I'm producing a few sankey diagrams for a publication. I'm using R for stats and data visualization but finish it all off in Inkscape.

There is a particular case where I can't adjust the height / spacing programatically in R due to package limitations, and I want to do it manually in Inkspace as the file can be saved as svg.

I can select each flow separately and reshape it, but cannot figure out how to move a bit down the two red flows on the left hand side so they stay in the same place on the right hand side and retain their heights and don't overlap with other flows.

Is there a clever way to do this properly?

Link to my R question if that provides more clarity in terms of what I'm trying to achieve: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/67012794/how-to-adjust-height-and-spacing-in-a-sankey-diagram-in-r-ggforce

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2 Answers 2


Maybe you wanted to avoid this, but as simple shapes as you have presented are made fastest by drawing them manually with the Bezier curve tool (also known as "Pen" in many programs) In the next image three curves are drawn with different colors and line withs:

enter image description here

The green one has longer horizontal parts, but it has 4 nodes and drawing it needed hefty total 4 clicks. The node placements and curvature handles are adjusted with the node tool.

Blue and red versions have both only 2 nodes and the amount of work (2 clicks each) to draw them probably is at least close to acceptable.

The blue curve has partially transparent stroke color.

  • Thanks, this solves although as an abbsolute beginner I had to learn the very basics alongway!
    – krzych27
    Commented Apr 12, 2021 at 22:11

You can do this with a path inside the SVG and giving it the desired stroke width. If you make it a path, you can control the coordinates of the Bézier curve. In general, your graph is just 6 Bézier curves with different width, and it will be easier to do it with coding the SVG coordinates.

For more information about Bézier curves in SVG:


  • Many thanks for this, I've had a look and will need to play around with the coordinates!
    – krzych27
    Commented Apr 12, 2021 at 22:12

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