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I have imported a drawing (mostly lines, rectangles and text) that has been through Adobe Illustrator: originally made in Inkscape, imported into Illustrator, edited, saved from Illustrator as SVG, imported into Inkscape.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

<path
   id="path5855"
   stroke="#000000"
   d="  M320.198,275.935" />

<line
   fill="none"
   stroke="#000000"
   x1="348.553"
   y1="45.097"
   x2="348.553"
   y2="185.346"
   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: http://www.w3schools.com/svg/svg_line.asp

SVG path: http://www.w3schools.com/svg/svg_path.asp

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

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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

2 Answers 2

Inkscape is built around SVG:

http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG11/

(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.

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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.

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