Inkscape path editing not working

I’ve used Intersection and Difference to edit paths forever. Two months ago I wrote a brief tutorial on how to break up designs. I’ve used this technique for a long time. Now, it no longer works on anything but simple shapes.

For example, if I overlay the rectangle over the circle, and select “intersection”, the overlapping part remains. In the past, if I overlay the rectangle over a portion of the text, only that portion of the text would remain. Now it has no effect.

What the heck could be going on? Image shows all objects are paths.

Don’t know how it worked before, but right now if you try using intersection with text that has been converted to paths it doesn’t work. Try the intersection before converting text to paths. Works fine.

Well, crap. Because I’m trying to use this on non-text. I have a pattern and want to use a path to cut out the shape. Obviously clipping and masking work visually, but don’t eliminate the areas for processing on the GF.

It’s all about z order. Fool with that.

I’ve tried every combination. It’s only two objects.

Not sure I understand, but it does work with other closed paths. Not sure why text needs to be unconverted but I can make a path with the line tool and use that for the intersection. Just needs to be closed.

Also exclusion is what you want for most of these “cutout” operations. It’s more reliable for me than difference.

Also also I don’t have my pc handy but I assume you ungrouped and Unioned the text and are working with two paths, not a path and a group? Booleans fail fairly silently if you don’t have two paths.

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Bingo. Forgot about that. If you ungroup the text after converting it works just fine.

Here’s a file that contains the pattern - “wave”-like paths, I want to use the shoreline of a lake to produce a cropped section of waves.

I can’t get it to work with even simple geometric shapes. I need paths, not a raster image. That would be simple (I could mask or clip then convert to bitmap, that works fine.) (7.6 KB)


Here’s what clipping produces. I’m trying to get the same result with paths that are actually truncated.



They aren’t closed shapes. If the waves are actual vector lines (again no pc) and have nodes, I’d Union them and then lower them in the z order and use cut path and delete the parts you don’t want.

They are vector, I drew them by hand (one, then duplicated). Cut path doesn’t work either, with them on top, on the bottom, select shape then pattern, pattern then shape… I’ve tried every operation and it seems like none work except on objects or basic geometric shapes converted to path - and, as a result, not on text converted to path either.

Piece of cake.

Ungroup your waves. Combine them control-K.

Select your text vectors. Combine them, control K. Voila, two path objects, boolean away.

You won’t like intersection because it closes the paths. Cut paths worked better but requires manually trimming the segments.

Top is cut path (partially “excavated”), bottom is intersection.

All booleans prefer to be on two paths, union is the exception, but even then it’s better if you have 2, you get more accurate results in m y experience.


Ultimately the issue came down to the object I was using to “crop” the waves. I had created it using “trace bitmap” but it had produced a large number of grouped path objects, vs. a single combined path. Once I “fixed” that, everything worked as I would have expected.

Thanks to @evansd2 for the help on this. I would never have even thought to look at the crop shape object.


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