I have successfully masked a texture over text using this tutorial here: http://www.designmarkgraphics.co.uk/blog/articles/2014/12/07/create-gritty-worn-and-distressed-inkscape-designs.html

Basically, I currently do the following:

  1. Create text/design.
  2. Insert Image
  3. Place/stretch Image to cover my text/design
  4. Select ALL
  5. Object:Mask:Set

This works, but it's not very "workable"... I have to place this image on top of my design at the very last step, and then it makes going back and editing my pre-textured design a hassle. I basically have to press undo, to undo the mask, then make my design changes, then go through the add a texture steps above again. This is a big hassle. Is there a better workflow for me? Possibly using layers that I can hide/un-hide?

Any help is much appreciated.



  • Can you explain what steps you take to change your design which are 'a hassle'? I never had any problems with editing masked objects. Maybe you just need to group before you add the mask? Or maybe you want to work in outline mode? Maybe all you need to do is double-click?
    – Moini
    Jul 28 '18 at 0:36

Here's an alternative method. Apply the mask to a clone of your artwork instead. Move the clone source off the page. You can then edit clone source, and the masked artwork will update automatically.

For example

enter image description here


If you want the texture to make holes to your artwork, you must use it as a mask. Layer blending modes cannot make something transparent, they can only change color and brightness. One way to keep the artwork freely editable (see NOTE1) without having a copy:

  • Mask a copy of the background with inverted mask, keep it above the artwork. The artwork is never masked, only pieces of the background are in front of it and the total effect is like your artwork had holes.

An example:

enter image description here

Here we have a gradient background and the artwork (=ART). In the left we have a mask and a copy of the background.

If we align the mask with the background copy, goto Object > Mask > Set and move the result onto the artwork, we have the same as if we had holes in the artwork:

enter image description here

And the artwork is freely editable (the background copy is locked to secure it)

enter image description here

NOTE1: If you have masked the artwork, many edits are still possible - for example you can rewrite texts, change colors and even edit paths with the node tool. You can insert new items, if your artwork is a group. You simply drag a new item into that group in the Objects panel. Test, if your edit is possible.


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