Sometimes I find myself dealing with some complex shapes (consiting of many Path groups) and the easiest way to ✌ crop ✌ a part of that is to use a clip. In such cases, using boolean operations (Union, Difference, etc.) is very tedious and is not an option.

One caveat of clip, is it could be released. I am asking if there is a way to flatten (bake) the clip so it's no longer possible to release it again?

  • Thats what the tedious operations are for. The reason clipping is so easy is you can just discard stuff at rasterisation time with easy operations. If there was a easy way out then booleans would be implemented with the same mechanism making them not heavy
    – joojaa
    May 14, 2022 at 10:00
  • Hi. Why do you need to bake in the clipping path? What's wrong with leaving it as a clipping path? SVG supports clipping, and Inkscape is an SVG editor. Are you using it for something else?
    – Billy Kerr
    May 14, 2022 at 13:11
  • @joojaa That the operations are tedious for a human to do does not mean that they should be tedious for a computer. I don't see why it's unreasonable to expect there to be a way to iterate over all of the paths-to-clip and replace each with the intersection of that path and the path to clip against.
    – jamesdlin
    Aug 20, 2022 at 22:45
  • @jamesdlin See user is asking why do X when Y is lighter, but want to flatten Y. Flattenend Y is X! so no way around that. The fact that you cant do X en masse is usability problem of X not Y. Once you fix usability problem of X you get Y fixed too. Concentrate on X not Y since its not a step on the way to solving X
    – joojaa
    Aug 21, 2022 at 8:44
  • @jamesdlin so in essence the reason this does not get solved is if you ask devs to solve the flattening of clipping masks, they don't solve it because there are some loose end that cant be solved. But asking to make the boolean operation iteratable solves 99% of the problem and that they know how to solve.
    – joojaa
    Aug 21, 2022 at 8:56

1 Answer 1


As said in comments, there's no easy way to remove the parts which are made invisible by applying a clipping path. To get the wanted result every path only partially inside the clip should be intersected separately with the clipping path. Parts fully inside the clip can stay as is and parts outside the clip should be deleted.

Obviously you want to make something to someone else and giving it as SVG or PDF gives too much easily recoverable extra parts for free, because it's no problem to release the clip later, as you have noticed.

To make the invisible parts useless you can for ex. distort manually or otherwise break the shapes so that they are useless beyond the clip. It's not especially difficult to delete or move nodes here and there with the node tool to spoil the forms. Or to make Boolean path combinations (add, difference) beyond the visible area.

Another workaround: Make a bitmap copy of the group of the clipped items that you want to get "baked" and save the vector version elsewhere only for your own future needs.

Before creating the bitmap: set the rasterization resolution so high that the result is sharp enough in the biggest size it will be used. The resolution can be set in Preferences > Imported images > Create.

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.