I am fairly new to Inkscape and would like to have a shape (hexagon), enclose a double helix PNG (an abstraction in one colour). The fill of the hexagon is a gradient in a different colour.

The helix is placed in the centre of the hexagon. If I save the result and import it to be used in other images, I am not able to add a border to the hexagon without adding a border to the helix (which seems to be even thicker). I would like to combine them to a single object with only an outer border, so that I can assign a stroke paint and stroke style border to the hexagon.

How can I realise something like that?

  • 1
    Hi. Welcome to GDSE. What do you mean by import it? Import it where? In other software? And how did you construct it in Inkscape?
    – Billy Kerr
    Mar 6 at 9:57
  • @BillyKerr I meant into a new inkscape document. Until now, I use Inkscape by creating separate images (based on multiple objects, like the one described and similar) and then create separate documents for more complex graphics where I "import" multiple svgs and for example connect them to create a diagram.
    – baxbear
    Mar 6 at 12:04
  • I think I can delete the question since I found the cause of my problem. When importing a created graphic, the elements within in this graphic seem to automatically get grouped. Adding stroke styleand stroke paint to a grouped graphic seem to add it to all components of it. Therefore, ungrouping it, adding the stroke stuff to the hexagon (or a different shape) and then regrouping everything again seems to solve the problem. (Should I just delete the question? - didn't know that imported svgs group all elements and how this affects the behaviour of other adjustments)
    – baxbear
    Mar 6 at 12:55

1 Answer 1


It sounds to me like you have some grouped objects, and you are trying to add a stroke to an individual object/path within the group, but instead you are selecting the group and thus adding a stroke to all the objects/paths within the group.

There's no need to ungroup, then regroup to do what you want.

Instead, use the Nodes Tool N (the one under the large arrow in the toolbar) to select just one object/path inside the group. Then you can add a stroke to just the selected object/path.

Here's an example. I have two grouped objects shown here, a hexagon and a square. I'm selecting one object only by using the Nodes tool, and adding a stroke to it.

enter image description here

There are also other ways to navigate around/select things within a group without ungrouping. Here are two options here which may be useful to you.

  1. With the Select Tool S, double click a grouped object to enter inside the group, then you can select individual objects/paths, and apply a stroke. Double click outside the group to exit the group when you are finished.


  1. Select the object/path in the Layers & Objects panel Shift+Ctrl+L, and then you can apply a stroke to it.

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