tutorial – shifting an object in inkscape

I’ve been using inkscape for years and what I love about it is that I keep discovering new things it can do. I suppose that could be something that bugs me, since the user interface can be quite overwhelming to figure out, especially when you’re starting out, but I like the feeling that there are all kinds of possibilities I don’t know about. Yesterday I found the move function under transform (Object – transform, or Shift+Ctrl+M). What this does is move an object a certain number of pixels either vertically or horizontally.

In fabric design this is something I do all the time in order to create a repeating pattern. Until now I’ve been using a more convoluted method: placing an object at 0 on the x or y axis, duplicating, then moving the second object along the x or y axis depending on the width and height of the page, grouping the two and placing them where I want on the page (it sounds more complicated than it is, but its a lot of extra steps compared to using the move function).
You can see how easy it is to move the whole group of girls in the design below to quickly see how the pattern looks in repeat. Group them all, duplicate and move horizontally the number of pixels of my page width. 
The design I’ve been working on this week is once again for the spoonflower design contest. This week’s theme is umbrellas, and I reworked some of the girls from this design, added a few more and played with colour and placement. 
You can see the final design in my shop (not yet for sale) and see the other designs in the contest here (voting starts this evening). 
Now I’m looking forward to trying out the different options of the transform tool and hopefully discovering other functions I didn’t know about. 


I'm a fabric designer fascinated with the intricacies of seamless repeats. I enjoy creating vector designs as well as working with linoprint and watercolour. I've lived in 5 countries and love to use special places and memories in my designs.

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