My goal is to create a template where I have one original image, multiple clones throughout the layers, and somehow replace the original image so I get a new document with resulting clones in the same positions.

For example, I make a document with a picture of an apple, and multiple clones in several layers and positions. I would like to replace the original apple with an orange and the new file looks the same but with oranges in place of apples.


1 Answer 1


Yes it is possible.

  1. Group the graphic, and make the group a clone. Clone it several times if you want, moving the clones into position as desired. This is your template. Save it.

  2. Now, select and copy a graphic you want to use to replace the apple.

Screenshot creating clones

  1. Double click the original group to enter it. Paste the new graphic

Screenshot pasting new graphic

  1. Delete the old graphic, and reposition the new one. Note I used guides to mark the centre of the graphic.

Screenshot delete old graphic and replace with new

  • Thanks for the reply. I couldn't reproduce what you're describing unfortunately, when I click the group and paste the new image it just enters the group but as a single entity with no clones. When I double click it ungroups everything. I found a way to achieve what I wanted by sizing and positioning the new image over the original then going to the xml editor, deleting the original image node, and renaming the new image node with the original's id. I hope this makes sense. Thanks for all of your help and inspiration.
    – pglove
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 15:17
  • You need to double click the group to enter it. If you have an image which is itself a group, then group it again, so it will be a group within a group. I used raster images for the sake of demonstration, but it also works with vector images. Also make sure you are making actual clones, not just duplicates.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 7:04
  • 1
    Another issue might be that you aren't copying the graphic before you enter the group. If you enter the group, then select an object outside the group, you will exit the group.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 7:20
  • Yes editing the XML will work too, but it's also possible for those who just want to use the GUI, although it's a bit tricky!
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 7:30

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