Inkscape-Glowforge is reading the fill on a design, causing it to not work as attempted

Hello, super small issue but I can’t find a result that’s working for me. I’m trying to print this simple design. Here are the steps I’m taking.

Open Inkscape
Create a black square.
Create text
Write “Glowforge” in white colored text and lay it over the black square.
Highlight “Glowforge” and use object to path so glowforge will read it (i plan on just using “ignore” on the GUI so that I get a black square, with the word “Glowforge” not lasered at all)
Once I upload it into GF, I’m getting a full black square underneath the design.

I’m very new to inkscape, so forgive my ignorance. Does anyone know how I can cut the word out of the fill? Thanks!

First you need to turn the text into a shape; GF doesn’t recognize text. @Jules shows how to do that in this tutorial: Make a Name Pendant in Inkscape

Then you need to subtract the text from the shape behind it so the GF only engraves where the text isn’t. There’s another tutorial from @Jules that includes subtracting a shape from another: Glowforge Interface - Vector Files Made Easy 🤔

If you work through both of those you’ll be well on your way to making it happen. :slight_smile:


And as always, remember, there’s a learning curve, and enjoy it!

Here’s a ton of stuff to get you started. If you read through it all you’ll get a huge leg up.


Thank you. I’m a little closer to what i’m looking for, but GUI is still reading the text as black. Maybe i should use something other than inkscape as i cant seem to find a “minus front” took as Jules mentioned.

There’s not a minus front tool – just a minus tool. She’s just saying that you’re subtracting the front from the back. :slight_smile: So you need to make sure what you want to select is in front, then select both things and click the “minus” tool.

I believe it’s called the Difference tool in Inkscape. (In the Path menu.)


The difference tool works. It punches out the design so I’m left with what looks like what I want. However, once I upload it, I get a black square, with darker text on top in the GUI. So I assume the GF will just engrave the black square, then engrave the letters (which I don’t want) I remade my file from scratch to see if I had something funky going on, but I still have the same issue.

Here is how the file looks in inkscape. GF%20Help

And here is how it looks in GFUGF%20HELP2

As you can see, the text is still in place for some reason.

Can you upload the SVG so I can look at the construction? I can’t really tell anything from looking at screenshots. :slight_smile:

Sure thing. Also, thank you for your time on helping with this.
It sure is nice of you!

Edit: I don’t see the SVG attached…

Nvm, should be here. Small%20kanji%20template

The one you uploaded still had text that hadn’t been converted to outlines/paths/whatever Inkscape calls it.

1 Like

Just checked it out on my end. Once i converted it to a path, I lost the ability to do path-difference. (Well, i was able to click it but nothing happened.) And I did have both selections selected. Hmm…gonna have to keep playing around with it!

I think in Inkscape, you have to select the paths and group them… maybe. Something like that. An Inkscape expert oughta pop back in here. But, if you download Illustrator, I’ll be happy to help. :slight_smile:

1 Like

1: Create your background shape. (Make sure it has a Fill Color and no Stroke.)
2. Type the text.
3. Convert the Text to paths. (Path > Object to Path)
3. Ungroup the text. (Object > Ungroup) (Make sure it has a Fill Color and no Stroke.)
4. Place the text over the background shape.
5. Select one letter and the background shape. Click on Path > Difference.
6. Do that for each character to subtract it from the background shape, one at a time.

When you’re done, you should have all of the text subtracted out of the background shape. It will have a fill color around the text, but no strokes. Save that and it will engrave correctly.

Maybe one of our resident Inkscape experts can come up with a better way of doing it. :slightly_smiling_face:


This is what you are trying to get to?

the one you uploaded only needed to have the text subtracted from the black


Yes thats what i was trying to do. However upon uploading it into the glowforge the text would be a darker black than the rest. When i just wanted it to be white.

This one works! Thank you!

So i learned that the GUI just shows up the letters as black. Once you put wood in and move the overlay, you can see its see through…oops.

Anyways, thank you all!

1 Like

It’s never great when I start by saying “I am not trying to be harsh here”, but I’m really not. Hear me out.

It’s great that you got what you needed, but it took quite a lot of cooks in the kitchen. I stand by my original answer, which is that you’d benefit greatly by taking the time to learn a lot more before asking the community for a solution.

The GF is easy as far as laser cutters go, but it still requires a basic understanding of how to work with vector graphics. What you just got a taste of is a topic called “boolean operations”. I’d recommend getting rock solid on your understanding of them before going much further, it will save you from having to ask for stuff like this.

To put it into context: what you were trying to do takes literally seconds once you know your boolean operations (and the restrictions on them in this case, which I include in a minute). You’d have had it done and working in less time than it took you to post your original question. (Heck, in less time than it took me to write this way-too-long reply! :slight_smile:

We were all beginners once, really we still kind of all are, we’re always learning new techniques and tricks. Anyway, yeah, booleans, good stuff.

(Oh also: a quick detail:

This was because booleans only work on paths, and when you convert text to an outline it’s a bunch of grouped paths. Jules gave you the right answer, ungroup them etc… but the key here is that the underlying reason is that it wasn’t operating on two paths, which difference requires.
When you try and it fails “silently” it actually isn’t silent, it gives you an error way down at the bottom of your screen. It says “One of the objects is not a path, cannot perform boolean operation.” It sounds like you were close, but that little gotcha is sneaky.

Anyway. Laser all the things!


This topic was automatically closed 32 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.