Break a line in Inkscape

I have a solid line in Inkscape and I want to insert a line break, say, in the middle. The reason is that I had a relatively complex figure generated as SVG, where I need to colour some lines in half.

So, here’s how to do it:

  • Select the line you want to break
  • Click Edit path by nodes button (or just press F2):

  • Click Convert selected object to path (or press Shift + Ctrl + C):

  • Double click the line at the place you want to break. A new node will be inserted.
  • Click on the new node to make sure it is selected.
  • Click Break path at selected nodes:

  • Go to the Path menu and click Break apart (or just press Shift + Ctrl + K)

The line is broken!

Why do I need this? Well, I have a phylogenetic tree exported as SVG by SeaView. Once I open it in Inkscape I want to colour-code certain branches. When I do Ungroup, however, the line that connects two branches to their ancestral node is solid. When I break it at the place pointed below, I can colour the tree properly:

For the record, there is a program that can generate SVG trees with lines already prebroken there, it is called FigTree.

One Comment on “Break a line in Inkscape”

  1. jvangeld says:

    Thanks! This saved my bacon. And I learned some keyboard shortcuts.

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