Some time ago I made some collaborative pages. Anyone who feels to can contribute to these overviews.

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I'm learning more about using Inkscape and getting comfortable using it.  Can someone tell me if I can erase just parts of a layer with it?  If you look at the finished drawing above that I did in Paint Shop Pro, at one time the hex grid covered the whole page.  When I finished the outline drawing layer, I went back to the hex grid layer, and erased it from the design elements, and also everything that was outside the lines.  It was a raster layer, and the erase tool was used on it.  In that program, the eraser tool cannot be used on vector layers. 

In Inkscape you can delete objects or paths - this is the equivalent to erasing things in Paint Shop Pro.

You can delete an entire layer or you can go into a layer and delete individual objects or paths in the layer by selecting them and then clicking on the delete key.  One trick that I use when working with layers is to lock all layers except for the one I am working on.  You can do this by clicking on the icon of a lock beside the name of the layer which appears in the Layers panel.  Once you have locked all of the other layers, you can select objects by dragging the mouse around them on the canvas.  Because the other layers are locked, you will only be selecting objects in the layer you are interested in.

In the diagram below, I have created a grid of dots in one layer and a pattern of lines in a second layer.  I have locked the Pattern layer and unlocked the Grid layer (see 1 in diagram).  I then selected a rectangular area on the canvas (see 2 in diagram).  This only selected the dots in the grid because these were the only objects not locked.  Finally, I coloured the selected dots green.  The change only affected the dots in the selection box.  I could also have deleted these dots.

If you only want to temporarily remove the grid dots (say for printing) but keep them around for future editing, instead of deleting the dots you can just make a layer invisible.  You do this by clicking on the eye next to the name of the layer in the Layers pane.  This hiding action applies to the entire layer so you need to plan your layers in advance for this to be useful.

Hope that helps.


I just discovered another way to select objects for erasing/deleting in Inkscape.  There is an eraser tool on the left hand toolbar (see red circle in diagram below).  Once you click on the icon to activate the erase tool, your cursor will turn into an eraser.  Then you can click and drag the eraser along your drawing.  Any line or object that touches the red line will be erased when you release the mouse button.  What is happening here is that the objects touching the red line are being selected and then deleted.  Everything I described in my previous post still applies (such as locking layers).

You can change the width of your eraser using the Width control which appears once you click on the Eraser icon to activate the erase tool:

One special thing to note with the erase tool: if objects or paths are grouped together, then when the red line crosses one item in the group, the whole group is deleted.  To delete individual items in the group you can either A) use the Select tool (arrow icon at top of left hand toolbar) and Control+click on the object in the group to select it and then delete selected object using the delete key or B) enter the group (right click on any object in the group and select Enter Group from the popup menu) and then use Eraser tool.

You can read more about the eraser tool here:Inkscape User Manual - Eraser tool


Thank you Veronika, this is very helpful.  I'm liking Inkscape more and more.  Today I changed the use of the mouse wheel from scrolling up and down to zoom.  Since that is what I'm most accustomed to using the wheel for, this makes me very happy to have it work that way in Inkscape too.  

Here is another Inkscape tip:

There is a tool in Inkscape for evenly placing dots along any path.  It is called the "Pattern Along Path" tool and it can be found in the Path Effects editor.  Below is a screen shot showing the result.  I have drawn a circle (in red) and then used the tool to evenly distribute copies of the circle along a leaf shape drawn using the pen tool.  I later added the grey lines connecting the dots to show how the worker pair would travel in this pattern.

The nice part of the tool is that it positions the dots exactly on the path and it measures the distance along the path so that the space between the dots, as measured along the curved line, is exactly the same.

You might wish to have the dots spaced closer together near the tapered ends of the design.  To do this, once you are happy with how the tool has positioned most of the dots you can disconnect the dots from the tool (using Path -> Break Apart) and then position some of the dots by hand.

Instead of trying to explain how to use the Pattern along Path tool here, I will point you to a tutorial that has a nice description with lots of screenshots.  In the tutorial it talks about drawing a rope but if you substitute a circle for the s shape used in the tutorial you can draw dots along any line:  Repeating a shape evenly along a path

Loretta - good questions

Veronika - very helpful answers. I absolutely MUST look at Inkscape, soon.


Tell me, please, what program is better to draw pictures for bobbin lace. Which program is easier to transfer to  computer and  for use. I do not always understand the translation.

I want to draw different types of grids and paste into them all the basic elements of lace. And also change the form of the patterns (Veronika Irvine show)  and make a circular grids with elements of lace.

I do various lace, but I want, that the drawings were more accurate.

Thank you for understanding

I still design using graph paper and dots. But Inkscape can be downloaded for free.

For graph paper 

I use Inkscape for doing embroidery designs, not bobbin lace so I'm not sure that this method would work, but it's worth a try.  First copy and save a grid or dot grid from one of the above websites where you can acquire a grid file.

Save it as a PNG. JPG, some similar file.

Open Inkscape, and IMPORT the file.  This will put it on your screen in  a "layer". 

Add a new layer.  Do your drawings of the design on this new layer, using the grid on the original layer as your guide. 

Test by hiding the original grid layer by clicking on the eye icon.  If you like the result, save the file.  It will be a SVG file until you also "Export" it as a PNG file.  If you don't need the grid, delete that layer before doing the export step. 

Now open the PNG file in software that will let you size it.  I'd use Paint Shop Pro x2 or newer, but you can also do this in Word or Publisher.  Make the size correct for your needs, and save or print. 

Let us know if this process will work for bobbin lace designing. 

Jo has developed a plugin for Inkscape that will generate polar grids of various angles, sizes and styles.  The instructions for how to install and use the plugin can be found here:

There is also a wiki page which lists a variety of other tools that can be used to draw grids:

With Inkscape, what I typically do is create a grid using Jo's plugin and place the grid dots in one layer.  Then I create a second layer and draw lines between the grid points using the "Draw Bezier curves and straight lines" tool.

Here is a link to get started using layers in Inkscape: Layer tool

Inkscape allows you to snap to different drawing elements which makes it easier to draw precise lines from one grid dot to the next.  The features I typically use are "snap to and from object centers" (useful for finding the exact center of the grid dot) and "snap to cusp nodes" (useful for positioning the start and end of your lines).

Here is a link to get started using the snap tools: Snap tool

Hope that helps.  Please ask if any of these instructions are not clear.


Veronika and Loretta - thanks

Thanks Veronika for the credits, but you wrote half of the InkScape plug-ins. I just published a web based version of one of the plug-ins, see the polar-grid discussion.


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