I am making a pattern where I need to create squares made from circles, as shown in the image below. It's important that the corners have fully formed circles, so I am not using the "Pattern Along Path" feature.

I'm currently making this by drawing a square, converting it to a path, then using the "Add Nodes" extension, and finally setting a marker, as the image below shows.

I would like to now convert this to simple paths, so that it no longer is using markers, however object to path does not seem to affect markers. I have found I can use stroke to path, however that results in each circle having an inner and outer path to define the stroke.

Is there a way to convert the circles to a simple path without converting the stroke to a path? I'm currently using Inkscape, but also have access to Affinity Designer if it has an easier workflow.

markers along path


2 Answers 2


Seemingly you want to avoid using "Stroke to Path" because the circles you get are too complex, they are all filled areas and you get 2 of them for each node if your marker was the default solid black one:

enter image description here

In the image above Stroke to Path was applied and everything was ungrouped few times to make all items free. Then the parts of the top right corner marker were moved apart. There's a solid circle and a ring, both are filled areas.

But what's got by applying Stroke to Path and ungrouping can be converted to simple paths easily. At first lock the rectangle in the Layers & Objects panel to keep it in safe. Then

  • select all marker shapes at the same time.
  • apply Path > Union
  • select a good fill and stroke for your purposes
  • apply Path > Break Apart

enter image description here

Now you have a bunch of identical separate simple paths. They are not exact circles, but circular paths like one gets by applying to a circle Object to Path

  • Ah, this is exactly what I was missing. Instead of using a circle outline as my marker I could use a filled circle. Then using stroke to path will give me a single circle path for each marker instead of the two concentric circles. Thanks!
    – tgrosinger
    Feb 28, 2023 at 16:36

You can't turn markers into paths using Path > Object to Path. It's not possible.

A different approach is possible though. I would use the interpolate extension to create a row of circles. Alternatively you could also use pattern along a path to create the row of circles, and then Path > Object to Path would give you individual circles.

Anyway . . .

  1. Draw a circle, do Path > Object to Path to convert it to a path object

  2. Duplicate the circle Ctrl+D, click and drag the duplicate while holding down Ctrl to contstrain the move horizontally

  3. Select both circles and do Extensions > Generate from Path > Interpolate

enter image description here

  1. Select all, ungroup and regroup them

  2. Duplicate the row three times, rotate two of the rows 90°. If you need sides of different length, delete some of the circles.

  3. Rearrange them into a square/rectangle using snapping.

  4. Select and ungroup everything

  5. and finally delete the overlapping circles at the corners

enter image description here

  • This would definitely work, and I think answers the question that I asked more accurately, but @Gourmetlaw managed to answer the question I should have asked. Thank you.
    – tgrosinger
    Feb 28, 2023 at 16:39
  • No worries. Yes. The other is a good answer though! I never though of that!
    – Billy Kerr
    Feb 28, 2023 at 17:02

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