I've exported a 2D drawing from Sketchup which consist of not filled shapes made with lines. I want to keep the exact dimensions and manipulate it in Inkscape, so I imported it using Vector Magic. The problem is that it "translates" the lines as shapes themselves; i.e., it fills their thickness as if they were actual shapes:


Is there anything I can do in Inkscape (please don't mention other software) to have those lines as just mere lines/strokes without any fill or thickness?


2 Answers 2


What you want is 'Centerline Trace'. Inkscape provides a tutorial (though it's for Windows) on their site here:


There's also a repo on Github here:


Centreline trace pretty much does what the name says. It'll create a line from tracing along the middle of a filled object. It should do exactly what you need.

  • This looks perfect. I'm following the instructions, and the link they provided to the 64bits autotrace.exe didn't work. I've searched for one on my own and reached this: github.com/scottvr/autotrace-win64-binaries/blob/master/bin/… - I am not totally sure of what I'm doing, could you please confirm me I'm installing what I'm supposed to install?
    – Martin
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 15:17
  • Don't worry I took the risk and installed it. Seems to work. Will report back ...
    – Martin
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 15:31
  • Ooohhh, this is even better than what I was asking for... ! I don't need vector magic at all as it does all the job fine! Thanks a lot z3z.
    – Martin
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 15:36
  • For those not too computer-friendly: line 1.3 of instructions say to change to cd "\Program Files\Inkscape". Don't use the ""; instead (assuming C is the letter of your hard drive) write C:\ProgramFiles\Inkscape
    – Martin
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 15:39
  • You're welcome! Glad you've got it working. :)
    – z3z
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 18:45

The inkscape-centerline-trace plugin depends on autotrace, which is known to have major security vulnerabilities. While windows binaries are still available, other systems have removed autotrace entirely and recommend against compiling it.

Sadly, for now the best option for centerline vectorization seems to require using services outside of inkscape (e.g. the free but proprietary http://online.rapidresizer.com/tracer.php)

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