NOTE: I'm asking in Inkscape. The problem could have been solved in Adobe Illustrator, but it doesn't relate to a solution in Inkscape.

I want to add two arms over the same object and overlap them,

enter image description here

but I have the problem that when I want to add the border of the object I get that they cross

I want to put it like if one of the arms is over the other so the border of the one that is "down" can't be seen. How can I change this?

enter image description here

My group of layer is this:

enter image description here

  • Is the fill color transparent?
    – Welz
    Commented May 7, 2017 at 21:56
  • use Shape Builder tool (shoft +M)
    – Ilan
    Commented May 7, 2017 at 22:01
  • 1
    Show us your layers panel. It will help you and us to solve this trivial compound shape issue
    – Ilan
    Commented May 7, 2017 at 22:04
  • 3
    Shapebuilder is in Illustrator. OP is using inkscape.
    – z3z
    Commented May 7, 2017 at 22:35
  • 1
    I supposed that if the only tag that is in the question is "Inkscape" that would be enough.
    – iam_agf
    Commented May 7, 2017 at 22:44

2 Answers 2


This answer is for Inkscape. Select the shape, apply a stroke. The path overlaps itself.

Path overlaps itself

then hit Path > Union, and the overlap is gone.

After Union

The Union function also works when you have separate closed paths which overlap. It's a great way to make new shapes by joining closed paths together.

Uniting Several Closed Paths

  • Thanks Billy, but with this I can't say in the final picture which circle is over the other.
    – iam_agf
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 14:42
  • Neither is over the other, either after union, or beforehand. The path merely intersects with itself. It simply becomes one compound path after union, without the overlap.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 14:58
  • If you want to draw additional strokes, you could give the illusion that one arm is under the other.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 15:05
  • See example here: imgur.com/a/xO0CK
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 15:14
  • The example can't be seen.
    – iam_agf
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 19:11

The easiest way is to hide the unwanted parts by placing over them something that has the same color as the fill. That something can be a shape with same stroke and fill color or it can be 2 different strokes. They all are easy to draw, but the final tuning must be done without snapping because there's no snap to the edge of the stroke.

If you want to have perfect snapping to the inserted part, then

  • duplicate your shape
  • remove the stroke from one and send it to bottom
  • remove the fill from the top shape and convert the stroke to a path
  • duplicate the new path, subtract the top path rom the bottom shape

Now you have the stroke as a path that do not overlap with the fill. It's easy to draw the cover by the Pen.

I have the following cartoon:

  1. the problematic shape
  2. the stroke is converted to a path, its copy is subtracted from the original shape, the parts are temporarily shifted to show the result
  3. a cover for the unwanted strokes is drawn by using the pen, the color is different for only to show it. NOTE: The pen snaps perfectly.

enter image description here

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