I want to set the length of the red line to be 0.5". (Actually, the svg doesn't export the red, so let's say the one that points to 4 o'clock.)

How do I do that?

enter image description here

4 Answers 4


Another, possibly quite precise option, using the measurement tool:


You would use the measurement tool to measure the desired distance along the line, use "Convert to item" on the measurement to make the measurement diagram part of the document, and then snap the endpoint of the line to the point that was measured to.

  • 2
    Upvoted for easier, previously unknown feature (to me)
    – fred_dot_u
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 10:53
  • 1
    Can you add some details or instructions to this answer to it stands alone? If the YouTube video were removed the answer would lose most of its value.
    – Michael A
    Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 4:33

Take the following steps:

  1. Start with a line segment that is longer than it should be.
  2. Create a circle whose radius equals the desired length.
  3. Use snapping to position the center of the circle at the end point of the line segment that should not be cut off.
  4. Make sure the circle is "above" the line you want to cut, in terms of Z-order. Normally it already is when you draw the circle later. If not, select the circle and press the Home key on your keyboard, or go into the Object menu and click on "Raise to top".
  5. Select the circle and the line.
  6. Go into the "Path" menu and select "Cut path". The circle will vanish and the line segment is cut into two pieces: one with the desired length and the remainder.
  7. Delete the remainder.

Create an orthogonal reference line of approximate desired length
(hold Ctrl while creating line) and adjust as needed in the appropriate width field:

reference line

Note: size in mm equals one-half inch

  • change color and increase width of stroke for ease of use,

  • reduce opacity for the same reason,

  • place a new line on a separate layer for ease of destruction

reduced opacity on new layer

  • drag horizontal and vertical guides to intersect node of line at static end

    Note: ensure that the guides are intersecting the node/snapping to them

guides intersecting at line end

  • drag a new line to snap to the line to be changed at static end

snapped new line to old line

  • click on new line to change to rotate mode (note pivot crosshairs)

  • drag pivot crosshairs to intersection of guides

    Note: use maximum zoom to ensure the rotation center is on the node/guide intersection. I've not been able to locate a resource which permits the rotation center to snap to anything.

rotation center close to node and guide intersections

Note that the rotation center is not at the guide intersections, as it disappears when placed there. For the purposes of this presentation, it's close enough to see and the answer states to place it on the dot, so to speak.

  • rotate the new line at optimum zoom to align with existing line

rotated new line

There is no snapping going on here, but at a good zoom level, one can use TLAR to ensure that the lines are parallel. (That looks about right).

  • select existing line in node edit mode

  • snap existing line end to the new line end

snapped old line

I've rotated the newly adjusted line to horizontal by eyeball and note that the dimension field shows the desired 12.7 mm length.

"un-rotated" line for length check

  • delete layer/new line as desired

There may be an easier/better way to accomplish this. My first thought was to create the line length necessary and place and rotate it, but that's not how the question is phrased.

One could eliminate the guides, but that reduces a bit the "precision" available to place the rotation crosshair, especially at maximum zoom.


Draw an horizontal line that starts at the desired point. Select it and set its length in the tool control bar (the one above the canvas. Then Object -> Transform -> Rotate, set the angle and apply.

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