I have a set of 5 objects and I like to place them following a circled path, however, my attempts were wrong.

This is what I have

enter image description here

And this is what I want

enter image description here

Note that the objects are rotated in function of their position on the circle.

I have already converted the big circle to a path using path > objet to path

  • I tried to experiment with the problem, and there are problems, which weren't obvious to me, in the beginning. For example, when rotating a triangle, the center for the rotation is the center of the surrounding rectangle which is not what I expected. If I would do it just with hand and eye, I probably would place the objects in a way, that about 50% of their area are inside the circle, and 50% outside. Another way would by cutting the circle at the corner and mid of opposite line for odd corners, like your green shape. Do you have to do it for 5 such objects or more and do such things often? Jan 13, 2018 at 9:11

2 Answers 2


You can add path function Pattern along Path to the big circle. The shapes to be placed must be aligned, converted to paths and combined to an union for easily predictable result. You must still adjust the path function parameters for even spacing, you will lose individual colorings and the shapes will get distorted.

The spacing really needs some math for getting it even easily.

There's a developed version of pattern along path in Extensions > Generate from Path. It accepts individually colored independent shapes as a group and the shapes need not to be paths, but there are still the spacing problem and the shape distortion left.

enter image description here

You do better by moving the shapes to the corners of a polygon or a star. Then you can replace the polygon with a circle, if a circle is needed. It snaps easily to wanted place and size with point snaps.

enter image description here

With the center snap =ON symmetric shapes are placed easily. The polygon can be useful later, so do not remove it. Make it invisible in the objects panel.

You can rotate the shapes individually in the Object > Transform panel, if needed. In the next image the left version started with drawing a pentagon and placing the shapes to the corners.

Then a 72 degrees (=360/5) rotation dialog was opened and that rotation was applied different number of times to each shape.

enter image description here

If you want something like the rightmost version, you have taken a greater challenge. It's definitely possible to construct this (symmetric angular placements and the big circle meets certain points of the shape) exactly, but here the shape placements and rotations are fine tuned by eye.

It's possible that I find an easy exact method, but that's not still sure. Rotation center snap and rotating until some snap occurs are available and these should do the trick, but my Inkscape crashes as soon as I try to make rotations after moving the rotation center to a shape node which is placed on a circle.

  • What about using the scatter extension? tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL/html/… Jan 12, 2018 at 20:39
  • @Ovaryraptor Write an answer with an example. If it works for this and gives the result easier, at least I will upvote it.
    – user287001
    Jan 12, 2018 at 20:47
  • I meant with your method opposed to the stretched pattern along path. To avoid the shape distortion. Jan 12, 2018 at 21:10
  • @Ovaryraptor I have not got that extension to work. The result is random. Maybe I have missed something essential. I use Inkscape 0.92.2 portable.
    – user287001
    Jan 12, 2018 at 21:19

This is pretty easy:

  1. Put all the objects in a single desired position on circle (point 1). (The fastest way to do this is to create a smaller circle on the center of the anchor of big circle, and then align objects by the selected smaller circle).
  2. Divide number of objects by the number of degrees in circle - this is the amount of degrees that will need to be between the elements on path.
  3. Now select all objects and unselect the one that is already in good position.
  4. Choose Rotate Tool (key: R) and with alt pressed click on the center of the circle (you may need to enable guides to see them)
  5. Type calculated degrees in the Rotate Tool modal.
  6. Repeat 3, 4 and 5 for other objects.

It is very flexible: you can have more/less objects, you can spread them only on a part of the circle (you divide smaller degree than 360), or you can move the objects closer/further from the center.

Objects on circle in Illustrator in few steps

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