Inkscape User Manual

Un-official manual by Kevin Wixson

Table Of Contents

Part VII
Chapter 5: Combine


The combine command is used to create one path object from multiple paths. This command is often confused with Boolean operations, like Union, but its purpose and function is very different. With two or more open paths, whether or not they intersect, select the paths with the Selector and execute the Combine command. Each of the paths are now subpaths of a single path object. They are moved together as if they were grouped, and they share fill and stoke properties as if they were the same path. Unlike a group, however, individual subpaths cannot be seleted individually.

Combining open paths is a necessary step in joining their open nodes. With the Node tool, select the open (end) node of one path and the open node of the other path, where the two shall be joined. With the two nodes selected, execute the "Join paths at selected nodes" or "Join paths at selected nodes with new segment" commands to join the two nodes. In this way, open paths can be connected to one another, as many as are included in the the singular path object as subpaths.

Closed shapes can be combined into a single path object as well. Where two shapes overlap, the rules for overlapping fills applies. Unlike shapes created with a Boolean operation, however, the Break Apart command will restore each of the closed paths to their previous shape. Live Shapes will retain their former shape, but will be converted to path shapes and lose their enhanced features when combined, which cannot be regained.


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This manual is my scratch pad and development site for the Inkscape documentation project. Documentation that appears here may eventually work its way into the official Inkscape documentation, and changes to the Inkscape documentation may work it's way into this draft. It is a work in progress, so please don't mind the mess. Anything that appears here is GPL'ed under the usual licenses for GPL documentation, yada, yada, yada, or has been dedicated to the public domain. For a list of those elements that have been placed in the public domain, please click here.

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