I have few different shapes (mostly rounded rectangle) imported from SVG. I need to shrink them by an absolute amount for example 1 mm, without changing their location.

Basically I want something like Transform > Scale tool, but without % because I won't know the percentage, as the current mm scale scales all the shapes to the specified size. I imagine it would be something like this:

Transform tool

  • This won't work. The "Apply to each object separately" option applies the same scale transform to all the selected objects. When you select a physical unit such as mm, you need to type in the actual size, not a minus value. So for example 30mm in width would become 29mm in width.
    – Billy Kerr
    Aug 19, 2021 at 15:37
  • If you want a -1mm transform for each object separately, I think you'd need to apply a different transform to the each one individually. You may be able to script this, but I have zero experience in scripting for Inkscape. Can you perhaps edit your question and say what you actually want to happen, is it for each individually, or are you happy to apply the same transform to all in one go? Failing that, the manual method described by Xrott is probably the easiest method.
    – Billy Kerr
    Aug 19, 2021 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


I don't think you can do this with multiple objects selected, but there are ways to do it faster manually:

The inputs for the width and height in the toolbar while in select-mode might be a quicker way to change the size as they update when you change selection. Also, lock the aspect ratio (the lock button between width and height inputs), so you only have to change one dimension each time.

Pretty much all numerical input boxes in Inkscape allow entering mathematical expressions (e.g. '123+456' or '123*4') and it will calculate it for you. You could simply append '-1' to a value, press enter, and it will reduce the number it currently has by one.

Lastly, pressing Tab cycles the selection through all objects in the current layer. So you change one, press Tab and change the next selected object.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.