I would like to create a pattern of rectangular/circular grids with specified spacing from their center (that is supposed to defines the pixel pitch in my pattern). I am able to make patterns with a space between two neighbouring object: create an object (for example a circle or a a cube -> create clone and then I have a pattern with the repeated object on. Does anybody know how to define the spacing in mm between the center of the objects and have the pattern as it's shown below?


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    Welcome on GD.SQ, Sarah, can you add please a sample of the desired pattern? Have you tried to use the Tiled clones function? Nov 23, 2018 at 15:40
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    Hi, Thanks for reply. Actually I have made the shown image using tiled clones. However, I was hoping to number the space between the circles in mm and not in percentage.
    – Sarah
    Nov 24, 2018 at 14:26

2 Answers 2


There are several interpretations for this question:

a) you want a page grid with dots, so you can align your drawing to it:

  • File > Document properties > Grids: New rectangular grid. Set spacing and choose to use dots instead of lines (at the bottom of the dialog).

b) you want to render circular/elliptical objects that are aligned on a grid. You want to be able to snap to these objects later or to move them around etc.:

  • Use the tiled clones dialog (Edit > Clone > Create tiled clones). The distance (Shift) values in the dialog are in percentage of the size of the original object (so check how large it is to be able to calculate this from the absolute values).

c) you want to draw a pattern that can be applied as a decoration to another object:

  • precise distances cannot be set easily, because patterns can very easily be resized, you need to be careful.
  • put your dot into the middle of a transparent square. Group them together. Do Object > Pattern > Object to Pattern. Now change the size of the new square object (but use the square tool for this). Make sure that in the selection tool's tool controls, you have deactivated the 'pattern size changes when object size is changed' button.
  • Hi, thanks for the comment. My question would have to be "b". This is how I've made my patterns so far. I was hoping to find a way to adjust the space in mm. Thanks anyway.
    – Sarah
    Nov 26, 2018 at 9:21

This is a guess.

enter image description here

A black square has been drawn. A circle was placed on it and a hole was made with Path > Difference. NOTE: No strokes, only fill!

A new pattern was generated with Object > Pattern > Object to pattern

The new pattern was used to fill a rectangle. The pitch = the length of the side of the square.

The fill pattern ges scaled if you resize the filled shape, but you can allways remove the fill and refill.

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