Basically I used a clipping mask to cut out some letters in my gradient, then followed the steps in this thread but can't get the same result

Here is my lettering after clipping with a path on a raster image: enter image description here

Then I apply all the steps from the thread I mentioned above. But instead of getting the desired result of making the holes in the letters transparent, my full gradient PNG is restored and the holes become transparent AND I lose my lettering outline, so basically, I just have holes in my gradient PNG and not letter shapes... Like this result: enter image description here

Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong?

  • Do I understand correctly that you obtain your gradient via a PNG and not via the gradient feature inherent to SVGs?
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 18:48
  • While Inkscape can only use difference and other boolean operations on one path at a time, there is a very useful extension for multiple path operations inkscapeforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=20762 Other relevant workflows are also discussed there
    – johnp
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 20:40
  • Here is a better link github.com/Moini/inkscape-extensions-multi-bool
    – johnp
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 20:42
  • 2
    Thanks @johnp that explains why I was unable to get this to work in inkscape. Since asking this question I've started using Illustrator and it's much easier to get the desired results.
    – Kylie
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 11:45
  • What does your clipping object look like? It should work if you put the text object above the image, the just do your object, clip, set.
    – ryanlerch
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 21:25

2 Answers 2


If you are drawing these letters by hand, then try the following technique:

  1. The inside of the letter (the counter) needs to be cut out, creating a single combined path.

  2. To do that, select both outer path and inner counter and click Path > Difference to make each letter with a counter cut out. Each letter will now be a single combined path.

  3. Once finished, select all the letters, and click Path > Combine to make all the letter forms into a single combined path.

  4. Move the text over a raster image.

  5. Select both raster image and text, and click Object > Clip > Set.

Illustrated steps to create clipping path from hand drawn letters

If you are attempting to do this instead with something you typed using the Text tool, all you need to do is place the text box over the raster image. Select both text and image, and click Object > Clip > Set. There is no need to turn the text into outlines in Inkscape 0.92. Using text as a clipping path converts the text to outlines anyway.

  • Do I understand correctly from this that in Inkscape, unlike in Illustrator, a path does not have to either have a start and an end or be a single closed path?
    – Wildcard
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 3:57
  • No. A path needs a start or an end, and you can have single or closed paths - in this regard inkscape is little different than illustrator.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 7:17
  • First make the letters with the necessary cutouts (use Path - difference).
  • Put them on top of the image .
  • Clipping.

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