Inkscape - how to combine engraves to save time?

I’m creating labels for a school (grade 1, Grade 2, etc). They are each the words (“grade 2”) engraved, with a rounded rect 2mm thick around them. (and then cut out, of course).

I laid out 8 of them on a SVG (all text one color, all rect another color) and uploaded it.

My hope was that GF would do one big left-right pass at each Y value so that one pass engraved the whole thing. (Then of course 8 cuts to free the labels).

Nope. GF treats each text block in the file separately, And then the rounded rect – it’s an engrave so the carriage is doing back and forth across the whole label just to do the 2mm on each side. V slow.

I guess I should have kept the rect the same color as the text since I want the same engraving params. But still (!) it seems slower than it should.

How could I have set this up in Inkscape better? (my question is about getting GF to combine the paths for the text elements)



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You combine the paths by using the combine path menu item under paths, they don’t need to be overlapping to be combined. It’s almost like making a group in a way.


You can also rasterize a group of vectors to get them to engrave together.

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Separate but unioned would make them one thing and the cut path would have to be separate rectangles or it would cut out each letter I would union the boxes make a duplicate then union the text and subtract it from the boxes you want engraved. For raised letters, that would be the area you do not do anything to.

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Good advice about the vector combinations. As for the rectangle, that’s tougher to get around but might be a candidate for something I posted a while back:

In this case I might try offsetting a bunch of paths by a very small amount to see what you get.

Alternatively there was some talk about breaking the shape apart to get it to stop scanning the whole area but I’m not sure where that ended up.

Also a discussion about engrave speed in general:

Let us know how it turns out!

Thanks all!

“Combine Path” is the secret, but be sure to set the Fill Rule (to “evenodd”) or your shape will be completely filled.

@evansd2, the difference is between vector operations and raster operations. Vector ops do what you say – up the side, around the bottom, etc. Raster ops (engraves) are always done in scanline fashion, left to right. I agree though – I was hoping for better clipping in that it does two left-right narrow ops, one for each side, so that it wasn’t traversing the entire rect just to get over to the other side. Most scanline “heritage” is from video where this is not an option – on a non-vector video screen the beam is always L-R, Top-Bottom and you just control on/off. Feature request!

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This is exactly what was discussed in that previous thread. I get the differences between vector and raster :wink: