When using paths in Inkscape, I can set the "stroke style" of some path to an amount and it works as expected.

example of a path

However, at times I would like to change the vertical and horizontal stroke weight independently of each other, as is sometimes done for the letter "O" in various fonts:

letter O

The path is kept the same, it is just the stroke weights that have changed. Is there any way to accomplish this in Inkscape?

2 Answers 2


There is a way to make variable width strokes using the Power Stroke path effect, however it doesn't seem to work properly with a closed path such as a circle (in Inkscape 0.92)


enter image description here

What you could do instead is Path > Stroke to path - then edit the nodes of the inner path.


enter image description here

  • This is exactly what I needed, thank you!
    – ellie
    May 5, 2019 at 16:51

Your example, the O, isn't a stroke with non-uniform width. It's a combined path. This is normal for how letters are constructed.

enter image description here

  1. Draw 2 ellipses, fill only, no stroke, different sizes

  2. Align the ellipses, bring the smaller to front, select both

  3. Apply Path > Subtract. The result is a combined path. The parts can be recovered (not colors) with Path > Break apart.

NOTE: SVG ellipses aren't actually paths (=Bezier curves), but current Inkscape converts them for convenience to paths automatically if one applies to them path combination operations. SVG has rectangles and ellipses which behave this way. To be able to apply more advanced path functions one must apply at first Path > Object to Path to get Bezier curves.

If you need a single stroke with non-uniform width, you have 3 options:

1) Path function Pattern along Path

2) Path function Power Stroke, as mentioned by others.

3) Inkscape Extension Pattern along Path. It accepts groups, Pattern along Path works only if the replacement of the stroke is a single path

A single stroke is easier to deform than a complex closed shape, so these methods surely are useful to know.

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