

> anchor='start', truncate=1, pathReverse=0):



> the returned path can then be used to obtain a bounding box ie


> >>> from reportlab.graphics.charts.textlabels import _text2Path

> >>> p=_text2Path('a min')

> >>> p.getBounds()

> (34, -14, 2246, 694)

> >>> p=_text2Path('A min')

> >>> p.getBounds()

> (10, 0, 2524, 694)

> >>>


> so you can see that A is taller than a

_text2path looks like exactly what I need. When I'm working with Cairo I
use text_extents to find the bounds of a particular piece of text:


My output with Cairo looks like:


I'd like to make my diagrams flowable and use reportlab's layout
features for titles and annotations.

Should I be afraid that _text2path looks like a private part of the API?
or am I free to use that? Is there no public way to get this info? Maybe
something which can look into the current text rendering context?

Aaron Spike

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