I am trying to decompose the following character into its composite strokes: my screen from Inkscape

Using this method, I have been able to separate the left- and topmost stroke. However, repeating it where strokes cross simply “shortens” them. So right now I only have three elements, while my goal is to have seven separate elements.

How can I split this into several strokes stacked one on top of another? Can I select nodes of a stroke and make a new object based on those selected nodes?

Disclaimer: I am a newbie.

1 Answer 1


The method you are using is fine. However, you would need to reconstruct the parts which would be overlapping. Here's one method that should help you to place the new nodes/handles.

In the Snap Controls Bar, select Enable Snapping, and then switch on the following options:

  • Snap Nodes, Paths, Handles

  • Snap to Paths

  • Snap Smooth Nodes.

Then use the Bézier Tool (Shift+F6) as shown in the example below, where I have two separated shapes using the method you linked to, and have filled the top-most one with grey so that you can see everything clearly.

enter image description here

  • Oh, cool, thanks — that's somewhat easier than my current method of duplicating the whole object and removing certain elements on each layer with tedious curve fixing… Quick question: does Inkscape optimize the nodes I place? I had to put them in short distances to have the proper curve, yet the original file only had like 2 per side… Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 15:46
  • I must say that I see a drawback to this method, namely it doesn't do all that well with the curves, especially when two paths intersect each other… Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 16:17
  • 1
    You need to click and drag to make curves, as shown in my example, and the handles should follow the path. Other cuves may be more complex. You may need to practice with the Bézier tool - it's not an easy thing to do. You may need to tweak the curves, you might even need to switch off snapping for some curves, and eyeball it.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 16:39
  • 1
    Inkscape doesn't optimise anything - this is a very manual process. Inkscape doesn't do anything automatically really. You can remove extra nodes if you want, but no guarantee you won't then need to fix the curves afterwards. Yes, it's a tedious process.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 16:49
  • I see. I ended up making duplicate of the objects and smoothing the intersections that way in combination with your method. Thanks for teaching me that :) Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 19:13

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