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I'm editing an svg in Inkscape and I have an object on top of another object. I'd like to use the shape of the top object to cut the object beneath it.

For those who are familiar with GIMP, I'm trying to do something like the "alpha to selection" tool.

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Select both (by clicking one object, holding shift, then clicking the other object), then select Path, then Difference.

For me, I wanted to cut a left arrow out of a hexagon. I created a hexagon, duplicated the layer, shifted the top layer to the right, then selected both layers, then PATH / Difference.

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Adding to this: I wanted to cut out text, so first I had to select the text, Path > Object To Path, then select again and Object > Ungroup, then select each letter and the background individually - you can only ever do this with two objects at a time. – BFWebAdmin Aug 11 '15 at 11:28
You can actually do this with more than one path at a time thanks to a new extension: – johnp Jun 13 at 3:37


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If you are trying to subtract a thick line (stroke) from a shape you will have to choose PATH >> STROKE TO PATH first. – Adripants Feb 4 '14 at 23:46

Select Both and Do:

Object --> Clip --> Set

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I wanted to cut a cross shape out of another shape. I used the original shape.svg and another image, cross.svg (which was the exact shape I wanted to cut out). Now, I tried all of the suggestions here, but none of them worked and after much experimenting, I found an easy approach which I hope will work for others.

  • open inkscape
  • open shape.svg
  • import cross.svg
  • resize and position cross.svg over shape.svg in the place where the cross needs to be cut out
  • Path --> Combine (this resulted in the original shape.svg with a cross cut out of it)
  • After the combine, the shape.svg was the color of the cross.svg, so I just selected it and chose the color I wanted from the fill palette
  • File --> Save as

I would note that both images were one color to begin with.

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