I have an SVG image that consists of thousands of nodes. How can I use Inkscape to automatically reduce the number of nodes while keeping the overall shape?

An example image is Fist.svg, with a small number of high-resolution paths. The whole document consists of tens of thousands of nodes.

This looks great at high resolution, but at lower resolution the overall image can be represented with far fewer nodes.

What can I do in Inkscape to say “Reduce this path to about 10% of the existing nodes, removing only those which are fine-detail deviations from the overall path” without me needing to choose any of those nodes manually? Can Inkscape discriminate based on that criterion?

If not Inkscape, is there another simple tool I can use to specify a reduction in vector resolution by reducing the number of nodes?


1 Answer 1


simplified fist

The image above is the file you've referenced, downloaded and opened in Inkscape. Using Path, Simplify, with default settings (not sure if they can be adjusted), this is the result. It provided a substantial reduction in nodes without severely impacting the quality of the image, in my opinion.

fist before and after

The image above shows the fist with fill turned off to better show the nodes. Left side is before simplify, right side is after.

  • 6
    They can be adjusted: Edit > Preferences > Behavior: Simplification threshold.
    – Moini
    Apr 13, 2019 at 2:15

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