Inkscape Vector image got bigger when imported

Hi all,
I’m actively scanning the forum to see if this has already been answered, but I’m having an odd problem with a vector file from Inkscape.

Had the issue with a complex picture, but then tried it with a simple rectangle and it’s the same.

Here’s my simple rectangle in Inkscape:

You can see, it’s a 12"x8" rectangle.

So I import it and I get this:

It’s almost 13" wide. For comparison, the wood on the bed is 12" wide Proofgrade Ply. This isn’t a camera oddity, I tried an earlier engrave and it’s indeed swelled from the original image. Regardless, I did Set Focus with no change. The calibration seems really good, the image lines up with the cut really well.

So, my 12" wide image has swollen beyond the bounds of the 12" Proofgrade. Clearly, I can try to just shrink the image to 11" wide to nudge it in, but I’d really like to know if something else is wrong.

If anyone has any ideas, please share. Thanks!

Continuing to search the forum…

Naturally: seconds after posting I found this: :roll_eyes:

Woah! Weirdness.

I do not understand why, but I think I fixed it by saving the file as a "Plain SVG, rather than the default “Inkscape SVG”. I don’t even know what that means but it came in with the right size. Gonna try a test cut and then keep researching, but if anyone knows Inkscape more than me (and really, how could you not???) and knows the significance of this then please share.

If the cut is good I’ll assume that this isn’t a Glowforge issue and reclassify this.


It has to do with the dpi settings used and assumed by the GFUI. This post might help you understand:


Thank you, that … helps… but I’m still confused. The DPI variance (Illustrator vs. Inkscape) makes sense, but I don’t understand why there would be a variance from Inkscape SVG to Plain SVG.

I should note, I found another vector file I engraved last week and it seems to have maintained the correct dimensions on import to GFUI, and that was done as Inkscape SVG.

It seems clear that Some setting with this particular file got messed up; specifically something that is not maintained when the file is saved as Plain SVG, but I can’t find it (yet). So far, the doc settings all seem identical. Hmmmm…

Have you taken a look inside the file (svg’s are just text). I can’t remember all the things that are different between inkscape and regular svg, but I remember getting bitten a couple of times.

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… because they can each use different settings.

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Well sure, but how do those setting change between saving as one, and then immediately saving as the other? Do you mean settings that are unavailable in the UI and are intrinsic to the save itself? Or do you mean saving as Plain SVG changes a setting that is visible in the UI? If so, do you know which? I’m trying to home in on the variance.

I haven’t yet, but that’s a pretty good suggestion. Guess I’m headed into the weeds… :fearful:

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I don’t know how or where the settings change, but I believe it has something to do with a ‘scaling’ option.

Regardless, just always save as plain SVG and you shouldn’t have any issue.

Except lying awake tonight at 3 AM, staring at the ceiling, haunted by WHY. :scream:


Two things might help:

  1. Always use a 20" x 12" artboard for your designs. (Workaround for DPI sizing issues caused by the various programs that people design in.)

  2. You can set your preferences for import and export in the Edit > Preferences > Input/Output > Bitmaps page in Inkscape. The GFUI is expecting 96 DPI from the most recent version of Inkscape.


Thanks Jules! I updated the page size (I guess “Artboard” is an Illustrator term?) and checked the DPI, which was already 96. I’m engraving for a bit so will test to see the artboard size helped and report back.

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Thanks for the help everyone!

@UrJac were you able to get your design scaled and ready to print? If you’re still running into trouble please don’t hesitate to let us know!

I was, but I’m still not sure what the original issue was. Definitely something in the settings of the InkScape SVG file but no clue what. But I got past it for what I needed to do so no need to keep this open. Thanks!

I’m glad to hear it all worked out! If you run into any other trouble please open a new thread or email us at and we’ll be happy to help.

Happy printing!