If I do this sequence with a circle and a square, it works. However if I do it with a square and a letter it does not. How do we do this with a letter:

1) Create a square

2) Select it and do Path > Object to Path

3) Create a text letter a

4) Select the letter and do Path > Object to Path

5) Put the letter on top of the square

6) Select both the letter and the square

7) Path > Difference

The letter is not cut from the square.

Why not?

2 Answers 2


Try ungrouping the letter after you convert it to a path. Inkscape always groups text after converting to path, even if it's only one letter.

Ctrl + Shift + G will ungroup.

FYI, check the text displayed on the panel at the very bottom of the screen (under the colours). You can often get a tip there as to what might be wrong. In this case, it would say one of the objects is not a path.

  • 2
    Also note that if you use the Edit Paths by Nodes tool to select both paths, then you don't need to ungroup the text.
    – Billy Kerr
    May 18, 2020 at 7:40

If the letter is still a text object, then this is a bug (regression) in Inkscape 1.0:

https://gitlab.com/inkscape/inkscape/-/issues/589 (it once worked with texts directly, doing Path > Difference)

In general, a conversion to path should not be needed for squares, circles, other shapes, and even no longer for clones.

Ungrouping would always be needed if one of the objects is a group.

  • Yes, it appears to be a bug/regression. Just tested and there's no need to convert text to paths first in 0.92. Hopefully they'll fix it again.
    – Billy Kerr
    May 19, 2020 at 15:41

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