I am working in Inkscape with a graph that was created as a PDF, and I want to edit some of the lines.

The problem is that every time I click on an object, it creates a copy. I cannot do anything with the original object, including I cannot delete it.

This is driving me crazy.

How do I get Inkscape back so that when I select an object using a left mouse click, it just selects the object, so I can work with it as it appears on the screen.

Selecting all and copying to a new blank file does not solve the problem.

Thank you for your help. I have never had this problem before with Inkscape.

PDF Version of Graph
SVG Version of Graph (non-plain version)

I am trying to change the line style on the green dashed line, and the green markers.

  • I've never heard of this behavior before. Is it limited to just this file, or do you still see this if you create a new or open an unrelated SVG file? Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 10:36
  • Having you tried saving it as a Plain SVG? That will discard some of the Inkscape metadata, which might be causing this issue (but can also cause problems if you used Inkscape specific features like text flows) Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 10:37
  • @Scribblemacher: I have never had this problem before with other SVG files. It just seems to be with this one created from a PDF. I am not sure how to save as a 'Plain SVG', but there should be no issues with font paths etc.
    – bjem
    Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 23:53
  • You can save as "Plain SVG" on the Save As window. Change the file type from "Inkscape SVG" to "Plain SVG", then quit Inkscape and reopen the file. If that doesn't work, it would help if you could post the problematic file. Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 13:39
  • Saving as "Plain SVG" did not work. See new links in the question for PDF and non-plain SVG download links.
    – bjem
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 9:38

1 Answer 1


It's not Inkscape

Inkscape is actually not duplicating the object when you click it. If you look at the green, line for example, there's about 25 identical lines stacked on top of each other. When you click it, you are just selecting the top of a large stack.

It also looks like this is true of the whole drawing. Look at, for example the object with the ID g4160 and g4324. They are two existing objects but are the same.

This graph looks system-generated, so I would say the issue that is causing all these duplicates is with that code. It's not being caused by Inkscape.


Inkscape does not have a build in feature for getting rid of duplicate objects like this, nor does it offer an easy way to select them, short of clicking and deleting them one-by-one.

There's good news though. This bug report has an extension (see posts #1 and #2) for removing duplicate lines. There was also a thread about this on the Inkscape forums.

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