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I'm including a png sprite-sheet in an inkscape file as a linked image. However, I don't want the entire sheet to show, only one of the sprites. I would be even more happy if I could show the animation, but that seems (reasonably) outside the scope of the software. However, there should be some way to include a section of a linked image, right?

How can I do this?

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The way to do that in Inkscape is to set a "Clip" to the embedded bitmap.

After embedding a bitmap image we can create another object to define the clip path:

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To clip the rectangle out of the bitmap we select both object to then apply Object > Clip > Set:

enter image description here

Any object can be used for clipping. To clip from several objects we need to group them first.

enter image description here

The clip can be released with Object > Clip > Release to reveal the bitmap and the clipping object again.

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You should use a Clipping Mask by creating a path that's the same shape and position of the sprite you want, selecting both it and the sprite, and using Object > Clip > Set

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