We used Adobe Flash for SCADA visualization in the past, but we want to move towards SVG for new web-based SCADA projects.

SCADA often uses the same, interactive symbols (like pumps, valves, ...) within the same document and with Flash I used to create a "Movie Clip" for such symbols/objects. Whenever I needed to modify a symbol I could simply modify it's Movie Clip and all instances of it automatically updated themselves in the same way. This was very handy.

Is something similar possible with Inkscape (or any comparable SVG drawing program)? I'm talking about drawing a symbol and create several clones (not simple, independent copies).

  • SVG Animations with Inkscape are possible but a bit tricky, perhaps is better use tools like Synfig. Future Inkscape version will have symbol dialog. And there is a note related to Inkscape and SCADA here (not tested). Jan 17, 2014 at 16:22
  • you could do this programmatically within the browser
    – DA01
    Jan 17, 2014 at 16:28

1 Answer 1


You can do something similar within in a single document, by using the clone tool.

You could for example draw all the originals shapes, put them in an area of the drawing (maybe on a separate layer, that you can show/hide),and then clone each object to use elsewhere (Edit > Clone > Create clone). When you edit the original element, all clones will be updated.

It's a workaround of not having a real "library" or "palet" of symbols like in Illustrator.

I'm not sure if it's possible to make clones work accross different documents though.

  • Perfect! Exactly what I needed. :)
    – Udo G
    Jan 18, 2014 at 11:13

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