Alignment of Raphaël Paper.text(…) and Paper.print(…)


Working with Raphaël I noticed the alignment of text drawn with the Paper.text(…) and Paper.print(…) methods differed. The documentation wasn’t helpful in explaining the difference, so I wrote a simple test to work out their behaviour, and then a small method to normalise them.


In this I’m drawing text with it’s bounding box show, and a cross over the x,y coordinates the text is meant to appear. As you can see Paper.text(…) defaults to centre aligning vertically and horizontally. Paper.print(…) aligns with the baseline of the first line, and I’m guess horizontally with the left edge (with a small amount of padding). The last example I wrote a simple method to centre Paper.print(…) so it acts like Paper.text(…)

Code to draw this SVG is below, with my normalised print method named print_center.

Raphael.fn.line = function(x1, y1, x2, y2) {
    //assert(_.all([x1,x2,y1,y2], _.isFinite), "x1,x2,y1,y2 must be numeric");
    return this.path("M{0},{1} L{2},{3}", x1, y1, x2, y2);

 * Prints, but aligns text in a similar way to text(...)
Raphael.fn.print_center = function(x, y, string, font, size, letter_spacing) {
    var path = this.print(x, y, string, font, size, 'baseline', letter_spacing);
    var bb = path.getBBox();

    var dx = (x - bb.x) - bb.width / 2;
    var dy = (y - bb.y) - bb.height / 2;

    return path.transform("t" + dx + "," + dy);

    var paper = new Raphael("diagram", 300, 600);

    function draw_cross(x, y) {
        var SIZE = 50;
        paper.line(x, y - SIZE, x, y + SIZE);
        paper.line(x - SIZE, y, x + SIZE, y);

    function draw_coord(x, y) {
        var p = paper.text(x, y, x.toFixed(0) + "," + y.toFixed(0));
        p.attr({'font-size': 10});

    function draw_bb(bb) {
        paper.rect(bb.x, bb.y, bb.width, bb.height);

        draw_coord(bb.x, bb.y);
        draw_coord(bb.x + bb.width, bb.y);
        draw_coord(bb.x, bb.y + bb.height);
        draw_coord(bb.x + bb.width, bb.y + bb.height);

    draw_cross(100, 100);
    var p = paper.text(100, 100, "Text\n100,100\nThird");
    p.attr({'font-size': 32});

    draw_bb( p.getBBox() );

    draw_cross(100, 300);
    var font = paper.getFont('daniel')
    var p = paper.print(100, 300, "Print\n100,300\nThird", font, 32, 'baseline');

    draw_bb( p.getBBox() );

    draw_cross(100, 500);
    var font = paper.getFont('daniel')
    var p = paper.print_center(100, 500, "MyPrint\n100,500\nThird", font, 32);

    draw_bb( p.getBBox() );
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