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Template:Infobox Software Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editor. Its goal is to become a powerful graphic tool while being fully compliant with the XML, SVG and CSS standards. It is a cross-platform application that runs on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Unix-like operating systems; however, the primary development platform is the Linux operating system.

Inkscape started in 2003 as a fork of the Sodipodi vector editor. Inkscape does not yet have as many features as the best commercial vector editors, but it is already suitable for a wide range of applications. Inkscape's implementation of SVG is not complete; notably, it has not yet implemented support for portions of the SVG standard involving filters, animation, or SVG fonts, and its CSS support is limited. Inkscape is currently under active development, with new features being added regularly.



Object creation

  • Drawing:
    • pencil tool (freehand drawing with stroked paths)
    • pen tool (creating paths with Bezier curves and straight lines)
    • calligraphy tool (freehand drawing using filled paths representing calligraphic strokes)
  • Shape tools:
    • rectangles (may have rounded corners)
    • ellipses (includes circles, arcs, segments)
    • stars/polygons (can be rounded and/or randomized)
    • spirals
  • Text tool (multiline text, full on-canvas editing)
  • Linked bitmaps, with a command to create and link a bitmap of selected objects (a separate utility for embedding linked images comes with the program)
  • Clones ("live" linked copies of objects), including a tool to create patterns and arrangements of clones

Object manipulation

  • Affine transformations (moving, scaling, rotating, skewing), both interactively and by specifying exact numeric values
  • Z-order operations
  • Grouping objects, with a way to "select in group" without ungrouping, or "enter the group" making it a temporary layer
  • Layers, with a way to lock and/or hide individual layers, rearrange them, etc; layers can form a hierarchical tree
  • Copying and pasting objects
  • Alignment and distribution commands
  • Grid and guide snapping

Fill and stroke

  • Color selector (RGB, HSL, CMYK, color wheel)
  • Color picker tool
  • Copy/paste style between objects
  • A gradient editor capable of multi-stop gradients
  • Pattern fills
  • Dashed strokes, with many predefined dash patterns
  • Path markers (e.g. arrowheads)

Operations on paths

  • Node editing: moving nodes and Bezier curve handles, node alignment and distribution
  • Converting to path (for text objects or shapes), including converting stroke to path
  • Boolean operations (union, intersection, difference, etc.)
  • Path simplification, with variable threshold
  • Path insetting and outsetting, including dynamic and linked offset objects
  • Bitmap tracing (both color and b/w)

Text support

  • Multi-line text
  • Uses any outline fonts installed on the system
  • Can use any scripts and languages supported by the Pango library (e.g. Hebrew, Arabic, Thai, etc.)
  • Kerning, letterspacing, linespacing adjustments
  • Text on path (both text and path remain editable)


  • 256x maximum zoom
  • Fully anti-aliased display
  • Alpha transparency support for display and PNG export
  • Complete "as you drag" rendering of objects during interactive transformations


  • Live watching and editing the document tree in the XML editor
  • PNG and PostScript export
  • Command line options for export and conversions
  • RDF metadata (authorship, date, license, etc.)

Interface and usability

One of the priorities of the Inkscape project is interface consistency and usability. This includes greater GNOME HIG compliance, universal keyboard accessibility, and convenient on-canvas editing. Inkscape has achieved significant progress in usability since the project started.

The number of floating dialog boxes has been reduced, with their functions now available via keyboard shortcuts and/or in the docked toolbars in the editing window. The tool controls bar at the top of the window always displays the controls relevant to the current tool.

All transformations (not only moving but also scaling and rotating) have keyboard shortcuts with consistent modifiers (e.g. Alt transforms by 1 screen pixel at the current zoom, Shift multiplies the transformation by 10, etc.); these keys work on nodes in Node tool as well as on objects in Selector. The most common operations (such as transformations, zooming, z-order) have convenient one-key shortcuts.

Inkscape provides floating tooltips and statusbar hints for all buttons, controls, commands, keys, and on-canvas handles. It comes with a complete keyboard and mouse reference (in HTML and SVG) and several interactive tutorials in SVG.

The interface of Sodipodi (Inkscape's predecessor) was partly based on those of Corel Draw and The GIMP. With the current Inkscape interface, one of the influences is the interface of Xara X.


Inkscape started in 2003 as a code fork from the Sodipodi project caused by differences over objectives and development approach. One of the main personalities involved in initiating Inkscape was Bryce Harrington. Inkscape sought to center development around the SVG standard, while Sodipodi development emphasized creating more of an all-purpose vector graphics editor. Sodipodi, developed since 1999, was itself based on Gill, the work of Raph Levien.

Inkscape also places emphasis on open access to the codebase for all active developers, and participation in the larger open source community. The Inkscape fork has, among other things, changed from using the C programming language to C++; changed to the GTK toolkit C++ bindings (Gtkmm); redesigned the user interface and added a huge number of new features.


  • The latest version 0.41, released on February 10 2005, features the clone tiler tool and color tracing, plus many bugfixes.
  • Version 0.40 adds support for layers, bitmap tracing, and text on path.
  • Version 0.39 saw the introduction of the Pango library, bringing better support for more languages, as well as markers, clones, and pattern fills.
  • Version 0.38 was a bugfix release, but it also featured text kerning and letterspacing, multistage gradients, and many usability enhancements.
  • Version 0.37 saw the addition of boolean path operations and path inset/outset.
  • Version 0.36 was the first release with the reorganized UI using a menu bar and docked context-sensitive toolbars in the document window.
  • Version 0.35 was released October 14 2003 and was the first release of Inkscape, very similar to Sodipodi version 0.32.

See also

External links

de:Inkscape es:Inkscape fr:Inkscape pl:Inkscape pt:Inkscape


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