Why can we still not separate groups?

You know what I would actually pay the monthly “premium” price for?

The ability to separate groups. It’s constantly a pain. I have to go back to my editor of choice (Inkscape) and manually move items far away from each other so the GF app doesn’t treat them as a single object. Sometimes giving objects different colors helps, but a lot of the time it doesn’t. Simply putting two objects too close to each other groups them together. I have one project where I want to remove some adjacent elements on the fly, but that is strictly impossible with the GF app.


I have found I only have this problem when I have grouped items in inkscape then saved them. If I make sure to ungroup before saving then everything can be separately moved around in the GF.

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I’ve never had this issue. The files I upload don’t group in the UI even if I group them in the design software (Inkscape)

I’m still new, but it seems the most direct way to influence how the GFUI groups things is through the color used in the design.

So that’s had me tending to use a different color for anything I might want to be separable.


@gamn1958 that sounds like an issue in and of itself! :wink:

Here’s an example file.

On the left is a rectangle inside a rectangle, different colors. They can’t be separated because one is inside the other.

On the right are 4 paths, each a different color, totally ungrouped etc. but touching. (They shouldn’t cross over each other, just come right up against each other.) Here too they can’t be separated.


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Ah. Good example.

GFUI needs to deal with this better.

I suppose the only real work around would be exporting each shape from your design tool as a separate SVG, and importing each one.

That is a ridiculous workaround…and a great idea!

That does seem to work: if I drag multiple SVGs into the project, objects are added separately but stay in their original positions.

However, I may have to drag many SVGs into the project to get the results I want, and because there’s no saving / versioning I can’t easily return to my original design after making changes. I guess that’s a separate issue. Maybe premium’s “past prints” count, but that’s only a save point if you actually print, and here I just want to give something a name and be able to come back to it.

If it was not already clear, I am not a fan of a) the concept of a premium offering when I paid thousands of dollars for a product or b) the features they offer in premium. (Seriously? Flip horizontal is premium? Draw a square is premium?)

Not entirely, many of my issues have been the other way and leaving things behind when I was moving a group. If you pick ON the object you get just that object, but a tiny bit off and you get the group. If you use crossing on some things but miss one it will be left behind.

Until you leave the GFUI there is Undo which I use a lot if I have made a major change

I just did a project yesterday with 12 pieces all the same colour (All were being cut) . When I first loaded it into the GF I couldn’t separate the individual parts, however, I realized I had saved them as a group. I went back into inkscape, ungrouped them and they worked perfectly fine. Each piece was able to be moved around in the GF.

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I did this yesterday and there was a lot of moving things around to get them all to fit.

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Sorry, on a call. If you put an object inside another object or objects that are touching each other you won’t be able to break them apart as the UI see them as one object not as separate objects.

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Would it be helpful to have a tool that took an SVG and broke it into separate pieces quickly and easily? e.g., input=1 SVG, output=an SVG for each group?

Working with my design tools and the glowforge gives me ideas for software projects that might help with all of our work flows… :smiley:

If there’s interest, I might try to hack that together.

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I would probably make use of that!

But I must repeat, it is not cool that we have to resort to these measures to do something that every vector graphics editor can do easily.

I tend to agree. I definitely agree that some of the premium features, like flip, really feel like they shouldn’t be premium.

That is, the GFUI is really lacking a bit as a non-premium product without those things.

But like you said, these things are easy in other software. So it’s also reasonable that we shouldn’t expect Glowforge to build yet another graphics editing program.

I just think GFUI needs to be sure to be able to handle input from many graphics programs, and allow for basic adjustments within the UI.
(Which I’d say include what you’re asking for here) :wink:


Hmmm…the GFUI supposedly doesn’t recognize grouping in vector files.


Try that. It’s the only thing I did and I was able to move each part around after ungrouping.

Do you have the file you were able to upload and have things separate?

I just ran a few experiments and wasn’t able to do it.

Here’s 4 SVGs I tested:
gfgrouptest.zip (5.6 KB)

orig: @oncle.highstream 's original SVG from Inkscape

svgo: an optimized SVG using https://jakearchibald.github.io/svgomg/ (this strips the SVG down and removes some crufty bits)

remove-group-attr: I noticed the svgo one above had a single group, with a few attributes on the group. This version removed those attributes.

no-group: removes the group all together

Unfortunately, all of these behaved the same in the glowforge UI.

So I’m really curious what @beerfaced did if he was able to separate those items in the glowforge UI…

AFAIK if the bounding boxes cross they will always group so for this design:

you’d need to separate those four shapes by the width of the curve in order to separate the bounding boxes.


Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll make sure the team gets them. I’m going to move this thread so the conversation can continue.