I know that Inkscape does not have the ability to export selected objects as svg, but is there a workaround that people have found that works?

  • 1
    Just shooting from the hip but wouldn't Copy, new Document, Paste, Save work?
    – Scott
    May 19, 2013 at 3:59
  • 1
    I was almost sure one could do that with the command-line option. There is indeed an export-plain-svg option, but it does not respect the export-id :'(
    – Drasill
    May 20, 2013 at 20:59
  • 3
    I don't have enough rep here to answer, but I wrote a script to batch export Inkscape layers into separate SVG - you could put each of your objects on a different layer. The script is here: github.com/splitbrain/material-icons Jul 22, 2015 at 18:46
  • Alas, the link 404s :-( Feb 27, 2017 at 10:28

2 Answers 2


A straight-forward method is the following:

  1. Select the object(s) to export.
  2. "Resize page to drawing or selection" (File → Document Properties) or Ctrl+Shift+R.
  3. "Invert selection" (Edit → Invert selection) or !, and Del all other objects.
  4. "Save As" with Ctrl+Shift+S.
  5. Select Optimized SVG as the format if you want to use it on the web.

Not as quick as I would like but quicker than creating a new document for each graphic that you want to export.

  • This does not work. Inkscape 0.92.4 just shows popup "File %filename% could not be saved" even when trying to save a black document. May 5, 2019 at 13:45
  • @user7860670 Which step didn't work for you? It works for me. But anyway, it's quite inconvenient that after these years, there's still no built-in Export Selection option in INkscape.
    – bytrangle
    Aug 31, 2021 at 2:04

I keep another instance of Inkscape running on the side and just copy-paste the object I want to save into the scratch document, then save.

Another option if you just want the path data is to select the object, Shift+Ctrl+X to open the XML editor, grab the pieces you want (usually the d attribute), then paste to wherever.

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