Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What is a "line" object in Inkscape? Drawing lines in Inkscape is by using the tool "Draw Bezier curves and straight lines (Shift+F6)". This creates objects of another type, "path".

Using Inkscape: is there a way to convert an object of type "line" into an object of the more general type "path"?

I have imported a drawing (mostly lines, rectangles and text) that has been through Adobe Illustrator: originally made in Inkscape, imported into Illustrator, edited, saved from Illustrator as SVG, imported into Inkscape.

Sample from the imported SVG file:

   d="  M320.198,275.935" />

   id="line3368" />

Update 1: I have inspected the original XML (SVG) file from 2006 and it does not contain any "line" XML tags. Thus it must be a crime of Adobe Illustrator.

When a line is selected in this imported SVG file the bottom panel displays: "Line in root. Click selection to toggle scale/rotation handles.".

When a line is selected that was drawn in Inkscape the bottom panel displays: "Path (2 nodes) in Layer 1. Click selection to toggle scale/rotation handles."

What is the difference between "line" and "path"?

Is "line" some kind of read-only/non-editable object?

A generic term like "line" is not easy to use in search, but I have now found the definitions for "line" and "path":

SVG line:

SVG path:

Platform: Inkscape v0.46 (2008-03-10), Windows XP 64 bit, 8 GB RAM.

share|improve this question
Did you search for "L" or "l"? – Jared Updike Jul 23 '09 at 23:23
Also, what is your goal? To be able to edit that object since Inkscape is treating it differently? Can you post the SVG source, etc.? – Jared Updike Jul 23 '09 at 23:24
The goal is to use the tool "Edit path by nodes (F2)" on objects of type "Line". E.g. by first converting them to the more general type "Path". And I would like know why Inkscape can handle objects of type "Line", but is nowhere to found in the Inkscape documentation (as far I as can tell). – Peter Mortensen Jul 24 '09 at 18:45
@Jared Updike: How do you make a web search case sensitive? – Peter Mortensen Jul 24 '09 at 18:46

A line is just what it says, a straight line. A path is more versatile and can represent almost any curve.

You can always convert a line into a path, but not vice versa in the general case. In Inkscape use the menu item Path/Object to Path or the keyboard shortcut Shift+Ctrl+C.

You can't edit nodes on line objects because a line object has just start and endpoint, but no nodes.

As a path can also be a straight line Inkscape doesn't bother to create line elements. It always creates path elements. If your SVG file contains line elements Inkscape can read them and you can manipulate them.

share|improve this answer

Inkscape is built around SVG:

(although Inkscape supports more effects and probably more features than most browsers, IIRC, YMMV)

Wikipedia's SVG entry says that although a Path is very general (and I remember from experience can represent line(s) as well as splines), there are Line objects as a basic shapes.

Perhaps you can load the .svg file in a text editor (if you are so inclined) and inspect the SVG xml code to determine how it is representing the data.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .