When rotating an object, I find the rotation angle of the object only in the status bar. The problem is, the instant I stop rotating, this display is covered up/replaced with the node selection before I'm able to read the exact angle of rotation.

Is there a way to set the display properties of the status bar, or some other way to display the rotation angle of objects while rotating them?

I understand how to rotate to specific angles with Transform. But, what I need is to display the precise angle while rotating the object by hand.

  • Can’t you use the measuring tool for this?
    – Wildcard
    Apr 26, 2019 at 9:14

4 Answers 4


It is possible. File>XML editor, then click on the object in Inkscape drawing window. After selecting item, XML editor will point you to the exact object in the tree. Now look at the transform attribute, exactly at what's inside rotate(). The unit is degrees. It also allows you to sets your attributes. Just beware of relative rotations. The object might appear rotated, but you can't see the property - it's usually because some parent node is rotated, mostly group or layer. The hierachy of the groups of objects is basically the same as in image - to get to the parent group, you just need to traverse up the tree. For another parent group, go even higher.

The XML editor is very hackish way to achieve some things that aren't provided directly by Inkscape. If your object disappears, just press Undo and do it again. Remember to well-form attributes, i.e. without any unnecessary characters.

Example of the method


There's no way that I know of.

But if needs must, couldn't you perhaps just take a screen capture using the PrtScn key, before you release the mouse button, and paste it into Inkscape for reference - a painful extra step perhaps, but it works.

  • 2
    Thanks. It seems strange to me the rotation property is not readily available.
    – STWilson
    Jul 4, 2017 at 16:10
  • 2
    @STWilson That's probably because when you do a rotation, the object is physically rotated. It's not just some effect applied to a non rotated object.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jul 5, 2017 at 11:20

The Transform function allows you to rotate a given amount so draw a horizontal or vertical line, select and rotate it to desired degrees.

  • 1
    Welcome to Graphic Design SE. Please note that the asker explicitly excluded the Transform tool as suitable for this. If you can, please edit your answer to address this.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Aug 10, 2019 at 17:30

This is a workaround which can be used in case you are later going to rotate something else as much.

An imaginary example:

The boss says that the next artwork is otherwise good, but the black shape should be rotated around point A until it looks right. He stands behind my back and he will say, when it's right. Then the green shape should be rotated exactly as much around point B. The artwork:

enter image description here

To see how much the black shape is rotated I draw a horizontal reference line (blue) which starts from A. Then I select the line and the black shape simultaneously, enter into the rotation mode and move the rotation center to A. One must have all point snaps =ON to make the rotation center to snap to the wanted point:

enter image description here

Let's assume this is the position worth money for the black shape:

enter image description here

The next step is to apply Object to Guide to the reference line and move the new guide line to point B. I draw also a new reference line starting from B (orange):

enter image description here

I select the orange reference line and the green shape, move their rotation center to B and rotate until I get an indication of the snapping to guide from the endpoint of the orange line. The rotation is completed:

enter image description here

Beware: Snap to bounding box is harmful. Keep it OFF.

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