multiple arrows along a path (with different directions)I need to indicate the path of light rays along different paths. So along each path, arrows are required (not as arrowheads, but at exact places I want it). How can this be achieved?

[Edit: I tried achieving it by making a small arrowhead using a short line, and overlapping this simple arrow over the required straight line. Arrowheads can be created wherever nodes exist, however, the direction of each arrow cannot be changed]

  • 3
    Can you tell us something more about your efforts? Have you tried to use the Pattern Along Path effect? Jan 8, 2017 at 16:06
  • 1
    Also, please include a sketch of what you are expecting.
    – Juancho
    Jan 9, 2017 at 14:27

2 Answers 2


You need to use mid-markers in your path. At each point where you want an arrow, you need to ensure that there is a point in your path. This gives you full control over where the arrow heads appear. If you want a new one, but add a new node to the path.

enter image description here

The tricky part here is adding the nodes. There are a few options here:

  1. Add all the nodes you need when creating the path.
    Using snapping and the grid Shift + 3 can help make this much easier. Sometimes it's easier to just delete and re-draw a path than add more nodes to an existing path.
  2. Add nodes between specific segments in the path.
  3. Add extra nodes, then delete.
    For example, if you want a new node at exactly 3/4 distance between two notes, add a new between them (at the mid-point) then select the second newly created select and add another node, then delete the two extras.
  4. Move nodes around. Hold down Ctrl (log to perpendicular) or Ctrl + Alt (lock to current angle) may make this easier.

As of 0.92, Inkscape does not support slide a node along a path. See bug #170826

  • When marking a line with multiple nodes and adding mid arrows, I get arrow heads in both directions. Instead of a triangle, it looks like a star - two overlapping triangles. Any idea? Jan 15, 2017 at 22:23
  • Can you updated your question with maybe a screenshot of it not working? Did you draw the SVG or was it generated by another program. It sounds like maybe there are duplicate paths stacked on top of each other. Jan 16, 2017 at 3:41
  • I tried it again and mentioned, that my bezier tool had a setting of style:triangle. Switching it to none, I now can produce the mid-arrows. Great idea! Jan 17, 2017 at 10:55
  • I tried this method, but I cannot create a path with arrows in opposite directions as shown in the question.
    – ntk47
    May 7, 2017 at 17:30

I'm not certain that this is what you're looking for, but have you tried creating your own Pattern Brush?

I did this in about 2 mins:

  • Draw out a perfect square at any size (bigger if you want a more detailed object to create a pattern with) with no Fill and a very small Stroke, just big enough for you to be able to see the bounds

  • Think about centering your pattern within that square, and which direction you want the pattern to be going as you apply it to a stroke

  • After you're done with your squared-up object, select the square and get rid of the stroke and any fill if you had any on for some reason

  • Select all of your object and group them, click on the 'New brush' button at the bottom-right of the Brushes panel and select the "Pattern" brush option

  • Click on the third pattern button and select the "Auto-Centered" pattern that should have been generated using your icon - this will hopefully complete your pattern if all is going well

enter image description here

  • Click on 'OK' to create your new Pattern Brush and your new brush should now be in your 'Brushes' library

  • Select the path you want the pattern to follow, then select your pattern in the 'Brush' Llibrary to apply it to the Stroke

enter image description here

Hopefully this helped? lol

  • Mind you: There are standard arrows in the brush library, but I was just trying to illustrate the process.. Sorry if this was redundant =\ Jan 14, 2017 at 22:22
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    This looked promising, short and simple. When I tried to reproduce it, I didn't find a brushes dialog. Mh. Looking a second time on the screenshot, now more to menu and taskbar, I realized, you aren't using inkscape, but Ai - is that adobe illustrator? However, my upvote is already locked. Argl! This question is tagged Inkscape. Jan 14, 2017 at 22:52
  • @userunknown thing is the reason there is no good answer to the question is because its incredibly vague as to what one wants to accomplish. Its not even well written in the sense that it relies on tags to clarify things that should be in the body of the question. Adding a bounty under these circumstances is not a good idea.
    – joojaa
    Jan 15, 2017 at 8:15
  • I thought the question is just about what your answer would fit to, if it was about inkscape. Jan 15, 2017 at 9:33
  • This answer is interesting, but this technique doesn't (as far as I know) work in Inkscape. Inkscape's stroke patterns aren't smart enough to curve and change directions along strokes. Jan 15, 2017 at 16:38

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