I have been given a .svg file with text that I want to modify with Inkscape. The text has been 'clipped' out of a rectangle so the text is no longer modifiable (I think).


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I can tell the source type is 'path' because if I view the 'nodes' of the rectangle it shows 109 path nodes

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Attempt 1

I've tried the following to create a new text block

  • creating a rectangle
  • Adding text
  • Doing 'clip' -> inverse

This appears to have done what I wanted, however the resulting object is a path with only 4 nodes which isn't what I want


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  • How can I convert this 4 node path into a more detailed 109 node path like the original file?
    Or is there a way I could edit the text on the original file?

I'm brand new to inkscape so any assistance apprechiated.

2 Answers 2


Don't use masks or clipping for this.

  1. Draw a rectangle and type some text. Select both.

  2. Do Path > Difference


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  • This is a much simpler approach than what I did. Confirmed that this does exactly what I needed.
    – spuder
    Commented Dec 7, 2021 at 22:55

Instead of doing a clip, do the following

  1. Create a rectangle and text
  2. Convert the text to a path (path -> object to path)
  3. Select all the letters and ungroup them (right click + ungroup)
  4. Select all the letters and join them (path -> union)
  5. Select the rectangle and the path text then do a 'difference' or 'intersection' (path -> difference)

Here is a video showing the steps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHC8sDX2Pmk

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