I exported an AI file from SolidWorks, which only exports lines. Nothing is filled. I'd like to get all the closed shapes to be filled, but I am running into problems when I try to set the "Fill" parameter.

My document looks like this

file sample

It imports as a "Group of 1 object," which I can ungroup into a single path of 640 nodes. While it's either grouped or ungrouped, changing the fill setting does nothing.

I can also break apart the paths, so I end up with 320 paths, but then each line segment is its own path and nothing is joined. Again, changing the fill doesn't do anything. Finally, I can combine an individual shape into a path (of 10 nodes), so each shape becomes a separate path object, but changing fill still does nothing.

Also, using the paint bucket to fill leaves some white space on the inside edge. It doesn't quite fill fully.

How do I fill all these shapes?

  • 1
    It seems that SolidWorks converted all strokes to paths...
    – Welz
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 18:04
  • This may be helpful: Convert shape to line with a stroke in Illustrator
    – Welz
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 18:20
  • @WELZ Does this mean they need to be converted back to strokes for the fill option to work correctly?
    – Hari
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 19:05
  • That's what I think.
    – Welz
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 19:05
  • @WELZ Do you know how to do that?
    – Hari
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 19:06

2 Answers 2


For these shapes, try Path > Break Apart, then Path > Union. It will make them slightly larger, so remove the stroke afterwards if you want to keep the size exactly the same.

Otherwise, there's the centerline extension for Inkscape: https://github.com/fablabnbg/inkscape-centerline-trace

(copied from comment section)


An alternative solution is to use the Bucket Fill Tool. Choose a black foreground color and click inside each area you want to fill. With the right Grow/Shrink setting this will create new paths that cover the holes. This is not an elegant solution but it solves the problem.


  • Great answer: this is a very quick way to go. Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 13:54

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