How Do I Convert Stroked Objects to Filled Shapes?

Post questions on how to use or achieve an effect in Inkscape.
Kristov
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Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:04 pm

How Do I Convert Stroked Objects to Filled Shapes?

Postby Kristov » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:29 pm

So I am coming from Illustrator trying to learn how to use inkscape as an alternative, and everything was going fine until I went to "expand" (I guess this is an Illustrator term) my object. I quickly found the "object to path" function and used it, but it did not expand my stroke. All it seems to do is convert text objects to shapes, which is good because I needed that but the stroke was still a stroke and not a shape. So thinking logically, I then went to "Stroke to Path" and I was shocked to see that while it did accomplish the job of expanding my stroke to a fill, it deleted my original fill! :shock: So in other words I was left with only the expanded stroke. I thought I must have done something wrong, or it must be a bug, so I went searching online and found that this is apparently what it is supposed to do. I am entirely baffled as to why you would want it to automatically delete your fill but I am still trying to figure out how to do this properly.

I have searched the internet for over an hour and have not been able to find an answer to my simple question, nor have I been able to find anyone asking this question, which surprises me because it's a very basic function that I use every single day in illustrator. I feel like I must be missing something that should be very obvious. In Illustrator all I had to do was use the expand function and it would convert my text to a shape and then convert my strokes to fills. I can't seem to find how to do this in Inkscape.

TLDR:
I have some red text with a blue stroke outline. I need to convert that stroke to a fill. Can't figure out how to do it without deleting my red fill in the process.

Thank you in advance to anyone who can help me out! :)

tylerdurden
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Location: Michigan, USA

Re: How Do I Convert Stroked Objects to Filled Shapes?

Postby tylerdurden » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:52 pm

There's no single click operation to do that expand function in inkscape.

I'd duplicate the object, kill the stroke on the top object, then send it to the back. Then, I'd path to stroke the top object and be done.

It wouldn't be too difficult to create an extension that performs the operation, but as you have discovered, there doesn't seem to be very much demand for it.
Have a nice day.

I'm using Inkscape 0.92.2 (5c3e80d, 2017-08-06), 64 bit win8.1

The Inkscape manual has lots of helpful info! http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL/html/

Raspi
Posts: 229
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:51 am

Re: How Do I Convert Stroked Objects to Filled Shapes?

Postby Raspi » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:53 pm

There is no Expand in Inkscape, because it doesnt need to.
As far as i understand expanding means vectorizing or finalizing a filter effect.
The closest Inkscape has to expanding is converting an LPE effect into a path.

You offset a path inside or outside, then expand.
You warp text into an arch (or other shape), then expand.

As tylerdurden already pointed out, the way you do it in Inskcape is by layering objects.

Sometimes clipping can help to get a certain effect (offset path on the inside), breaking apart, or even node editing.

For getting a fill on path stroked textobject i can see the following options:

1) work with a duplicate (as td said)
2) Boolean Operation: Break Apart (this has the disadvantages that it also fills the "holes" in the letters so you have to fix them with more BO's, possibly with going into Outline Mode to find your objects)
3) Fill the gaps with the Bucket Tool with a Grow of 1px, then 'Union' (actually quicker and less fiddly than option 2)
4) Node editing - for simple objects just delete the nodes on the inside
5) reverse path - this is like option 4: select the nodes of the hole you want to fill and reverse the path
Last edited by Raspi on Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

tylerdurden
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Location: Michigan, USA

Re: How Do I Convert Stroked Objects to Filled Shapes?

Postby tylerdurden » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:16 am

From Adobe :
Expanding objects enables you to divide a single object into multiple objects that make up its appearance. For example, if you expand a simple object, such as a circle with a solid-color fill and a stroke, the fill and the stroke each become a discrete object.
https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/usi ... jects.html
Have a nice day.

I'm using Inkscape 0.92.2 (5c3e80d, 2017-08-06), 64 bit win8.1

The Inkscape manual has lots of helpful info! http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL/html/

Moini
Posts: 2732
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:44 am

Re: How Do I Convert Stroked Objects to Filled Shapes?

Postby Moini » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:16 am

Stroke to path is going to work like that in 0.93:
http://wiki.inkscape.org/wiki/index.php ... ke_to_Path
Something doesn't work? - Keeping an eye on the status bar can save you a lot of time!

Inkscape FAQ - Learning Resources - Website with tutorials (German and English)

Kristov
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:04 pm

Re: How Do I Convert Stroked Objects to Filled Shapes?

Postby Kristov » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:38 am

Thank you all so much for your quick and highly informative responses! :D

tylerdurden wrote:There's no single click operation to do that expand function in inkscape.

I'd duplicate the object, kill the stroke on the top object, then send it to the back. Then, I'd path to stroke the top object and be done.

It wouldn't be too difficult to create an extension that performs the operation, but as you have discovered, there doesn't seem to be very much demand for it.


Thank you sir, that work around does do the trick and seems to be the simplest way to do it, but boy is it a lot of extra steps when working with multiple objects that all have to be broken apart and re-layered! This is something I could do with a couple of clicks in Illustrator, but took me several minutes of work in inkscape to accomplish the same thing when working with several objects.

I simply don't understand why Inkscape would lack what, to me, seems to be one of the most basic features of a vector editing program. Now I feel like a spoiled brat, lol, assuming that there must have been an equivalent in Inkscape.

Why would the fill be deleted by default? If I didn't want the fill I wouldn't have made it! I just don't get why it has to be so needlessly complicated. Sorry for ranting, I'm certainly not expecting you all to answer these questions about why Inkscape works the way it does, but I do wonder how this doesn't frustrate all of you as much as it does me?

For some context, I work in the print industry. The company I work for does screenprinting and vinyl cutting/heat press. I literally use the expand function in Illustrator every single day to prepare art for vinyl cutting or to simplify for archive purposes. For vinyl cutting you must change all strokes to filled paths and any time I send or archive art I have to expand the strokes so that when opened by other users the strokes don't act weird or change width, etc.

This is especially problematic when trying to open an Inkscape file in AI and find that my strokes no longer appear correctly as the two programs seem to interpret them differently.

Raspi wrote:There is no Expand in Inkscape, because it doesnt need to.
As far as i understand expanding means vectorizing or finalizing a filter effect.
The closest Inkscape has to expanding is converting an LPE effect into a path.


Thank you so much for the detailed response. Yes, expanding in Illustrator performs many different functions that it seems you have to do separately in Inkscape. In my experience though, 85% of the time I use it just to turn a stroked object into two separate, but grouped, fill objects. Again, I feel a little spoiled saying this, but I find it crazy that you have to make it a multi-step process in order to finalize your artwork. This is especially tedious when you are trying to expand multiple complexly "layered"(not in the sense of using layers, but stacked in different positions within a layer) objects to finalize a design you have been working on for and hour and thinking you are one step away from being done. I feel like I am building something, and then being forced to deconstruct it piece by piece and then put it back together.

Moini wrote:Stroke to path is going to work like that in 0.93:
http://wiki.inkscape.org/wiki/index.php ... ke_to_Path


Oh thank goodness! My ultimate goal is to get one of my coworkers who has no graphics experience and very little computer experience to be able to set up some very simple text based designs to take some burden off our severely understaffed art department(I'm not here to rant about my company's management...) And for multiple practical reasons I wanted to get her set up in inkscape, but with the way things work now, I would basically have to tell her not to use strokes at all or sparingly at most, because it will just make more work for me to fix them.

Moini
Posts: 2732
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:44 am

Re: How Do I Convert Stroked Objects to Filled Shapes?

Postby Moini » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:56 am

Thank the developers, especially Jabier Arraiza Cenoz, not 'goodness' ;-)
Something doesn't work? - Keeping an eye on the status bar can save you a lot of time!

Inkscape FAQ - Learning Resources - Website with tutorials (German and English)

tylerdurden
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Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:04 pm
Location: Michigan, USA

Re: How Do I Convert Stroked Objects to Filled Shapes?

Postby tylerdurden » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:16 am

There is a reason Illustrator-CC costs 240 bux /year....( I mean besides Adobe's money grubbing tentacles. :lol: ) The Adobe engineers have built a very powerful feature-set to establish dominance in the commercial realm.

Anyway, welcome aboard, it's possible you may find you never want to use anything but Inkscape, for commercial and beyond, if you give it a fair chance.

Please take a look at these fine works:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=13514
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9424
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=33295
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=33225
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=33224


From a slideshow on Inkscape:
Inkscape is "FOSS" software: Free and Open Source Software. Anyone can use the software and the code that makes the program, to modify/redesign/repurpose the code.

Inkscape is developed, managed and updated by volunteer programmers, supported by donations to the The Free Software Foundation.

With scores of contributing programmers and scores of volunteer translators, Inkscape is used worldwide by millions of users, absolutely free, in almost ninety languages.

So don't be shocked when stuff breaks or isn't in the Adobe feature-set... Inkscape continues to improve, dramatically, with 1000% price increase each release. :mrgreen:


PS: Looks like we currently have 156 bug fixes or wishlist items committed and 30 more currently in progress... :!:
Have a nice day.

I'm using Inkscape 0.92.2 (5c3e80d, 2017-08-06), 64 bit win8.1

The Inkscape manual has lots of helpful info! http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL/html/

Moini
Posts: 2732
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:44 am

Re: How Do I Convert Stroked Objects to Filled Shapes?

Postby Moini » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:07 am

TD: Where did you get the 156 / 30 from? I see even 222 / 82 issues with 'fix committed' / 'in progress' currently :) (for the next two versions, to be fair) - and 593 commits lie between 0.92.2 and the current development focus 0.93.

https://bugs.launchpad.net/inkscape/+bu ... eprints=on
Something doesn't work? - Keeping an eye on the status bar can save you a lot of time!

Inkscape FAQ - Learning Resources - Website with tutorials (German and English)

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brynn
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Re: How Do I Convert Stroked Objects to Filled Shapes?

Postby brynn » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:07 pm

Why would the fill be deleted by default? If I didn't want the fill I wouldn't have made it! I just don't get why it has to be so needlessly complicated. Sorry for ranting, I'm certainly not expecting you all to answer these questions about why Inkscape works the way it does, but I do wonder how this doesn't frustrate all of you as much as it does me?

For some context, I work in the print industry. The company I work for does screenprinting and vinyl cutting/heat press. I literally use the expand function in Illustrator every single day to prepare art for vinyl cutting or to simplify for archive purposes. For vinyl cutting you must change all strokes to filled paths and any time I send or archive art I have to expand the strokes so that when opened by other users the strokes don't act weird or change width, etc.

I think it depends on one's perspective and prior experience. With some patience, discussion, practice, and perhaps some study of manual and/or tutorials, I'm sure you'll soon discover your workflow in Inkscape.

It probably won't make you feel any better, but I would mention that we often hear from Inkscape users who are switching from Illustrator, that they find it a difficult transition. That darn price tag :o . But we're here to help :D

From the context you provided above, I start to think about 2 general things and 1 specific.

Specific tip if you use a lot of text, and your cutter requires paths. In Inkscape, with Path menu > Object to Path, each character or punctuation becomes a single path, and then all the new paths are Grouped. So if you need the text to become sub-paths of a single compound path, it results in this annoying routine:

-- type text
-- object to path
-- ungroup
-- path menu > combine

But there's a happy shortcut, which might not be obvious:

-- type text
-- Path menu > Union

Same result, far fewer steps.

First general thing - instead of using strokes and stroke to path, maybe use Inkscape's Path Offset commands (Path menu > Inset, Outset, etc.) (http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL ... hs-Offsets) (The same trick with Union works for the offsets too!) Together with 2nd general thing - Path Operations (Booleans) which are probably similar to Illustrator's. But just in case: http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL ... ining.html


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