Personalized Ornament - Trouble excluding text from background

Hello fellow 'forgers.

I’m trying so hard to get this to work and it is just not happening for me. I am attempting to engrave AROUND the text to leave it raised on this ornament for my friend and the typical “difference” function in Inkscape is not working. What am I missing?! I’m really hoping @jules sees this because Jules seems to have all the answers. :smiley: I will attach my file! I might just be having a novice moment and it’s an easy fix!


Huh, you have a lot going on in there.

So first things first, your background path is really messy, there are nodes all over the place. That’s going to give you trouble later with you try to cut, the laser is going to go all over the place tryingto follow that.

Second, typical text issue: You converted the text to a path, great, but that make a group of text paths. Booleans like “difference” require that only 2 paths be selected. So, the short solution: click the text, ungroup it until you have separate letter path objects, then union them. Now you have one big text path.

You select your text path, then grab your black background and do a difference or exclusion, and you’re “done”.

Only you’re not really. That grungy font is going to leave you with a lot of really weird artifacts. Maybe that was your intent, maybe not.

Here’s what I mean:

See how “messy” your lines are?

Likewise, you have a weird corner:

Looks like maybe you tried to merge the black and blue shapes. Not sure if it was intentional or not.

So, I guess that’s how you fix the issue you requested, but if it gives you what you want … I can’t say.


Excellent advice from evansd2. I find when you want to use “path difference” with text you don’t want to also use “object to path”, Just type your text in the format you like, select it and the background then use “path difference”.


This is super helpful - Thank you both! I was trying to mash a few different things together so I can understand how that made things a bit crazy. Thank you for the info - i’ll give it a try! And I found a better font i can use that’s similar but more clean. Thanks again! :slight_smile:

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I took the background, did a “union” on those pieces, to try to clean it up a little… didn’t work the best but it will be worth a try. I’ll be engraving the black parts and hoping the blue pieces are left untouched - but trying both methods on the text to exclude it into the background * so after engraving the text should be raised - untouched - and then the black areas will be engraved… so still no luck. Maybe it’s got something to do with how I created the “ground” piece…ChaseOrnament

A lot of times it comes down to search terms, and it can be hard to find stuff if you don’t know exactly what to search for. This is most commonly called knockout, so using that might get ya down the right path.

It can help to have some kind of different background (whether it’s a shape you remove later, or transparent grid background, or whatever), so it’s a lot easier to see when your text is effectively knocked out.


thanks @jbmanning5 - that helps. I wasn’t sure what the heck it was called! I’ll see what I can find!

Nice description. I wanted to help but was like… nope, they got it. :grinning:


Huh that works? I’ll have to try that out tomorrow.

Yeah… it does a ‘text to path’ first automatically. who’d’a’thunk’it…


I have noticed that there are several places where that happens, If you have two unrelated paths and use nodes to connect them they become one object eliminating many steps you thought were needed first.

Yeah I tried it myself before I typed that.

Does union similarly convert them to paths and join them, eliminating the whole object to path ungroup union thing? No time to fool with it yet, but it might work as a single step operation which would be cool.


All of the boolean operations convert objects to path automatically.


Good thing eflyguy answered that because I have no clue why it works. I’m just stumbling around in the dark here.
mr magoo

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But not groups. Makes sense, more or less.

It will not do the group as it cannot be made into a path, but you can go into the inside of the groups and pick and choose (including all) from inside several groups and operate on them together.

I finally got it to work!


Good call going with the cleaner typeface.

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It came out great! I’m sure your friend will love it,