Inkscape and Stroke Width and Kerf, Oh, My!

This is kind of a hint/tip, but I can’t post there, so I’m putting it here.

I kept noticing that the sizes of things I drew in Inkscape would change over time, just by a few hundredths of an inch, usually, but it bothered me because I couldn’t figure out why it was happening. I finally figured it out.

Turns out that Inkscape apparently takes stroke width into account when calculating object sizes. If I draw a 1.5" square at stroke width 0.002", then change the stroke width to 0.01", the measurements of the square change to 1.510" in the top bar.

I guess this makes sense, in a way, but also in a way it doesn’t. Which is usually a good indication that I need more coffee…

I haven’t fully comprehended the ramifications yet, other than that since GlowForge ignores stroke width, it’s going to screw with drawing accuracy.

Maybe there’s a way to leverage it when working with kerfs…I can’t decide for sure.

Time for coffee.


You can change that behavior, there’s a post somewhere, lets see if I can find it.


There’s a setting to change this behavior. “Geometric bounding box”. It took me a while to find it, but it’s in General settings, IIRC.


What @markwal said!


Aha, what @rpegg said!


Awesome, thanks y’all!

Ugh. It seems to have moved, or something. I’m not finding it, and it’s not where the manual says it is, either. I’ll keep searching…

Oops, there it is. Preferences opened with a subcategory of Tools selected, and I didn’t see that you could actually select options on the top category. :roll_eyes:


Oh yeah. It’s coming back to me now. That’s why I couldn’t find it either.

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Hmmm, thinking about it I usually adjust the line-width down to barely visible before saving, but one could use it for many good reasons. want to adjust for kerf? Put it in the line width! some parts get ridiculously thin when the design is scaled down? Increase the line-width!

I have been very annoyed with the offset creating way more points than needed, perhaps I can solve that there too.

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