In drawing a state diagram (nodes connected by one-way arrows) I need that some nodes connect to self.

ugly loopback connector sample
I want to draw a connector like the one in the example, which I made up with a circle shape.
I'm using Inkscape 0.91's connectors because of the needed feature of the arrow ends snapping to the shapes.
When I draw an arrow that starts and ends in the same shape I get a zero-length arrow with an arrowhead in the center of the shape.
I also tried using two equal shapes, one over the other, with identical results.
Please help!

  • I don't think it's possible to connect an object to itself, nor is there any provision for circular connectors, only straight lines and curves/corners.
    – Billy Kerr
    Feb 19, 2018 at 18:09
  • 1
    Thanks Billy; I'm going to file a bug. When I tried using two equal overlapping shapes then the connector became a short straight arrow from one center to the other when the shapes had overlapped. This betrays the connector contract which is "from the edge of one to the edge of the other". I was unsure because I'm very new to Inkscape. But checking the docs, the articles and the tutos it looks as if this functionality were missing.
    – Juan Lanus
    Feb 20, 2018 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


State transition = "no change" can well be presented with a path. Have a few different predrawn and duplicate the most appropriate one. With the node tool you can set both ends on the edge of the state symbol. They snap if you have snap to path ON.

You do not need normal connector because the "no change" loop should move if you move the state symbol. Only remember to group them.

(The situation is totally different, if your image is a graphical input to a program which reads the transition diagram and executes it. If that's the case, you probably wouldn't use Inkscape)

  • Thanks @user287001. I gave up using InkScape long ago. But before doing so I've tested your approach and it came with a number of annoyances - maybe due to my lack of expertise in shapes drawing. It happens that when moving the state symbols then the connectors have to adapt to the new positions (in addition to stick to the state) and this doesn't work.
    – Juan Lanus
    May 14, 2018 at 20:10
  • @JuanLanus there are real flowcharter programs which handle the connectors cleverly. Search for them. Even Open Office has better tools for this than Inkscape.
    – user82991
    May 14, 2018 at 20:36
  • Yes I know! Only that every now and then I bite the SVG bait of InkScape and try to use it for the very few diagrams I draw every other year. After wasting some time I solved the issue with the google docs capabilities.
    – Juan Lanus
    May 16, 2018 at 22:13

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