The title is pretty much self-explanatory.

How do you select and or delete multiple layers at once in Inkscape?

I've tried holding CTRL and SHIFT while selecting layers, but to no avail. For some reason my Google Search is only yielding results for Gimp, Illustrator, Photoshop--basically everything but Inkscape. I've tried looking on YT--same story. :/

1 Answer 1


You're right, this can't be done with the GUI however if your desire is high enough you can easily (and quickly) open up the SVG file in a text editor and delete the layer nodes manually.

I'd save the file as plain SVG rather than the Inkscape flavour and you'll see that layers are actually group elements <g> with the layer name as an id. You'll be deleting from the start of the <g> tag up to and including the closing </g>. In doing so you will delete any content on that layer. Empty layers won't have the closing </g>.

You can ruin your file doing this so I'd recommend some source control of your choosing before you start.

  • I'll def consider that for next time. The reason I didn't bother with that is because each layer is a single stroke/path, and if I save as Plain SVG the path IDs are just random 4 digit numbers, so I'd have no clue what was what :/ For some reason the only way I get info when I open it up in a text editor is if I save as Inkscape SVG, and then the groups/layers have IDs which were the layer names
    – oldboy
    Feb 8, 2017 at 6:09
  • any idea how to set a default stroke style?
    – oldboy
    Feb 8, 2017 at 6:10
  • @user2230470 if inkscapeforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=9258 doesn't answer your (unrelated) question I'd start a new question. HTH
    – user19660
    Feb 15, 2017 at 12:53

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