ability to set coordinate origin

Bug #170347 reported by Albudden
This bug affects 17 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone

Bug Description

This may be my Coreldraw experience making me biased
towards the Coreldraw behaviour, but I find this
extremely odd. When I am doing technical drawings in
Coreldraw I often need/want to be quite precise with
the coordinates. It is often easier to have the origin
in the middle of the page, so this is the first change
I make. Then I draw objects and specify the sizes and
positions precisely using the coordinate entry thing on
the toolbar.

However, with Inkscape, if I set the origin to the
middle of the page and then draw (say) a circle and set
the X and Y coordinates to (0,0), it appears in the
bottom left hand corner rather than in the middle of
the page. Surely this is a bug? It is bizarre to say
the least to type the X and Y coordinates at (0,0) and
to have the object at a position (according to the
rulers at the top and side of the page) of (-105,-148.5).

Also, I prefer the coreldraw system of specifying the
coordinates of the middle of the object, rather than
the bottom left hand corner, so an option to use this
in the UI would be nice. I guess that's a feature
request though, rather than a bug.

Revision history for this message
Buliabyak-users (buliabyak-users) wrote :

You can't set the coordinate origin at all, currently. It's
always in the corner. Moving this to RFEs.

Revision history for this message
Albudden (albudden) wrote :

If as you say it is impossible to set the coordinate origin,
I think it would be worth making this a bit clearer in the
Document Properties window -- it seemed natural to me that
if you change the grid origin (and hence the rulers are
changed), that the coordinates would be changed to be
relative to this ruler.

Revision history for this message
Horkana-users (horkana-users) wrote :

closed another reports as a duplicate of this one ("Movable

Revision history for this message
Kaimartin (kaimartin) wrote :

The ability to set the origin to some arbitrary point in the
drawing is would be appreaciated by me too. In Coreldraw the
origin is set by a clickn'drag to the little square in the
upper left corner of the drawing just next to the ruler. The
drag will move the origin to the point where the mouse is

While it is possible to work with corels origin feature,
inkscape could easily do better:

*) Mark the origin in the drawing area with a circled cross.
The size of this mark should not depend on the zoom of the

*) Allow for numerical entered displacement of the origin.

*) Allow to set the origin to some "special" points of the
page (e.g. center, top-left, bottom-right)

 *) The origin should snap to nodes, guides etc, if snapping
to these objects is enabled. (With corel, the origin snas to
nodes but not to guide lines.)

I see, that this request is already attached to a specific
developer. Does this mean that it wil be part of the nex
release? Keep getting better!

Revision history for this message
Musaran (musaran) wrote :

"I prefer ... specifying the coordinates of the middle of
the object"
Good : Object center is the same whatever the size of the
Good : There is only one object center.
Bad : Border alignment is harder.

The solution is to be able to choose the spot to set, see
this FRE :

Changed in inkscape:
importance: Low → Wishlist
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Tom Davidson (tjd-mit) wrote :

Discussion of changing the reference point for coordinates is now at: bug 170674

Revision history for this message
Tom Davidson (tjd-mit) wrote :

Sorry, I should have been more clear: Discussion of changing the reference point *per object* is covered at bug 170674 (i.e. a request that an object's coordinates refer to the center/corners of that object). Discussion of setting the coordinate origin for the entire document should continue here...

Also worth noting is that there was an 'accidental' way of changing the ruler origin prior to 0.46, which is presumably what the original report was talking about. See Johan's comments in the 046 release notes:

"A side effect of removal of old gridcode: apparantly the origin of the desktop rules used to be set to the origin of the grid. I find this strange: specifying a grid origin of (2,2) would have me think the origin would be at ruler location (2,2) instead of (0,0) as it is in 0.45.1. I have commented the grid-origin correction to the ruler range, because now there is not a single grid anymore to correct it for. Isn't there a control somewhere to define the documents origin? Now the ruler origin is set to (0,0)"

As the original poster noted, this new origin wasn't used correctly for anything but the ruler, so it's probably good that it was yanked. So I think this is now clearly an RFE, not a bug report...

Revision history for this message
paul sorenson (news01-metrak) wrote :

A quick workaround for me would be to have an additional option in the "gridline" move dialog to move in absolute ruler coordinates.

It might be quick and dirty (or not) but it might be a stop gap to being able to set the origin.

Revision history for this message
Tom Davidson (tjd-mit) wrote :

Paul: I don't quite understand what you are requesting. In 0.45, you could set the grid origin, and that would also move the ruler origin. That behavior was removed in 0.46 because you can now have more than one grid (so which one would control the ruler?), and also because that old behavior was buggy (it didn't update the actual co-ordinates of objects. See Johan's comments quoted in my comment above... Can you give some more details on what you're looking for?

Revision history for this message
paul sorenson (news01-metrak) wrote :

Sorry - I didn't know the changes in 0.46, I downloaded it last night but haven't compiled it yet.

What I really want, and what I thought this thread was about, was the ability to set the cursor coordinate origin to any point. For example, I am drawing a house plan and I have made all my measurements from one corner of the house, I want that point to be 0,0 for both cursor and grid/ruler - not the corner of the page. In 0.45, I can set the grid/ruler origin but the cursor origin is stuck at the corner of the page. If that functionality is provided, then my "quick fix" is unnecessary.

My quick fix (in 0.45 way of doing things) suggestion would allow me to set the position of guidelines according to ruler co-ordinates by adding another option to the guide line set position dialog for that purpose. As it is in 0.45, guideline coordinates have the origin at the lower left corner of the page.

I hope this helps clarify what I said.

Revision history for this message
nvmd (nvmd) wrote :

I would also like to see this functionality. I use Inkscape primarily to create instrument panels which consist of multiple driledl holes for parts which I submit to fabricators. Often these panels must line up precisely with printed circuit boards beneath, and being able to specify an exact coordinate for the center of a hole would be an enormous time and energy saver.

Currently I either use a series of guidelines or I have to do calculations to figure out the center in relation to the anchor point (lower left) and then manually enter them that way. Being able to set the anchor point to the center of the object would be ideal, as then I could merely type in the coordinates and have the object go exactly where it needs to be. A simple feature like this would save me hours of time.

Revision history for this message
Christian Mertes (cmertes) wrote :

Is it correct that this functionality still doesn't exist?

Revision history for this message
John P (johnpharrell) wrote :

Sad to say it doesn't :/

Revision history for this message
grey tomorrow (gtomorrow) wrote :

Hi - thanks for reporting this bug, I've manually migrated it to Inkscape's new bug tracker on GitLab, and closed it here.

Please feel free to file new bugs about the issues you're seeing at
https://inkscape.org/report .

Moved to: https://gitlab.com/inkscape/inbox/issues/3520
Closed by: https://gitlab.com/greytomorrow

Changed in inkscape:
status: Confirmed → Invalid
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