I have this very simple SVG icon below:

SVG icon

Now what i do from here is i click on path -> object to path , Now i click on Break apart and what i get is the following:

enter image description here

Why am i getting this entire black layer in inkscape ? I am not quite understanding this ? can somebody please explain what is happening here ?

Thank you.

  • 3
    Without seeing the svg source I can only made some considerations. The biggest circle seems to be composed by two paths: the external one and the inner one; the black fill is applied between these paths. If you break apart the object, each single path is filled in black, like in your example, and you cannot see the other paths. You should see it in outline mode. Now... what is your aim? For example, you can re-obtain your circle by selecting his external and internal path and combining them. May 8, 2017 at 21:01
  • You can colorize the different objects in different colors, and then see, which one to substract from which, to get your desired result. Colorozing the right ones with bg color (here white) might be suffficient either. Or go the steps as in your other question. May 9, 2017 at 10:29
  • If your image was a result of Trace Bitmap, then after Path > Break Apart you can choose Path > Exclusion. Most of the time this removes the unwanted fills.
    – tom
    Oct 27, 2021 at 20:02

1 Answer 1


Probably, you created the image by vectorizing a bitmap. Internally, Inkscape creates filled shapes from the outer to the inner, and by breaking them apart, they all get the same color.

enter image description here

If you mark all as in your second step, you can ungroup them. Then you can move filled shapes from top to bottom to see, how they are arranged. In my case, the inner most circlesection is on top, then the second one, then the arrow, then the inner circle and last the outer circle.

I made a 3d-sheme of the order in 50% transparency, which is another way to deal with them, to gain your wanted result.

Depending on your needs, as already written in the comments, you can colorize the second circle in white or subtract it from the outer circle, or combine them.


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