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Illustrator has the polar grid tool (as mentioned in this question) but how do I properly split a circle into equal sections in Inkscape?

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  • Can you tell us more about your issues? i.e. have you tried something similar this or this? – Paolo Gibellini Apr 14 '16 at 14:03
  • No specific issue, I just can't believe that it's as hard as creating a bunch of lines and managing your own angles and alignment - I kinda thought I was missing something and there was a better, easier way to do it. – Mladen Mihajlovic Apr 14 '16 at 18:44
  • Sorry, it was a typo... I intended efforts instead of issues. I agree, Inkscape misses some useful functions, but you can always request for new features. Regarding your specific question, I'm sorry at the moment I have no quick answer. – Paolo Gibellini Apr 14 '16 at 21:07
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    Thanks Paolo - those links help for sure, and who knows, maybe someone else answers with something we both learn from... – Mladen Mihajlovic Apr 15 '16 at 18:48
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The naive way is to use the circle tool and its sector (pie chart) mode to draw sectors with the same angle. Press ctrl while drawing the sectors to enable snapping every 15° (snapping angle can be changed in Edit > Preferences > Behaviour > Steps > Rotation snaps every ... degrees).

The naive method is viable for a few cases (coarse subdivision, angles are multiples of 15°, ...).

With some effort, you can emulate the linked polar grid tool using Inkscape's tiled clones. For the following steps enable the snapping options »center of bounding boxes«, »cusp nodes«, and »rotation center« as in the following picture.
used snapping options
🞱 Snapping is essential here. This whole approach only works if the lines we are about to generate touch each other at the center. This is easy with snapping but nearly impossible freehand.

Divide circles/disks into N pie chart pieces / sectors**

Divide circles/disks into N pie chart pieces / sectors

  1. Draw a circle.
  2. Draw a line from the circle's center 🞱 outwards so that the line is longer than the radius of the circle.
  3. Move the rotation center of the line to the center of the circle.
    To do so, click the line twice but do not double click; just make a pause between the clicks. A + should appear in the middle of the line. Drag the + to the center 🞱 of the circle.
  4. Select the line and click Edit > Clone > Create Tiled Clones... *
  5. In the tab Symmetry, choose »P1: simple translation« and click Reset.
  6. In the tab Shift, check Exclude tile Per row.
  7. In the tab Rotation, enter 360/N into the field Angle Per row (replace N with the desired number of sectors and yes, Inkscape can calculate 360/N, you don't have to use a calculator)
  8. At the bottom of the dialog, choose Rows, columns and enter N and 1 into the related fields.
  9. Click Create.
  10. Select the resulting clones and unlink them (shift+alt+d or Edit > Clone > Unlink Clone).
  11. Combine the unlinked clones (ctrl+k or Path > Combine).
  12. Divide the circle using the combined object (select both objects, ctrl+/ or Path > Division).

Divide circles/disks into N rings/annuli

Divide circles/disks into N rings/annuli

  1. Draw a circle.
  2. Duplicate the circle (ctrl+d) and click Edit > Clone > Create Tiled Clones... *
  3. In the tab Symmetry, choose »P1: simple translation« and click Reset.
  4. In the tab Shift, check Exclude tile Per row.
  5. In the tab Scale, enter -100/N into the fields Scale X and Scale Y Per row (replace N with the desired number of sectors and yes, Inkscape can calculate 100/N, you don't have to use a calculator)
  6. At the bottom of the dialog, choose Rows, columns and enter N and 1 into the related fields.
  7. Click Create.
  8. Select the resulting clones and unlink them (shift+alt+d or Edit > Clone > Unlink Clone).
  9. Combine the unlinked clones (ctrl+k or Path > Combine).
  10. Divide the circle using the combined object (select both objects, ctrl+/ or Path > Division).

You can also combine both approaches to create a "radar". Simply combine the unlinked clones ("star" and "bulls eye") and use the result to divide your circle.

Divide disks into a "radar"

* In Inkscape 0.91 Create Tiled Clones is a bit buggy. Often the clones will be shifted all over the canvas (probably due to transformation matrices in the xml file). The issue was fixed in Inkscape 0.92.
Workaround:

  1. Create and place the object which should be cloned.
  2. Copy the object.
  3. Create a new layer.
  4. Change to the new layer.
  5. Paste the object to the same place (ctrl+alt+v) and use the tiled clones.

Update: There is also an addon to draw polar coordinate systems. It may be easier to use such an coordinate system to divide the circle instead of using tiled clones, but I have not tested the addon so far.

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  • doesn't seem to work for me... the division part just does not divie it, I wanted to cut a slice of it, so I drew only 2 lines – Flash Thunder Jan 18 at 12:22
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    @FlashThunder For a single slice I'd stick to the circle tool's slice option. But if you want to use this method instead there are few crucial points. Make sure that the lines touch at the very same point. This is impossible to do with the mouse alone. Use snapping. Then both lines have to be combined (ctrl+k), not grouped (ctrl+g). For a single slice you might as well draw a single V-shaped path instead. – Socowi Jan 18 at 19:39
  • do you know why the lines should touch at the same point? What is the difference between linking and grouping? – Ooker Jan 28 at 10:02
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    @Ooker It's like slicing a cake. If you do two cuts that don't teach each other you still end up with one cake. To get two pieces, the cuts have to touch each other. ¶ Regarding grouping vs. combining: The division operation can only handle two shapes at a time (1. dividend = cake 2. divisor = knife). Combining merges multiple shapes into one. Grouping keeps the individual shapes but allows you to select them all with one click. – Socowi Jan 28 at 10:31

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