December 3, 2020

How to export a selection to SVG using Inkscape

It is often desirable to export a portion of an Inkscape illustration to a vector file for further editing or to re-use it on a web page. Sadly, Inkscape can only export an entire page at a time; it doesn't allow for exporting a selection or a group to anything but a PNG (bitmap).

To work around this limitation and create a vector image by cherry-picking a part of the original drawing, you need to do the following:

  1. Select the object(s) you want to export.
  2. Copy it to the clipboard (Ctrl+C).
  3. Open a new drawing window (Ctrl+N).
  4. Paste the clipboard on the new page (Ctrl+V).
  5. Hit Shift+Ctrl+D to open the document properties panel.
  6. Open the Resize page to content... tab and hit the resize page to drawing or selection button
  7. Save the document (Shift+Ctrl+S) as an SVG file. Select a suitable format:
    1. Inkscape SVG for further editing, or
    2. Optimized SVG for use on a web page.


2 comments on “How to export a selection to SVG using Inkscape”

  1. This works very well. However, I noticed a significant lower quality in the resulting object saved as SVG compared to that exported to PNG. I expected it the other way round. Is there any option I missed when saving the SVG?

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