Inkscape, a powerful open-source vector graphics editor, offers a wide array of tools for creating stunning illustrations and designs. One of its most versatile features is the “Clip Path” function. This tool allows you to create intricate and visually captivating shapes by clipping one object or path using another. In this article, we’ll dive deep into Inkscape’s clip path feature, explore its capabilities, and guide you through using it effectively.

What is Inkscape Clip Path?

Clip path, or “clipping,” is a fundamental feature in Inkscape. It allows you to use one object or path to define a shape that will crop or mask another object or path. This is particularly useful for creating intricate illustrations and designs.

Why Use Clip Paths in Inkscape?

Clip paths offer a world of creative photo editing possibilities in Inkscape. They can be used to:

  • Create complex shapes and designs.
  • Crop images or objects into custom shapes.
  • Add artistic effects and stylize your artwork.

How to Create Clip Paths in Inkscape?

Select Your Objects

Open your Inkscape project and select the objects you want to work with. Typically, you’ll have the object you want to clip (the subject) and the object that defines the shape of the clip (the clip-path).

Access the Clip Menu

With your objects selected, navigate to the “Object” menu, then choose “Clip” and “Set.” This action tells Inkscape that you want to use the selected objects for clipping.

Create Your Clip Path

The next step is to create the shape or path that will act as your clip-path. This shape should be positioned on top of the subject, and it will define the visible area of the subject.

Apply the Clip

With both the subject and the clip-path selected, go back to the “Object” menu and choose “Clip” and “Object to Clip.” Your subject will now be clipped to the shape of the clip-path.

Advanced Techniques with Clip Paths

Clipping Images

You can use clip paths to crop images into custom shapes or to isolate specific elements within an image.

Creating Complex Shapes

By combining multiple objects and clip paths, you can create intricate and visually stunning shapes and designs.

Utilizing Clip Paths for Text

Clip paths can be used to apply text within a defined shape, allowing for artistic and decorative text elements.


Inkscape’s clip path feature is a versatile tool that can elevate your design and illustration projects to new heights. Whether you’re a graphic designer, artist, or hobbyist, mastering the art of clip paths in Inkscape allows you to unleash your creative potential and create captivating visuals with ease. Explore the many possibilities and let your imagination run wild as you harness the power of clip paths in your vector graphics projects.


Can I edit or modify a clip-path after it’s applied?
Yes, you can edit clip paths by selecting them and adjusting their nodes and properties.

Can I use clip paths with raster images in Inkscape?
Yes, you can apply clip paths to both vector and raster images.

Are there limitations to the number of objects that can be used in a clip path operation?
Inkscape allows for multiple objects to be used in a clip path operation, enabling complex designs.

Can I release or remove a clip-path once it’s applied?
Yes, you can release the clip-path by selecting the clipped object and choosing “Object” > “Clip” > “Release.”

This page was last edited on 21 December 2023, at 6:00 pm