How do I separate designs?


Hi Team! I am trying to engrave this design in leather. I want the background to be engraved, not the letters. I cannot figure out how to separate the two designs (shield and letters) and only engrave to background. I created the letters with the pen tool by tracing over a different design.

I am very new, so please keep instructions as simple as possible!

Thank you!


I think you just make the outlines different colors before you load it into Glowforge…

If you’re using Illustrator, you can fill the shield, which will cover the letters. However, then select all, and use the shape builder tool (shift-m, on a Windows machine). Then, when you hover your mouse over the letters, hold the alt key, and click on the letters. That will remove the fill from the letters, but not the shield.
Save it as .svg, and go to print. Should be just what you need. I think. I am still learning myself

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You will need to use your design program to do an operation that subtracts the shape of the lettering from the background of the crest.

  1. Duplicate the crest. You will need that outline to cut out the shape if that’s what is going to remain. Or if this will be the engrave on a bigger piece, you don’t need it.
  2. Fill the duplicated crest shape and remove its outline stroke definition.
  3. Select the letters and the filled crest, then do a “boolean” operation such as subtract or difference.

Give me a second and I’ll link to one of the How Tos in Tips and Tricks for this case.

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I have tried to make the outline a different color. Then when I load to Glowforge and set the shield to engrave, it engraves the entire shield, including the letters.

And, I am using Inkscape

Hi, Have you had a chance to find the How-Tos?

Your letters have double outlines. You need to remove one set.

Select all, then Path/Break Apart. Then you can selectively delete the second set of paths:

Finally, select the main shape and one letter, then Path/Difference. Repeat for each letter.
When you upload and select Engrave, it will do what you are expetcing:

Here’s the resulting file:


Sorry, I got distracted in another topic.


Hi, I followed your steps, however, I am not getting the same results… I carefully did step by step, but when I go to engrave, the letters are not separated???

Not really sure how much more I can offer. I documented the steps in Inkscape as I modified your file, here’s what I get when I engrave that resulting file (that I included in my post) onto a piece of scrap material (Medium chipboard, 1000 speed, 100 power, Vary power - vector engraves are black-and-white):


Ok, thanks. That looks great! I will try again!

Thank you, All, for your help!

While I was trying to get the suggested methods to work, I stumbled on the attached post and it worked beautiful for me!

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That crucial step in Inkscape of ungrouping that group of paths was a step I had missed for a while. If you ungroup all and then combine, you can do the subtraction in one step.

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