You can render text by calling the text method on a box. By default, it will create a box item that will draw the specified text in the middle of the box:

slide.box().text("Hello world!")

Text style#

Elsie draws text using SVG, so you can use common SVG attributes (such as size, color, font) to modify the appearance of the rendered text. The style of a text is defined by a TextStyle object. Its constructor takes the following parameters:

  • font: Name of the used font.
  • size: Size of the used font.
  • align: Alignment of the text. Allowed values are

    • "left"
    • "middle"
    • "right"

    Make sure that the box is wide enough for the alignment to take effect. By default, the text box will only be as wide as the contained text, and text alignment might not have the desired effect in such case.

  • line_spacing: Spacing between lines. The value is relative to the size value.

  • color: Color of the text.
  • bold: Make the text bold.
  • itelic: Make the text italic.
  • variant_numeric: Specifies the style of rendering numbers. Allowed values are

    • "normal"
    • "ordinal"
    • "slashed-zero"
    • "lining-nums"
    • "oldstyle-nums"
    • "proportinal-nums"
    • "tabular-nums"
    • "diagonal-fractions"
    • "stacked-fractions"

    See SVG documentation for their meaning.

Each parameter may also be None (the default value). This means that the value will be inherited from its parent style (see below).

If you want to use font or text properties that are not available in TextStyle, please let us know.

You can pass a text style as a second argument to the text method:

slide.text("Hello world!", elsie.TextStyle(size=70, color="red"))

Tip: to avoid repeating the TextStyle class name, you can import it via some short alias:

from elsie import TextStyle as s

slide.box().text("Hello world!", s(color="red"))

It might be useful to store a style shared by multiple text blocks into a variable, so that you can quickly change the style of multiple text blocks at once if you want to experiment with various styles.

from elsie import TextStyle as s

footnote = s(size=16)
slide.box().text("1: Footnote 1", style=footnote)
slide.box().text("2: Footnote 2", style=footnote)

Naming text styles#

The root SlideDeck object and also all boxes have a dictionary which maps string names to text styles. If you use a string instead of a TextStyle instance, Elsie will try to find a style with the given name in the corresponding box. You can use the set_style method on a box to assign a style to a specific name:

slide.set_style("text", elsie.TextStyle(bold=True)) 
slide.box().text("Text 1", style="text")
slide.box().text("Text 2", style="text")

Text style inheritance#

When a new box is created, it inherits a copy of its parent's style dictionary, which can be used to scope the named styles. Therefore, if you create a named style in the root SlideDeck, it will be available globally to all new boxes created after you create the named style. If you create a named style inside a specific box, it will only be available to the box and its descendants.

The two following examples produce the same slide as the Hello world example above:

# Setting a style globally for all slides
slides.set_style("big_red", elsie.TextStyle(size=70, color="red"))
slide = slides.new_slide(name="slide1")
slide.text("Hello world!", "big_red")
box = slide.box()

# Setting style locally for a box
box.set_style("big_red", elsie.TextStyle(size=70, color="red"))
box.text("Hello world!", "big_red")

Predefined text styles#

There are several predefined global named styles available by default in the root SlideDeck object. You can use them by their name:

  • "default" TextStyle(font="sans-serif", color="black", size=28, line_spacing=1.20, align="middle", variant_numeric="lining-nums")
  • "tt" TextStyle(font="monospace")
  • "emph" TextStyle(italic=True)
  • "alert" TextStyle(bold=True, color="red")
  • "code" TextStyle(font="monospace", align="left", color="#222" line_spacing=1.20, size=20)
  • "code_lineno" TextStyle(color="gray")

The default style serves as a base text style for all text operations. Text styles can have some properties unspecified. If a text style is used, and it has some property which is unspecified, the property will be inherited from the default text style. Therefore, you can modify the default style to change the default style of all text items in your presentation.

For example, the default color of text can be changed globally like this:

default_style = slides.get_style("default")
default_style.color = "orange"
slides.set_style("default", default_style)

slide = slides.new_slide("slide")
slide.text("Hello world!")

Updating named text styles#

Since it is a common pattern to get an existing text style by name and update it, Elsie provides a shortcut method for this scenario: update_style:

slides.update_style("default", elsie.TextStyle(color="orange"))
# is the same as
default_style = slides.get_style("default")
default_style.color = "orange"
slides.set_style("default", default_style)

If you work with individual TextStyle instances, you can compose them together using the compose method:

style_a = elsie.TextStyle(color="red")
style_b = style_a.compose(elsie.TestStyle(size=20))
# style_b has color="red" and size=20

Inline text styles#

Named styles are especially useful for changing individual sections of text inside a single string passed to the text method. To do this, wrap a section of text that you want to be styled differently with ~<style>{<text>} where style is a name of a style and text is some section of text.

slide.set_style("red", elsie.TextStyle(color="red"))
slide.text("Normal text ~red{red text} ~tt{Typewriter text}")

Inline styles can also be nested arbitrarily. In this case the nested styles will be composed together:

slide.set_style("red", elsie.TextStyle(color="red"))
slide.text("~red{text1 ~tt{text2}}")

You can escape the inline style character (by default ~) by repeating it (e.g. "~~"). If you need to use the ~ character a lot in your text, you can change it to a different character using the escape_character parameter of the text method.

Text scaling#

By default, the size of text is determined by the size defined in its text style. This can be changed by the parameter scale_to_fit, which will scale the text to fit the size of its parent box.

slide.box(width=200, height=80).text("Hello world!", scale_to_fit=True)
slide.box(width=80, height=200).text("Hello world!", scale_to_fit=True)

Text rotation#

You can use the rotation parameter to rotate the text by the given angle (in degrees) clockwise around its center.

slide.box().text("Hello world!", rotation=45)


You can define the color of text, shapes and other things using a string that is compatible with SVG. You can use one of the following variants of color definitions:

  • Color name: e.g. green, blue. See list of recognized SVG color names.
  • Hex color value: e.g. #fff, #a0a0a0.
  • RGB values: e.g. rgb(34, 12, 64, 0.6).
  • HSL values: e.g. hsl(30, 100%, 50%, 0.6).