How to Flatten Layers In Inkscape

Vector software like Inkscape operates by creating layers that are compounded into a final document. When working with these layers, merging them to create backgrounds can become helpful. So how do you flatten layers in Inkscape?

Inkscape is a great software that will allow you to create excellent logos and illustrations that other platforms don’t offer. The downside is sometimes using it is a learning process. It’s perfectly normal to be intimidated by new programs! Read on and learn all you need to know about Flattening layers in Inkscape.

Flattening Layers In Inkscape

Inkscape works like its competitors because the same routine actions are used to create images. These actions can be performed by entering the keys or selecting them in drop-down menus. However, the menus take longer, and there are ways to hot-key a move so you can use it faster than average.

Creating Layers Is the First Step In Flattening

To merge or flatten, the layers must be created. You can create as many or as few layers as needed to finish the project, but it is wise to work under control. As you create layers, they will merge, so having a few open layers is encouraged. Always remember the layering nature and place items in the correct layer.

The steps to create layers in Inkscape are as follows:

  1. Layers Palette – The first place to create layers is in the Layers palette. A side menu will give you access to each layer as it is made. There will be nameplates in each, labeling them for flattening. At the bottom of this panel, you should see a + or Add Layer button. Be sure that you keep your layers in order and labeled, so there is no confusion regarding the flattening stage.
  2. Add Layers – Once you have clicked the + or Add Layer button, a naming box will populate your work screen. This box is essential because it should work as your base level for flattening. It should also be colored so that when you create the flattening layer, you don’t have two white workspaces merging.
  3. Add More Layers – Once the window has been named and has some color, you should add one or two more. These layers will need to have their names and alternate colors or graphics. Graphics work best if you want to create a single piece of art and colors if you just want to make shapes on the page and color them.
  4. Organize Layers – You should understand that what is happening is you are making a picture one layer at a time. You set yourself up for success, not failure, by building or placing them in order. Disaster means that your background takes over the workspace, and none of the elements you created are visible in the pane.

Creating layers is easy once you know which buttons create and which ones delete. The critical thing to remember is the file names of the layers and to check for Locks. Each layer should have an Unlock symbol beside it, or you will not be able to flatten them when it comes time. Tiny symbols like Unlock can be hard to understand. Don’t be afraid to learn from your mistakes.

Flattening the Layers Is a Simple and Speedy Process

Once you realize how easy it is to flatten and merge layers with Inkscape, your design ideas will take off. Of course, the software’s functionality allows you to do many things but learning the simple things, like flattening, are often the first stepping stones to something greater. You are taking your first steps into a larger world by accomplishing this small task.

The steps to flatten layers in Inkscape are:

  1. Merge Layer – Before flattening the layers into one image, you must make another for the finished product. Again, remember to click only the layers with an open Unlock symbol. If you have problems sorting or altering layers, you should always check for the Unlock symbol in Inkscape.
  2. Click the Layers – You should go into the layers you want to merge and use the Selector tool to click them. Then, by holding the Control key, you can select more options. It is best to have a background and layers for each graphic.
  3. Copy – It might seem like a hack, but copying and pasting the layers is how they get merged. A drop-down menu will appear by Right-Clicking once all the layers and graphics are selected. From the menu, choose Copy or press the keys Ctrl + C. Copy/Paste is a valuable tool and should be used often.
  4. Flatten the Layers – Once you have copied everything, you should move over to the Merge layer you created earlier. As soon as the workspace is ready, you can hit Ctrl + V or choose Paste in Place from the Edit drop-down menu. Again, once the buttons are pushed, the layer should populate with all the elements on a single workspace.

Once you realize how simple the process of flattening layers in Inkscape can be completed, you will look for reasons to add it to your projects. It creates impressive art that some people use as logos or illustrations. The most important thing to remember is that your layers are set up correctly, or you could have a field populated with your background color and nothing else.


Flattening layers in Inkscape is a simple process that requires you to create a few layers with background elements before merging them into a single layer. These created layers can be used as designs or logos for your company or event. Remember that you don’t have to be a graphic designer to use Inkscape but applying their concepts will definitely help.

A few important things to remember when working with layers is keeping them named, and in the order you want them layered. By doing these small things, you create a design that is not only simple but effective and is sure to improve the life of your brand and company.