I have some straight paths with only two nodes (start and end node). They are short and I want to prolong them in the same direction that the line is.

The paths are oblique-angled and not horizontal or vertical oriented. If so, I know that I could have used the Ctrl key to prolong in horizontal or vertical direction.

Question: Is it possible to prolong the paths in the paths direction?

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can do this easily in two ways

Moving nodes along handle lines

  1. Ensure that the nodes on the line do not have bezier style handles.

  2. Edit the line, and select the node at the end you want to extend.

  3. Press Ctrl+Alt and drag the node.

The node will move exactly along the line, changing the length.

This works because the handles of the nodes effectively point exactly towards the other end of the line, so dragging a node in the direction of its handle means it moves the node nearer or further away from the other end, exactly along the line itself.

Scaling the line

This works only if you have selected Geometric bounding box as Bounding box to use in the Inkscape preferences. The Inkscape default Visual bounding box will change the direction of your line!

  1. turn off the scale stroke width option at the top (as shown in the snippet below, just to the right of the 'Affect:' label)

  2. select the line

  3. Press the Ctrl key and drag the selection box corner at the end you want to extend (eg where the green arrow is shown), so as to scale the line.

The line changes thichness as you drag, but snaps back when you release the mouse.

Because you do a Ctrl+Scale, you get a uniform scale without distortion.

Because the line width is not scaled, the result is a line that is longer than it was, but has the same line width - i.e. the exact same thing as extending the line.

The snapshot below shows an original line and the effect of scaling the line in either direction.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Roger Attrill, please change your answer: Your scaling solution only works if you’ve selected the Geometric bounding box in the Tools section of the Inkscape Preferences dialog. If you have selected the Visual bounding box (which is Inkscape’s default), then your line will change its direction (this is very obvious if you scale very wide lines: width = 100 px or so). That means that this is not a solution for the Add TRIM and EXTEND functionality RFC from 2006.
    – erik
    Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 22:48
  • Thank you. The scaling instruction works even with my old Inkscape 0.48.4 r9939 (Dec 18 2012). The moving nodes instruction only works with a current developement version Inkscape 0.48+devel r12668 (Oct 7 2013) if you want the node to snap to a path (i.e. trim/cut/shorten it or extend/prolong it to a path intersection).
    – erik
    Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 22:51
  • 1
    This answer saved my life!
    – cartoonist
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 0:27
  • 1
    When dragging the node, what are the keys to use for mac/osx? ctrl-alt seems to drag the node along the bounding box, or it jumps around everywhere except the line itself.
    – SMBiggs
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 19:09
  • For those who were confused like I was, method 1 works only when the Select and Transform tool is used on the line, NOT the node editor (Edit Paths by Node). This is the easiest way.
    – SMBiggs
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 4:11

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.