SVG edit (Inkscape) - align parts to the sides of a shape?

I’ve got a shape with some diagonal sides. I can easily align other shapes (in this case, a rectangle that becomes a notch) along horizontal or vertical faces so that it’s centered along the length, but I can’t find a way to do the same thing for diagonal sides.

I’d think I could select the two nodes on each end of that side, and then align that with my shape, but I can’t find a way to limit it to that one side vs. the entire shape.

I know there’s more AI knowledge here than InkScape, but can you do it in AI? What’s the process? That might give me a clue as to what I’m missing…

Good question…never tried it. (Sounds challenging.)

I might start by cutting the diagonals at the corners - you might be able to align point to point on the ends of a separate segment…but I’m not sure.

Or maybe rotate the line to horizontal, align the addition, group those together, and then reverse the rotation by the same amount.

I would probably rotate the shape while holding down CTRL (or is it Shift?) to snap to 45 degree or whatever increments – rotate until your diagonals are horizontal or vertical. Then line up your smaller shapes as you desire, group or meld or whatever, and rotate back to where you started.

(Have I mentioned I’m on post-surgical pain meds? After reading what I just wrote, I thought this might be a good time to bring that up.) :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Step away from the drugs… :smile:

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I can’t step. That’s why I need the drugs. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


And come out with your remaining sanity where we can see it!




Never had an instant cross-thread conversation before…


Yeah, you haven’t been around here that long…


Not having your file to look at…

I might select the object and go into node editing. Select the side you’re wanting to align to, and click the add node button. That should put a node in the middle of the side. Use that node or slap a guide onto it, and you should be able to align to it.

If you’re trying to mate it with another flat shape, do the same process, and align your nodes to each other or to the aforementioned guide.

Make sense? Hard to know since I can’t see the piece.

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woke up from 6 hours of spine fusion surgery and the nurse pointed out I had a morphine button at my disposal. Hmm… I was a little uncomfortable, so I thought i’d try that on. Almost felt that, and thought I would give it another shot. I was disenchanted when I learned I would have to wait another 40 minutes.


They should just let you think you got some, even when it’s to soon. Placebos can be really helpful!


This is how people who are NOT on drugs do things. Maybe not as much fun, but probably more reliable.

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Great feedback (and entertainment)…

One thought I had is how it’s easy to understand what many of you are saying, yet the average person wouldn’t understand half the words used in each post. We’re a “superior” bunch, I think… :smiley: It’s even more interesting that the chemically-crafted post by g2n was crystal-clear to me. Perhaps I’m living in an altered state, which I wouldn’t doubt.

Anyway, I’d tried some of these methods and they do work but are slow - I just kept thinking there has to be a more efficient way. I think evansd2 idea might work, and when I finish prepping for a few morning meetings, I can’t wait to try it…

I can at least share a file showing what I’m trying to do for the benefit of the like-minded problem solvers here. See the inset notch on the right? I made that by aligning a box like the blue one on the diagonal with the right vertical side, then simply subtracting the box from the shape. Takes seconds. On the box with the diagonal, the subtract operation is equally simple, but the alignment is what I’m trying to figure out. I left the panel (green) and reference line (red) in place to help illustrate what I’m trying to do. The panel will close that diagonal side, so alignment of the notch and tab is important. I’m not building a space shuttle and the extra time to manipulate manually is not really a big deal, but when I stumble over something so seemingly simple, I have to wonder if there’s a method I’ve not discovered yet…



There are lots of potential methods, I think the node trick will work well for you.

As for understanding, I was pretty loose on the details because of who I was talking to. You’re not a newbie :slight_smile:

If you were some new user I’d have had to explain how to enter node mode and where the add node button was and so on and so forth.

There are a hundred ways to get the result you want. If it were me I’d have started with a known angle (it looks like 15degrees-ish), which would make lots of stuff later much simpler. We’ve all got our methods, hopefully the node trick will work out for you.


I can think of 2 ways to approach this:

Way 1:
Do you know the angle of the notch? If so, why not rotate the whole thing that angle, do your work with a vertical line,

Then, you can use the Align and Distribute tools to make the blue and purples lines aligned on the left.

Then I would draw 2 lines, starting from the corners. If you have snapping on, you should be able to snap right to the corner. The lines I drew are the black ones in the next picture.


Then select the 2 lines, and the blue box, and use the this button to center the blue box between the 2 black lines:

Then re-rotate the whole thing back to the original.

Way 2:
The other thing you can do, is use the “enable snapping”. In the top left of the toolbar.


Then move the green piece to the top right of the black piece. The corners will snap when you get close.

Then you can rotate the green piece at that corner.

Click on it twice, so you get this (with the little plus in the corner):


Then move the little plus to the top right corner. This is the rotation point.

Unfortunately, that one does not snap, so you have to zoom in to get it just right.

Then you can rotate the green piece to the right angle. Again, you have to eyeball this one.

Then you can do a substract of the two pieces to get your notch.

Hopefully that helps a bit.


You can absolutely snap the rotation point. It’s on the right sidebar.

EDIT: in your case, you’ve moved it to the top. It’s right there in your menubar.

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Click me:


Snap me:

Snap me:

Guide me:

Rotate me:

… and here we see that your shapes don’t match, size wise.

This may be by design. If it is, I’d go back to my node plan.


Copy the line, rotate it until it’s flat, out things where they need to be, rotate all of them back, use align x to realign position, delete copied line leaving other pieces to incorporate into design