When I use this tool both objects move equally to fulfill the specified pixels, is there a way that only one object moves? I am trying to use this in combination with the various distribute buttons under 'Align and Distribute' but the moving/placement of objects does not seem to be precise.

Just to clarify referring to the menu below

Align and Distribute Menu

3 Answers 3


As @Moinilein mentioned, Guides will be your friend in resolving this matter. A primer on guides can be found here:

Lets say you want to distribute objects A,B and C vertically with 10 pixels between them while 'locking' and not moving the bottom-most object C.

  1. Duplicate Object C (Ctrl+D).
  2. Convert duplicate to Guides (Shift+G or Object > Objects to Guides).
  3. Keep only the guides you need (in this case the bottom guide).
  4. Move objects A & B down so that B overlaps with object C and A overlaps with object B (pictured below).
  5. Select all and use the remove overlaps tool.
  6. While all are still selected, move up until bottom of object C snaps to guide.
  7. Remove guide if appropriate.

enter image description here


As far as I know, this is not possible currently.

Two alternative workflows: You can, for example, work with a 'spacer object' whose width corresponds to the distance you want to set, and first align that to the object that you do not want to be moved, then align the second object to the spacer.

Or you can snap a guideline or other object to the position of the object that must not be moved (object 1), then apply the remove overlaps function, and after this, move all objects back together, so object 1 will be back in place.

  • The first workflow can get repetitive as I'm wanting to unambiguously space/distribute various objects with a specific spacing (i.e. 5 pixels). The various distribute buttons exist but you cannot specify a specific number and what they seem to do is average out the spacings between 3 or more objects without moving the outside ones.
    – botwhytho
    Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 4:32
  • The second workflow is a good starting point. I am new to Inkscape and knew about guidelines but had not used them before. I will provide a more in depth step by step answer below describing your second workflow as others might find this useful. Not accepting your answer just yet as I'm hoping maybe there is an easier workflow than this. Thanks a lot.
    – botwhytho
    Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 4:36

In more recent versions of Inkscape (1.0, for example), select the object, choose Object Properties, and click the Lock (and/or Hide) checkbox, followed by clicking the Set button (only this dialog has a Set button, and there is a bug report for this, since it is easy to ignore). To reveal locked objects again, choose Menu > Object > Unlock All (or Unhide All). Or right click a parent object and choose Unlock Objects Below. The Web is full of old advice about this. Note that Object locking is independent of Layer locking.

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