Is there an easy way to make one handle of a node oppose the other one, in Inkscape?

For example, let us say that I have one handle that is currently at 268.31°. That needs to stay constant, but I want to make the opposite handle directly opposite it: at 88.31°. I could sit there and try to mouse the thing into the proper location, but that gets tedious fast. And snapping doesn't seem to work, because it snaps into preset locations based off of 0°. Any thoughts?

2 Answers 2


Ctrl-click the node or use the 'Make selected nodes smooth' button in the toolbar. Smooth nodes always have their handles opposite to each other.

I don't think you can turn a node into a smooth node without it adjusting both handles, so you might have to fix the angle of them afterwards. (Edit: It is possible, see this answer)

  • That might be what I end up doing. It's not ideal though--whenever you make a node smooth, it moves the nodes around from where they were before--it makes for problems, especially when one needs to do this over and over again. I'm trying to preserve regularity and not introduce error. Thanks for the suggestion though. It might be the best answer.
    – Adam Smith
    Commented Jul 30, 2021 at 19:56

As I was looking around Inkscape's source code recently, I stumbled across this somewhat hidden shortcut in the node-tool:

Pressing Shift + S with a node selected turns it into a smooth node, just like the 'Make selected nodes smooth' button in the toolbar. However, if you press these keys while hovering over one of the circular handles on either side of the node, it will keep that handle at its current position and only adjust the opposite one.

You can then change the length of the opposite handle by dragging it while holding Ctrl to keep the current angle.

Examples of pressing Shift+S while hovering over a Bezier-handle

  • Note: I am posting this as a separate answer since a) a significant amount of time has passed since my initial one, b) this method is not really that similar, c) the previous post was only a partial solution, whereas this is the full answer. If you think I should handle this differently, please leave a comment!
    – Xrott
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 21:07
  • That is brilliant! We're long past the original project I was working on, but I use Inkscape all the time and I'm going to remember this for future use! Thank you for finding it, and remembering this old question!
    – Adam Smith
    Commented Oct 4, 2022 at 22:24

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