I have a project with thousands of objects and plan on having text too. Is it possible to have some objects that control the color of all similarly colored objects/text (So that if I change the color from red to blue on one object, all red objects change to blue)?

Current method involves using CSS selectors and changing the color there but it seems to lag quite a bit when selecting objects in this manner (each object/path has a class I've assigned). Is this because I have so many objects or is this a xml/css selector issue?

  • It's possible with Global colors in Illustrator.. no clue if Inkscape has anything similar.
    – Scott
    Nov 30, 2020 at 17:18

3 Answers 3

  1. You can prepare swatches to the Fill&Stroke panel Swatches list. Editing a swatch changes it in every piece where it is used.

This is actually suggested already in a comment by others with Illustrator analogy. It can be a hard job to change in many already existing drawings all reds to a certain red in the swatch list.

Another problem with swatches is that it's far too easy to generate say 50 or 100 exactly same color swatches which are handled as different colors and the duplicates cannot be combined to one. I unfortunately do not know how to fix this property in Inkscape. Extreme care maybe can prevent making different swatches with same color, but I have scrapped the whole swatches idea in Inkscape and copy color with the color picker.

  1. You can select objects by color. There's Edit> Select Same for this. You can demand for ex. The same fill color. It selects pieces with same color inside groups, too. Changing the color doesn't affect the rest pieces of the group. Unfortunately the color sameness must be exact, you cannot select with color tolerance.

  2. A competent programmer could write a program for 2) and include a possibility to set color tolerance. That program is out of the scope of this answer.


It sounds to me like you might be describing clones in Inkscape, although I'm not entirely sure if I've understood your question fully. If this is not what you are looking for, feel free to ignore it.

Instead of duplicating an object repeatedly, you can instead create clones (using Edit > Clone > Create Clone). Then you can edit the clone source; for example change the fill or stroke colour, and all instances of that clone will update. Also using clones will help keep the file size smaller and hopefully speed up Inkscape a little.


In Inkscape, you can select one object of the color to change, and via the edit menu entry chose "select same" "fill color".

Then changing the color will affect all selected items.

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