I made a vector graphic and saved it as pdf with Inkscape. The problem is that when I open the pdf, if I resize it the graphic get scaled, but the strokes keep their size. So if I make the graphic very small, the borders get too much visibile (see pictures). How can I save the pdf so that the stroke size is dynamic like the rest of the graphic? I'm quite worried about the effect on print (I'm sending it to an external typography)


Original size Big

Middle size Middle

Small size


  • How/where are you resizing the PDF?
    – DA01
    Apr 21 '15 at 16:22
  • simply changing the magnification into my pdf reader (preview for mac)
    – Bakaburg
    Apr 21 '15 at 16:47
  • 1
    Thats likely an issue with the PDF viewer rather than the source file. Does it look OK printed?
    – DA01
    Apr 21 '15 at 16:51
  • I don't know, I don't have a printer with me. I don't think is the pdf viewer, it renders every other file perfectly. I've seen this problem just with Inkscape generated files. So i presume it's something related to how inkscape describe path stroke thickness
    – Bakaburg
    Apr 21 '15 at 17:26
  • Every other file is not a glood indication of the fact that it can not be the pdf viewers fault. Ive encountered problems, that differ from the standards, with all pdf readers i have used. Including adobe reader. ( it is like this: A small kid thinks everybody speaks english (or whatever you speak locally) A good assumption untill... it is no longer true. Also see black swans)
    – joojaa
    Apr 23 '15 at 15:01

As strokes are rendered at different thicknesses by different editing and viewing software it's always a good idea to remove them from artwork to ensure 100% faithful reproduction.

Set your design to the intended size and define a stroke width that you're happy with. Ensure that your design is one large composite path and duplicate it. In the duplicated version use Path -> Stroke to Path before moving it behind your original. In the original remove the stroke.

You should now have a visually identical design using no strokes. Enlarging and reducing the design will always respect the relationship you set between the content and the outline.

  • So the strokes are not kept vectorial? I didn't know!
    – Bakaburg
    Apr 30 '15 at 12:50
  • The file is still 100% vector info but the shapes have no "border" width. Instead you're faking the appearance of a border with another shape to avoid the issue of borders being rendered differently. "Borders" here == stroke width.
    – user19660
    Apr 30 '15 at 12:54
  • No i meant originally, before your trick. You said "As strokes are rendered". so you mean they're not vectorial?
    – Bakaburg
    Apr 30 '15 at 13:10
  • No, I mean they are vector elements that get rendered variably across different editors and viewers - the crux of your issue.
    – user19660
    Apr 30 '15 at 13:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.