I'm a complete newb and visuals are far from a strength. I'm using Inkscape because it is needed for "Synth Panels Designer", an Extension for designing panels for electronics. I need every short cut that I can get.

I want to lay out a circle of banana jacks wherein each jack is 19mm from a central axial jack. Basically, looking like a flower. It is for the use of a shorting bar (a fixed distance).

[![See the red jack that is labeled "3"? Dead center in the panel photo. It is 19mm (center to center) from the jacks labeled "2", "5", and "In".][1]][1]

How on earth do I lay that out within Inkscape? I'm totally lost, even after 2 days of YouTube hunting.


Kent [1]: https://i.stack.imgur.com/qq5Lm.jpg

  • UNderstaning how to do numeric movement. setting up a grid and doing precise actions are 101 skills, you simply have to know these to do anything. Unfortunately a lot of people think its unnessesery to start at this level.
    – joojaa
    Jun 10, 2021 at 13:26

1 Answer 1


There are many ways this could be done. All would involve using grids, guides, snapping, move transforms, or some combination of those.

Here's some basic methods so you get the general idea.

One method is to duplicate an object Ctrl+D, then do a move transform. Repeat as necessary.

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Another method is to set up a 19mm grid in the document properties, enable snapping, snap to grid, and snap centres of objects.

enter image description here

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Another way would be to use a guide placed at the page midpoint. Note that you can double click on a guide to adjust it numerically. Then enable snapping, snap to guides, snap to centres. Then place one object, duplicate, do a -19mm move transform. Duplicate the centre object again, and do a 19mm move transform.

enter image description here

If you want a more manual approach, you could even set up all your guides numerically, and then snap to the guide intersections.

enter image description here

If the image is to scale or you could scale it so it is to scale, then you could even use that as a basis to place your guides.

enter image description here

  • Billy Kerr, thank you for putting the effort to teach someone & for using such clear examples. Again, very much appreciated. I wanted to poke around with your suggestions & see how things went before returning to this thread. Although I originally wanted to position the jacks in orbit around 2 central outputs (bringing the corners in), it ended up being inefficient regarding space. I went with a grid layout instead as I needed the additional inputs. One of the issues encountered was that snapping was not working at all. I had to reboot the computer in order to get it work as intended.
    – Kent
    Jun 12, 2021 at 8:19
  • One additional inquiry: how to do equidistant orbital spacing? If N,S,W,E are 20mm apart then NW, NE, SW, SE are going to somewhere around 28mm from the center. I'll play around with Move Transforms (thanks for teaching me that) later today. I thought that adding to this 'learning thread for newbs' could be of benefit to other debutantes.
    – Kent
    Jun 12, 2021 at 8:31
  • @Kent - you can rotate an object easily around another using the rotation centre and handles. Maybe you should ask that as a separate question. There's not really enough room here in the comments to tell you how, and the answer here is already long.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jun 12, 2021 at 9:44
  • I'll try your suggestion and see if I can do it intuitively. If I fail (likely), then I'll open another question. Thanks again, good sir!
    – Kent
    Jun 12, 2021 at 10:31

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