Simplifying double-stroke lines from PDF?

I have a PDF scroll saw pattern that I’m converting for the GF. When I open the pdf in Affinity Design, all but 2 of the objects come in as simple (one stroke) lines. The other two have hundreds of nodes in 2 concentric paths. I’m not patient enough to zoom 500% and select hundreds of individual nodes and delete. Might this be accomplished by Illustrator’s Simplify tool? Unfortunately, Affinity Design doesn’t have an equivalent, and my old CS5 version of Ai will no longer run on my iMac.

This is just one part of an extended project, so I need to figure out a workflow I can apply to dozens of other patterns. Here’s an example SVG illustrating the problem:

The upper right lamb is set to no fill and you can clearly see the double line of nodes…

Suggestions? I could get a 1-month sub to AI and power through the project files, but that’s kind of a last resort solution.

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You could use the “Glowforge Forum converter”. Simply upload the file and wait. In a few minutes, the converted file will appear in a reply in the comments. :wink:

edit: I missed the part about dozens to convert.


You could try zamzar. I use to use it years ago to convert videos.

We could crowdsource it - each pick a part of the design and do that one :slightly_smiling_face: Do we need Affinity?


It’s not that easy to do in Illustrator either, since each shape consists of short discrete filled segments and they don’t always overlap.

So you need to first extend any unjoined segments so they overlap, then do a Union, break apart the Compound Paths, then delete one of the two lines.

That might wind up being easier than Affinity though. It does work.



It’s pretty easy to do that stuff in Inkscape.

(Grande this is a bit theoretical since I didn’t actually try this on this specific svg, but have done it on many in the past.)

Select your lamb, break apart. Select a pair of paths (like the two major outlines), then do union.

Now you have one path outline. Do the same for the other pairs to turn them into single paths. Then use “exclusion” to make those interiors voids in the larger outline.


Drat. It creates the double lines as well (close up of a test file I just tried:

In the current version of Illustrator this has become easy. Shape Builder would take care of unifying the shapes/eliminating the double line, it has an adjustable tolerance, and then either simplify or the smooth tool would handle the excess nodes. It would only take a couple minutes.


I don’t mind signing up to do a few! I’m using the current version of Illustrator now.


In AI:
Release - Ungroup - Ungroup - Unite - Scissors (4 places) - Select (2 pieces) - Delete (2 pieces) - Join - Release compound path - Select - Delete.


Takes about a minute.

edit: this was the upper right sheep(?) in the pic

Off to try figure out Affinity Designer workflow now :slight_smile:

Edit 2: Here is a quick GIF. Quality ain’t great, but you can see the steps to get a goat if you look fast :stuck_out_tongue:


evansd2 is close. For Inkscape with this SVG:

  • resize/position segments to close object (bottom right corner)
  • select all, Path, Union (Ctrl +)
  • fill empty, stroke black
  • Path, Break apart (Shift Ctrl K)
  • delete interior path on outline and center cut
  • select end nodes on one side of that line, the Delete segment, repeat for other end
  • delete one of the lines

Takes a minute or less.


OK. I officially give up looking for an easy workflow in Affinity Designer to do this.

it is doable, but the workflow is nowhere near as easy as AI and apparently Inkscape workflows are. I’ve poked and prodded everything I could think of poking and prodding and even resorted to reading and YouTube.

I’d love to see if somebody DOES come up with a good workflow, but it is beyond my little rocket surgeon brain for today :smiley:


Something to consider, but Inkscape has the ability to go into the XML and the extras can be delete relatively easily. You can click on an instance in the XML and it will highlight the part in the display window. Then, you can move the line in the display menu to another location.

In theory… Without seeing the file, kinda hard to tell.

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Thanks to all for the excellent advice. Ai makes short work of these in four steps as @Jules described. :sunglasses:

I’ll give Inkscape a try this weekend. As a mac user, I have a hate/hate relationship with xQuartz, which is why I adopted AD as my main 2D design tool.

BTW, thanks also for the offers to crowdsource this. Truly appreciated, but I need to nail this down as a standard workflow. :wink:

there is an easy way in inkscape but you have a larger mess. The first thing is to pick the outside piece and just hit Break apart and then union. However hitting break apart again will not work because there are gaps which you still need to break the joining jump so there are actual pieces when you hit break apart. Then you can just delete the inside piece,



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