In Inkscape 1.1.2 (Linux), I am trying to paint rectangles near to each other without snapping to their corners as I draw them, but Inkscape insists on snapping to the corners. I saw in some answers that I may press Shift as I am drawing the rectangle to avoid snapping; nevertheless, it that does not work at all in my version.

Any alternative solutions which do not disable snapping globally (for example, pressing %) only temporary on drawing? Is this limited only to my version? Thanks!

  • 1
    Hi. There is no other way as far as I know. The % shortcut toggles snapping on or off. So press it before you draw, and then just press it again to enable it afterwards. Holding down shift doesn't disable snapping when drawing rectangles. It constrains drawing/scaling to the centre of the object. Although you are using an old version, I don't think that has anything to do with it.
    – Billy Kerr
    Apr 3 at 1:28
  • That's quite a limitation. :_( I like inkscape, but I cannot commend them in this issue. @BillyKerr I consider your comment as a full answer. Would you post it, so that I can accept it? Apr 8 at 1:49
  • I've added an answer with some options/workarounds. I don't see this as a limitation. It's just the way Inkscape works. You get used to these little idiosyncrasies in time. All graphics software has idiosyncrasies, and none are absolutely perfect. They're complex pieces of software and have a learning curve. Even pro software like Illustrator can be as annoying as hell at times. I use both.
    – Billy Kerr
    Apr 8 at 13:54
  • Thanks for the answer! I also really appreciate your positive stand on this issue. However, – and I do not want to start here a discussion ;) – this is honestly a limitation. I am utterly thankful for Inkscape, mostly because it's a free application of high quality, but I would still correct this behaviour; that would be an enhancement! Apr 11 at 4:13

1 Answer 1


As far as I know, there is no modifier key for this while drawing with any of the shape tools in Inkscape, so this is kind of a non-answer. It's not possible. It has nothing to do with using the slightly older version of Inkscape you are using. It's the same in more recent versions.

While drawing with one of the shape tools, holding down the Shift key constrains drawing/scaling of the shape to the centre of the object, so this already has a function when drawing with these tools, but not the one you want unfortunately.

However, some options/workarounds do exist. Here are the ones I can think of which may be helpful.

The % shortcut key toggles snapping on/off. In the newest version of Inkscape, there's also a button in the user interface which toggles snapping on/off (top right hand corner). Obviously it's possible to hit this to disable snapping, then draw a shape, and hit it again to toggle snapping back on.

If the % shortcut is too difficult to access since it requires two key presses (shift+5), then it is possible to customise this shortcut under Edit > Preferences > Interface > Keyboard > Snap > Snapping. You could change it to a single keypress, such as K for example. Then you can use that as the toggle.

Once you have drawn a rectangle however, and use the Select Tool S to move it, you can hold down shift while you click and drag to move it without snapping. So, it works as a modifier key with this tool. So, as a workaround, you could for example draw the rectangle far enough away from the other so that they do not touch/snap, then you could just move it without snapping by holding down Shift

In fact in a somewhat unintuitive way, if you select an already drawn shape using the same shape tool which you used to draw it, then you can also use that tool to move shapes without the need to switch to the Selector tool. And then while moving, the Shift modifier works to disable snapping in the same way as it does when using the Selector Tool.

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