Background: I am currently transitioning my workflow from using Illustrator as my primary vector graphics application to using Inkscape. Hence, I have 1000s of images created in Illustrator (and saved as .eps files) that I may want to work with in Inkscape in the future. I also create vector images using PsTricks, and other TeX based packages that I sometimes want to convert and work with in Inkscape.

Situation: Whenever I open one of these .eps files in Inkscape, it comes in with many different layers with random names. (That is, I guess the many folders in the Layers and Objects panel are different layers. When I add a new layer, it appears in a new color, so I am not even sure what these folders are.) These layers, or folders, have nested folders and many objects scattered around in them. In order to edit the objects in image, I need these to all be on one layer. Or at least I want to start out with that, because as it is currently they are completely unorganized and related objects may be on completely different layers, etc.

Question: Is there a way that I can select everything and force it all onto a single layer at once. Currently, I have only been able to select objects in individual folders and move them to the same layer one at a time, or in groups. But since these files are complicated, with many 10s or 100s of objects, this is time consuming.

  • It doesn't sound like these are layers. Probably groups and nested groups. Can you show a screen shot of your Layers and Objects panel? If these are merely nested groups, try Extensions > Arrange > Deep Ungroup.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Dec 15, 2023 at 12:23
  • If you do in fact have layers left after a deep ungroup, do Edit > Select all in Layers, then Cut, then in the Layers and Objects panel delete all layers except one, then do Edit > Paste > In Place.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Dec 15, 2023 at 12:39

1 Answer 1


I think I have an answer to this question!

Inkscape, collapsing everything onto a single layer from multiple layers can be manual, but here's a step-by-step answer.

1. Open the Layers panel:

  • Go to Layer > Layers... to open the Layers dialog.

2. Identify Layers:

  • In the Layers dialog, you'll see a list of layers (folders) with objects inside them. These layers might be coming from your imported EPS Files.

3. Flatten Sublayers:

  • Click on the small triangle icon next to each layer to expand or collapse sublayers. Try to simplify the structure by collapsing unnecessary sublayers.

4. Select All Objects:

  • Press Ctrl + A (Windows/Linux) or Cmd + A (Mac) to select all objects in the canvas.

5. Move to a New Layer:

  • Right-click on any of the selected objects, and choose Move to Layer > New Layer.... This will create a new layer with all the selected objects.

6. Repeat for Other Layers:

  • Repeat steps 2-5 for each layer until all objects are on the new layer.

7. Remove Empty Layers:

  • After you've moved all objects to the new layer, you can delete the empty layers. Right-Click on the empty layer and choose Delete.

8. Organize and Rename:

  • Optionally, you can now organize and rename your layers by right-clicking on them in the layers dialog and choosing Rename.

I hope this will work for sure :)

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.