Combining Overlapping Text Objects in Inkscape

It took me a few minutes to figure this out (again), so I figured I’d try to record exactly what I did in case anyone else ran across this problem. If this is too much over an overlap with another topic I didn’t find, I’ll delete it.

First, I have a logo that is comprised of overlapping filled regions, what I see is this:

If I click the object, I see only part of it selected, so I click the other side, which gives me something that looks like this:

If I disable fill, enable stroke, and set the stroke style to 0.1 thickness, I see this:

what i want is a combined object, with a single outline (removing the tail of the “e” and the intersecting part of the lower left ‘y’.

Click on the “Edit paths by nodes (F2)” icon on the left"


Then shift click each of the two outlines, and you should see this:

And then select “path” from the menubar, and pick the “union” entry. The result should look like this:

Hope that helps…


Interesting visualization but all you needed to do was select both objects and do path->union.


That is exactly what I thought! But for some reason it wasn’t working. Maybe Upload the file when I get home and let you take a look at it see if you can figure out why that didn’t work on the first try.

I could probably tell you why… Chances are if you go and you do select all you will see that you are selecting a path and a group or two groups. If you go into Node editing mode and select the paths then you are selecting the path objects directly.

Boolean operations fail sort of silently if you do that. Look carefully at the bottom of the window it’ll probably say something like “one or more selected objects is not a path”, and so the union won’t work.

Ungroup everything and try again.


In fact I bet that’s exactly it. If you had text objects and did object to path to get the outlines it makes a group of paths. You have to either ungroup, or enter the group by double clicking and select the paths or use the node tool to “reach into” the group.

You were spot on. if I select it, it says: “Group of 1 object in layer abc. Click select to toggle scale/rotation handles.” if I then try to do a union, I get the error “On of the objects is not a path, cannot perform boolean operation.” If I select the whole thing and select Ungroup, I get “Path 44 notes in layer abc. Click to …” and it appears correct.

To honest,I’d never noticed that message field. on my 4k monitor, it’s so small, it’s hard to see. :wink:

Me too. Inkscape stinks with high DPI displays. Supposedly the next version is going to do it correctly.

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If you do Ctl+Shift+select It will select inside the group and usually work without even ungrouping

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You have to be a little careful when doing some of this. Keep in mind that unioning items from groups may lead to surprising changes to the way things are grouped (i.e. it will likely destroy the pre-existing groupings of things. The items in the group should be ok, they just probably won’t be grouped anymore). This is probably fine for most things, but if you have really specific group requirements, you’ll want to proceed with a little caution.

Chances are if you’re that deep in your group structure you know all this already, but there it is.

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I have not encountered that, but I have seen that when a group is ungrouped that If it had been scaled as a group it will sometimes go back to its previous scale.

You ever tried cutting and pasting clones between documents? It gets really weird sometimes.

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