Extended UI for managing guides

Bug #170355 reported by Horkana-users
This bug affects 9 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
John Glassmyer

Bug Description

It is already possible to add (and remove) guides one
at a time by clicking on the rulers.

What I am suggesting is to provide a menu item
View, New Guide...
to allow users to add a guide using the keyboard.
this is good for both users that need it for
accessibility and ordinary users that want greater
This feature should be easy enough to add as it
essentially just provind an alternative interface to
exisiting funtionality.

New Guide would display a dialog something like this

New Guide

Position [ 50] [ pixels [v] [] Repeat
      () Horizontal
      () Vertical

                                      [Reset] [Cancel ]
[ OK ]

Ideally the object labelled pixels would be a drop down
box that allowed users to choose various unit types
including centimetres(cm) milimeters (mm), percentages,
pixels, etc.

It might also be worthwhile to to include a [] Repeat
option that would add a guide every N pixels.
Similarly it might be useful to include an option to
add a guide to both Horizontal and Vertical at the same
The position box could be prefilled with a default
value (the midpoint of the image, or 1/10th of the
image for example).

Clear All would simply clear all the guides from the
image without asking any additional questions (action
would be undoable).

I expect this would be done as an internal extension.
If Inkscape had a scripting interface it could be done
using that but the Position input widget would need to
check that the position is not out of bounds and
ideally that should be done on the fly rather than just
giving the user and error when they hit OK. (I've
implemented pretty much this same functionality as a
Gimp script and it sucks not to be able to check the
input on the fly, so I'd have to write a fully fledged
plugin with its own interface to do it).

It should be possible to do many things using only the
keyboard. In some cases it is particularly useful to
be able to specify the coordiantes when adding or
drawing something.
The scripting API will very likely provide a way to do
this but certain things are definately worth providing
for all users.

I have marked the priority of this as Low (3).

Revision history for this message
Bug Importer (bug-importer) wrote :

Also it would be fun if in new guide dialog you will be
able to enter the angle on wih new guide is to be rotated.

Revision history for this message
Bug Importer (bug-importer) wrote :

i cannot think of any software that allows guides to be
placed at an angle. the functionality you want is probably
more appropriate to a specialized grid type, possibley a 3D
grid which I have seen used in other software.

Revision history for this message
dcberg (david-sipsolutions) wrote :

AutoCAD is a software with guides at an angle as well as
Medusa (also CAD)
I've already filed a RFE for this quite a time ago and hope
it's implemented soon.

Concerning the adding and deleting:
The dialog should be the same as when double clicking a
guide... I suggest to go for the Corel approach and have a
edit guides dialog with a new button.

Revision history for this message
Bug Importer (bug-importer) wrote :

I do agree. And I do think that this should have a higher

For example, being able to place "crossed" guides (one
horizontal and other vertical) in a spot would be very
useful: you can mark the center of an image and revolve
elements around it. I've had to do this manually quite often
and, while it is not a real pain, this option would make it

The "repeated guides" feature is somewhat supplied with the
grid. But it would be nice to have it, anyway.

And the "remove guides" button is really necessary. I have
to strain in order to point exactly at those pixel-wide
lines, in order to remove them.

Revision history for this message
Pupeno-users (pupeno-users) wrote :

I'd add two features that I'd find interesting:

- That same dialog to edit a guide should be pop up
when double-clicking the guide (like now) and it should
be present on right click (context menu) (unlike now).
- Having a way to specify a relative guide is useful,
some cases:
  - 10 mm to the left of the right edge of the paper.
  - 10 mm to the top of the bottom of the paper.
  - 0 mm to the center of the paper (horizontally or

Thank you.

Revision history for this message
Irisson (irisson) wrote :

Originator: NO

to follow up on pupeno comment: When the mouse is on a guide the status
bar message displays its position, maybe this could be added: "double click
to edit position". and maybe simple click would be enough: it's difficult
to double click on such a thin object (particularly with a pen or a
trackpad) and clic+drag or simple clic can be distinguished I think.

Ryan Lerch (ryanlerch)
Changed in inkscape:
importance: Medium → Wishlist
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Marcin Floryan (mfloryan) wrote :

On top of that - it would be nice to be able to 'manage' all guides in one place - having a list of guides that can be changed easily - I am just thinking of the best place to put it - Document Properties / Guides tab?

Revision history for this message
Marcin Floryan (mfloryan) wrote :

Also - context menu is not 'context specific' when invoked by a right-click on a guide and this is misleading (as for example: Delete does not delete the guide since it is meant for objects).

Revision history for this message
Maximilian Albert (cilix) wrote :

Just as an aside: In 0.46 it is possible to convert arbitrary objects to guidelines (see the Release Notes at


). This doesn't specifically address the above requests but may still be useful.

Revision history for this message
Alexandre Prokoudine (alexandre-prokoudine) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Kattekrab (donna) wrote :

Added a comment to 171917 which also applies here...

Just confirming a wishlist feature request for a 'clear all guides' option somewhere.

or delete all guides
or remove all guides
or nuke all guides


Revision history for this message
Troy James Sobotka (troy-sobotka) wrote :

Bear in mind that a more advanced Guides option is of critical value to desktop publishing. See http://tinyurl.com/ygjpscv for a useful and rather simplistic publishing grid tool.

Revision history for this message
Frederik Elwert (frederik-elwert) wrote :

I would also second this request. Since guides should make it easier to exactly position objects, it should also be possible to exactly position the guides themselves. Currently, I often use the XML editor in order to accurately position the guides.

I think Scribus 1.3.5 has a quite well designed dialog to create, manage and delete guides. Something similar would be very useful for Inkscape.

Revision history for this message
su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

@Frederik - have you tried to double-click a guide? What is missing from that dialog? (Besides that it isn't a 'Guideline Manager' of course, and allows positioning of individual guides only)

Changed in inkscape:
assignee: nobody → John Glassmyer (john-glassmyer)
Revision history for this message
Leo Plaw (leo-guildmedia) wrote :

I would like to throw my vote in with Troy and Frederik.

I use Scribus also and find its guide dialogue.

I find it very surprising that software as advanced as Inkscape does not provide better control for something so fundamental as guides. At the very least there should be an option to clear all guides.

@Suv - ok there is individual control, however, a Guideline Manager is extremely helpful. Take a look at Scribus.

tags: added: bug-migration
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/3511
Closed by: https://gitlab.com/greytomorrow

Changed in inkscape:
status: Confirmed → Invalid
To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  
Everyone can see this information.

Duplicates of this bug

Other bug subscribers

Remote bug watches

Bug watches keep track of this bug in other bug trackers.