how do I create a path that is the inside of individual overlapping paths (see the pictures) in Inkscape? Overlapping paths

I tried using the Paths->Intersection tool, but everything that happens is that all paths disappear. I guess it doesn't know where the inside is, as the paths are open.

Thanks in advance everyone.

  • Select all, Path > Union. draw some curves around the potions you need to remove, and use difference.
    – s.ouchene
    Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 8:44
  • Welcome on GD.SE, NoradX! You can also try to fill the area, this create a new path. See also this question. Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 9:23

3 Answers 3


Here's one method.

  1. Select all the pieces of your graphic. And do Path > Combine

  2. Draw a rectangle larger than the graphic, fill it with a different colour, and send it to the bottom of the layer stack.

  3. Select both the rectangle and graphic and do Path > Division

  4. Delete the pieces you don't need.

Examples showing steps 3 and 4.

enter image description here

After you have finished, you could select everything and do Path > Union to make a single shape. Or alternatively just group all the pieces.


Your 4 paths seem to be drawn with Calligraphic pen. They are not open paths but closed filled areas with no strokes.

The white area between them can be separated as follows:

enter image description here

  1. Four curves drawn with the Calligraphic pen

  2. Selected all and applied Path Union

  3. Applied Path > Break apart. It separated the hole area as a new closed path. I colored it to blue.

  4. The fill is removed, a thin black stroke is applied, the extras are removed

This isn't exactly the same you drew you want. It can be done by deleting the extra nodes of the version 2 in the previous image:

enter image description here

In the right one corner is cleaned. The next corner is under cleaning. The unwanted nodes are selected with the node tool and DEL is pressed. The Bezier handles must be shortened to zero to fade the round bulges.


enter image description here

  1. path combine (see 3.)
  2. floodfill (without border)
  3. remove combined path (faster than removal of 4 pieces)
  4. change color to none but add desired border color

Since the border will halfway inside your shape, halfside outside, it will be slightly smaller than the precise solution of Billy Kerr, but if it is not that important or good enough to be corrected by hand, it is the fastest solution, I guess.

The resulting shape has an even, not a calligraphic border, which might be good or bad - depending on your goals.

You could duplicate the combination after performing step 1 and make the duplicate half transparent, then send to the background, to keep it as reference for adjusting the size of the final shape and delete it, after adjusting the resulting object.

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