Inkscape on Mac Tip. Copying SVGs into new files

I ran into an issue where when I copied SVGs from one Inkscape file into another one, the result was the SVG was converted to a bitmap.

My post was here: Bug in UI? Multiple Items

After some Googling, I found this to be an issue in Inkscape on the Mac.

Here is how you fix it:

Disable ‘Sync PasteBoard’ functionality within the XQuartz app to solve the problem of converting a vector object to Bitmap after pasting the same object in another SVG file.

On the Mac: XQuartz (X11) > Click on ‘Preferences’ tab > Choose ‘Pasteboard’ tab > Uncheck ‘Enable Syncing’

Once you change that setting copy/paste should work correctly!!


Thanks for sharing. I found that copying and pasting within the same file resulted in the pasted item being an image. I was lucky enough to find the link you mentioned in the Inkscape forums, but not before I had torn out plenty of my hair and said some bad words. Sometimes frustration overwhelms.

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Thanks!!! But it is much easier to save the layer(s) you want to copy as an svg file, after hiding all the layers you don’t want to copy, then opening it in another window or importing it.

I’m not sure what you mean. I had 3 individual svgs I created and wanted to add each to a single file, then import the single file into GFUI. When copy/pasting in Inkscape on Mac, this is the workaround else it pastes them as bitmaps…I hope that makes sense…

Copy and paste converts vectors to bitmaps. Import each of your three files into a single layer, or multiple layers (for ease of selecting and editing) of a new file and vectors are maintained. Color code as appropriate and send to GlowForge.

Yes the import worked as well! Thanks @timtsuga!

So you think the copy/paste as bitmap is expected behavior on Inkscape? It is interesting that changing the setting in XQuartz completely changes its behavior…

I never even thought of looking at XQuartz preferences!!! I usually go thru all the menus on most software apps but did not do it on XQuartz! I figured it was just some sort of shell that Inkscape ran under and I would never be able to figure anything out that it did! Good to know what you found, now the question is “What else did that option change?” :slight_smile: Report back if you find anything!

You are my new best friend. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Oh, nice - I gave up on one project because I needed a lot of copies of the same thing, and it wasn’t working!