Inkscape Path operations explained – Part 2

This is the second half of the Inkscape Path operations.   I will discuss #1-6 in the image below.  See this post for the other Path operations.  Objects don’t need to be converted to Path before Inset, Outset, or Offset operations, but will automatically be converted during Inset and Outset (but not Offset).

  1. Inset.  This will inset or make thinner the selected objects.  This will be done at a fixed amount.  Repeat as needed for the desired look.
  2. Outset.  This will outset or make larger the selected objects.  This one will also be done at a fixed amount, but can be repeated for the desired look.
  3. Dynamic Offset.  This is similar to inset and outset, except the amount is controlled by how much the handle is moved.  Also, the handle  can be moved in or out for an inset or outset.  This tends to round corners more than Outset.  You must convert this to Path for cutting.  See this tutorial at Cutting Time for more information on Dynamic Offset.
  4. Linked Offset.  This is like Dynamic Offset, except it creates a duplicate of the original Object.  The original object is not changed and a new object is created.  Very useful for creating mats behind words or multi-piece artwork since you can edit the original artwork and the Linked Offset will change with it.  Changing the original object with an active Linked Offset can be a little more demanding on your computer’s resources if you are using an older computer.  The Linked Offset needs to be converted to Path for cutting.   If the original was unconverted text, that will also need to be converted to Path for cutting.  I changed the color of the linked offset in the image below for visibility.
  5. Simplify.  This will reduce the amount of nodes in a vector.  It tends to distort corners, so use with caution.  If you are creating artwork from separate pieces that form corners, helps to combine the pieces, simplify, then Path/Union.  Each time simplification (Control L) is repeated within 0.5 seconds, the simplification gets more aggressive.  Also, the more nodes present, the more aggressive the simplification will be.  The severity of simplification can be adjusted using the Inkscape Preferences (from the File menu).
  6. Reverse.  This reverses the direction of the Path.  Useful for Text on Path or Pattern on Path to change the direction of the text or pattern.
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4 Responses to Inkscape Path operations explained – Part 2

  1. Lutgarde de Vos says:

    Thank you very much for sharing your tutorials which are very easy to understand!!

  2. Laura Adams says:

    Heather, thanks so much. You have explained a few things I haven’t been able find answers to anywhere. Like why, when trying to remove part of a drawing, and jumping through all the hoops, when I press Path/division – nothing happens. The box I drew with the Bezier tool is still there, and it is all that moves away from the drawing. In your first paragraph (or two) you taught me the answer: make sure there are no groups, or the Path operations will not work! Haven’t read that (or heard it/seen it) anywhere on the Net. Now that I know what to look for – it works like a charm! Once again, thanks.

  3. Rosy Dustbins says:

    I too like the written word. You can go back to any tricky part over and over again. Your explanations are exactly what I needed so thank you very much for this two-part tutorial. Nice and clear for even a simpleton like me to understand.

  4. 7524kes says:

    Thanks! Excellent explanations with helpful illustrations, as always. Videos are nice from a number of people, but I really like to see written steps like this on detail work so I can go at my own pace. Appreciate your time.

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