Creating perforated score lines in Inkscape

How to make dashed or dotted lines in Inkscape for cutting in SCAL is a question that is sometimes asked.  One way to do this is to use the dashes or periods (I believe they are called “full stops” in some places) from one of your fonts. Type in your dots or dashes with your desired spacing, then from the Path menu select “Object to path”.  You could also do this directly in SCAL.

Another method is to use the stroke options to create dotted lines. This method will work for created perforated shapes or curved lines too.

  1. With the file open in Inkscape, create the line or shape that you want perforated.
  2. Select all shapes and lines that you want perforated.
  3. Click on the Fill and Stroke button.
    perf line 1
  4. Set the stroke width and style.
    perf line 2
  5. With all of the dashed lines selected, use Path/Stroke to Path from the menu.
The disadvantage of either of these two methods is that the outline of the dots or dashes will be cut, not just simple lines.  See below for enlarged view of an example.
perf line 3


I was asked today if you could set the stroke width to zero.  The answer is no, because in this case you are converting the stroke into a new vector so you must have some stroke to convert.  You can and should set it much narrower than I used in my example though.  Also, the shorter the dashes, the slower my machine seems to cut.

2 Responses to Creating perforated score lines in Inkscape

  1. almadelarosa says:

    I think this works: Select the object that is dashed in Stroke style then Extensions > Modify Path > Convert to Dashes

  2. Carolyn says:

    Hi Heather the latest beta version of Inkscape has a specific function for dashed lines. We will not have to wait much longer. The unstable 0.47 version can be downloaded. I do use it but it does crash a lot. Anyway just thought I would let you know we can all take advantage of dashed lines soon.
    Carolyn, Australia.

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