A cute trick to divide a single Vector into two Vectors

In Magic Canvas, particularly with the vector part, you may want to have an outside cut line and the rest to be engraved. Or you might want to mirror one part on the right to be the same as on the left.

So in Inkscape, with the starting page size to what you want to replace, like this…

…you kick it into node mode and using Shift select every node on the part you want to be separate as this

… and use Ctrl+X to remove all those nodes to put them in limbo,. unselect everything and go into object mode like so…

then double-checking that nothing is selected use Crtl-V and center the insert to the page like so…

Then. getting rid of the fill and changing the outline color, you have a finished piece with an engrave and a cut. Like so…


This is how I would approach the same situation:

Select your original part to a break apart, turn off the fill and set the stroke, shift click on the outline and the loop, and then select combine. The combination rules will take care of everything for you at that point, set a fill on your new engraved interior. Then I would click in some blank space to deselect everything, click the loop and set a stroke color that’s different from the outline stroke color, and then for completeness’s sake select all and group. I think that will do the same thing, with no fiddly selection of lots of nodes.

So it’s:

  • Click (select the item)
  • Control shift K (break apart)
  • Click (unset fill)
  • Shift click (set stroke)
  • Shift click (deselect loop)
  • Shift click (deselect outline)
  • Control K (combine)
  • Click (set fill on interior shape)
  • Click (deselect all)
  • Click (select loop)
  • Shift click (set stroke color)
  • Control A (select all)
  • Control G (group)

The entire process would take all about 20 seconds. It might be even more precise to do the entire thing in outline mode, but I prefer to stay in normal fill and stroke for some reason.


Thanks to both of you for this process explanation. I find this quite helpful.


Thanks! I have been using a very complicated method. This is very helpful!


Mostly that works and was what I did. but combine was messing the result up on complex stuff. The new trick did not take that risk.


Thanks for the tips!

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I’ve seen that too. If there are tons of parts in the interior sometimes combine gets weird.

To solve for that I select subsets of the pieces and combine them, then combine those combined sections. I have yet to find a vector that can’t be done with the combine method if you break it down into smaller groups and roll the combines up.


That is indeed what I did before. What got me to the new trick was this…
Which was mostly empty and silly half-butterflies on the side. So I cut/pasted them off to the side and put them together and got this…
Orchid-butrflyxz_12-11-2023_17-20-10plus I got thisbutterfly


Path surgery for the win.