I have two layers:

  • layer 2 – text “hello”
  • layer 1 – black square

I would like to select an outline of the text, change my highlighted layer to layer 1, then cut/delete that shape from the black layer.

I will then be able to delete/make-invisible the text layer and what remains will be a black box with a shape of the text “hello” cut out of it.

In Photoshop [Mac] (which I no longer have access to), this was simple:

  1. Cmd-click the text layer
  2. Select the black box layer
  3. Cut pixels

What is the equivalent in Inkscape?

1 Answer 1


As Inkscape does not have shaped selections as these mostly make sense in pixel graphics. Instead you manipulate the shape of an object through another shape:

  1. Duplicate the text.
  2. Add the square to the selection (click it holding ).
  3. Path → Difference.
  • Thanks but this doesn't work for me. When I make the text layer invisible, the box does not have the shape of the text cut out of it.
    – Pwdr
    Dec 18, 2016 at 19:02
  • It works fine for me. Did you by any chance lock a layer? Also, all of this does not need layers to work, so maybe try without them. Finally, try applying Stroke to Path to everything before doing anything. This should not be needed, but just to be on the safe side.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Dec 18, 2016 at 20:12

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