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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.

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  • 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

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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 :)

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