# How to remove a path from other paths

I have a .svg file with many different paths. I know I can select all black parts by using Ctrl + F and searching in the style attribute.

I combined all black paths to one. But I want to remove all black parts from the image. Making them transparent doesn't work, because e.g. the a of waten is filled with red behind the black dot.

Is there a way to achieve this without selecting each single path and use the Path > Difference (Ctrl + -) function?

Screenhot:

• @BartArondson Ctrl on English keyboards, thanks ;-) – kelunik Apr 24 '14 at 14:38

Sadly, in inkscape, there is no easy way to apply a single boolean operation over a group of objects. There is an open feature request for this in the inkscape bug tracker (https://bugs.launchpad.net/inkscape/+bug/171379)

However, you may be able to fudge this using clipping to get the result that you want.

In the following drawing, the 4 blue circles are in a group, The 4 black circles are one path. (i tried to make an example similar, concept wise, to yours.) Note also that the background of my document is grey.

Next, draw a path that covers the whole drawing (mine is magenta), and send it below (in the z-order) the black circles path:

Next, select the magenta path, and the black circles path, and do a Path > Difference on those:

Now select the magenta path, and the group with the blue circles in it, and do a Object > Clip > Set

Note, however, that clipping is non-destructive. It does not actually remove anything from the document like a Boolean Operation like Difference. I have a more in-depth writeup about clipping in this article -- http://inkscapetutorials.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/inkscape-faq-how-do-i-crop-in-inkscape/#clipping

• Hope it helped! – ryanlerch Apr 25 '14 at 13:37
• Just wanted to say that you can perform multiple path operations at once in Inkscape with this extension, though it may be slow for larger files :) Useful for Illustrator converts github.com/Moini/inkscape-extensions-multi-bool – johnp May 23 '16 at 20:43

If code doesn't intimidate you too much, you could also open your svg in a text editor like sublime and use the find tool to find any path tags with a black color attribute.