I have a shape derived from the letter i:

the shape

Each of the blue “waves” and the two orange crosslinks are a path, the dot is a circle.

I want to make the shape derived from a script i instead, following roughly a curve like this one below the dot:

a curve

I tried using Pattern along path, but it ended up doing strange distortions and not what I imagined:

enter image description here

It is OK if it can’t be done at once, but I need to apply the same effect to all of the four paths in my shape, or maybe only to the two blue paths – I can somehow arrange the orange paths afterwards. But the blue paths are complicated, with many points, and I don’t think I will get a good effect if I try to bend them by hand.

Any ideas how to do it, if it’s possible at all?

If you want to play with the SVG original, I uploaded the source on pastebin.

This is not the same question as this one. I assume that it is because of my complex shape instead of a simple rectangle – the solutions there don’t work for me.

Update Wrzlprmft's method produced this when used with a two-loop segment traced with Bezier curves:

enter image description here

Beside the strange squish, I'm still looking for a way to use it with an existing combination of curves, instead of having to redraw them using other methods.

  • Can you elaborate why Pattern along path produced dissatisfying results, preferrably by showing them? My results with this tool seemed to me to be what you want.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 15:57
  • @Wrzlprmft I added a picture. No idea how it happened, but this is what I got when I used it. And I had the whole thing selected, not just the orange part.
    – Rumi P.
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 16:04
  • Take a look at these instructions. The problem is likely that you are trying to use the tool for more than one path at a time. You'll need to do each path separately. Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 14:40

2 Answers 2


I just fully describe what I did to achieve something similar. You need to see which steps you can skip or need to adapt.

  1. Create a rectangle.

    enter image description here

  2. Use Extensions → Render → Function Plotter with these settings.

    enter image description here enter image description here

  3. Duplicte the result and shift it horizontally as desired.

  4. Select both.

  5. Path → Combine (you can also add your orange lines here).

  6. Create your ι.

    enter image description here

  7. Make sure your helix is on top (press Pos1 after having selected it).

  8. Select your ι and your helix.

  9. Use Pattern along path with Single or Single, stretched and Snake.

  10. Remove the ι.

    enter image description here

Afterwards you may want to uncombine everything and give the single objects the desired style (probably done quickest with Paste Style).

  • Thank you. I tried this method. I didn't find a way to cut out two loops from the plotted line, so I retraced it with two bezier curves. They worked almost the way I wanted them to, but created an ugly sharp "miniloop", see the update in the question :(
    – Rumi P.
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 12:24

I tried applying Pattern along path to the object but with a small modification as follows:

  1. Initially I ungrouped the object.

  2. All strokes in the object were converted to path using Path-Stroke to path(Ctrl+Alt+C) command & were grouped.

  3. Then I drew a curve(skeleton) which the pattern should follow.Lower the z-order of the curve (always the curve should be in the bottom of the Z- order with respect to the object/pattern)
  4. Now I applied the pattern along path using Extension-generate from path- Pattern along path command.
  5. These are the settings I applied to reproduce the required image

Pattern along path

Ensure that the option pattern is vertical is selected.

This is the image which was produced


A small distortion is still existing which can be manually adjusted.

  • I'm starting to suspect that my Inkscape version (0.48) behaves strangely. I couldn't reproduce your method. Using "Stroke to path" does nothing, it only says "no stroked paths in this selection". And the pattern along path creates something strange, but not your result - which is what I wanted to have. I tried applying the effect in both directions (spiral to curve or curve to spiral) and didn't get it :( How are you applying the effect, is it the same way as in the tutorial Scribblemacher linked?
    – Rumi P.
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 9:28
  • Edited my answer. If there is any difficulty let me know.
    – chanduc
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 15:15

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.