About edit

Inkscape is a free and open source (FOSS) Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) editor software program. The creations can be used in web, print and screen design as well as user interface designs, logos, icons, banners and material cutting. Its capabilities are similar to those of commercial products and can be used for any number of pratical reasons such as letterheads, computer and material wallpapers, brochures, business cards and web page designs.

Inkscape's stated goal is to become a powerful graphic tool and being fully compliant with the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.1 standard. As part of this challenge for standard compliance, Inkscape changed its version release notation to reflect its progress of the SVG 1.1 standard and changed its release identification between releases v0.48 and v0.91. The v0.91 reflects that Inkscape is at 82% compliance of the SVG 1.1 standard. While the SVG 1.1 standard compliance is its main goal, other closely related standards are also on the horizon: XML, CSS and HTML5. Most notably, it does not support animations or SVG fonts. As of this writing, Inkscape is at version 0.91.

Inkscape is for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X (under X11), and other Unix-like operating systems. As of 2016, Inkscape is under active development, with new features being added regularly.

Inkscape has good multi-lingual support particularly for complex scripts, something currently lacking in most commercial vector graphics applications.

History edit

Inkscape began in 2003 as a fork of the Sodipodi project. Sodipodi, developed since 1999, was itself based on Gill, the work of Raph Levien.

The fork was led by a team of four former Sodipodi developers (Ted Gould, Bryce Harrington, Nathan Hurst, and MenTaLguY) who identified differences over project objectives, openness to third-party contributions, and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) compliance as their reasons for forking. Inkscape, they claimed, would seek to focus development on implementing the complete SVG standard, whereas Sodipodi development had emphasized creating a general-purpose vector graphics editor, possibly at the expense of SVG.[1]

Since the fork, Inkscape has, among other things, changed from using C to C++; changed to the GTK+ toolkit C++ bindings (gtkmm); redesigned the user interface and added a number of new features. Its implementation of the SVG standard has shown gradual improvement, but is still incomplete.

Rather than top-down governance, its developers claim to encourage an equal culture where authority stems from an individual developer's abilities and active involvement in the project. As a result, the project places special emphasis on giving all active developers full access to its source code repository, and on active participation in the larger open source community, often in the form of inter-project initiatives and secondary projects like the Open Clip Art Library[2]. While the project founders are still well-represented in the decision-making process, many newcomers have also come to play prominent roles. Among them is "bulia byak", architect of the profound user interface changes that have given Inkscape its present appearance.

Inkscape is currently a Google Summer of Code[3] and linuxfund.org project.

Features edit

Object creation edit

  • Shape tools:

  • Rectangles and Squares (optionally with rounded corners)
  • 3D Boxes
  • Ellipses, Circles and Arcs

  • Stars and Polygons (optionally rounded or randomized)
  • Spirals (inner/outer controls, divergence)
  • Path and Rendering Tools:

  • Pencil tool (freehand drawing w/stroked paths)
  • Bezier Curves and Straight lines

  • Calligraphy tool (freehand drawing with calligraphic objects, graphics tablet pressure/angle support)
  • Text and other tools:

  • Text tool (support for unicode characters (Ctrl+U))
  • Tweak tool (tweak objects by scuplting or painting)
  • Measurement tool (angle and distance viewer)
  • Spray tool (duplicate pre-selected objects by sculpting or painting)

  • Erase tool (erase existing path)
  • Bucket tool (fill bounded areas)
  • Diagram Connector tool, create path diagram connectors (i.e., flow charts, circuit boards)
  • Menu bar rendering:

  • Linked or Embedded bitmap images, either imported or rasterized from selected objects.
  • >Edit>Clones ("live" linked copies of objects)
  • >Extensions>Render (create 18 menu driven objects)
  • >File>Import Open Clipart...(search and download from openclipart.org)

  • >Object >Symbols...(Copying and pasting symbols from file being edited and from symbol libraries)
  • >Path >Trace pixel art... (trace an imported pixel image, .png/.jpg)
  • >Extensions >Generate from Path (render 8 menu driven objects based on selected path(s))

Object manipulation edit

  • Object transformations (positioning, scaling, rotating, skewing), via freehand, snapped, locked, key combinations, by numeric values or dedicated dialogs (menus)
  • Z-order operations, object stacking order within a layer
  • Grouping objects, with a way to "select in group" without ungrouping, or "enter the group"
  • Layers, with a way to lock and/or hide individual layers, rearrange them, etc; layers form a stacking order
  • Cut, Copy and Paste operations of objects
  • Alignment and Distribution commands, including grid arrange, randomization, unclamping
  • A tool to create patterns of clones, using wallpaper symmetries plus arbitrary scales, shifts, rotates, and color changes, optionally randomized
  • Grid, Guide, Node, Object and other options for snapping

Styling objects edit

  • Fill and Stroke dialog (RGB, HSL, CMYK, Color Wheel, CMS)
  • Color palettes
  • Color picker ("dropper") tool
  • Opacity (master, gradient stop)
  • Gradients: multi-point linear and radial
  • Pattern fills (bitmap/vectors)
  • Filters (menu bar, over 260 filters)

  • Mask and Clip effects
  • Dashed strokes, with many predefined dashes
  • Extensions (menu bar, 141 effects)
  • Path Markers (start, middle and end markers, e.g. arrowheads)
  • Copy/Paste styles
  • Per file Swatch

Operations on paths edit

  • Node editing: positioning nodes and segments, curve handles, node alignment and distribution, scaling and rotating node groups, "node sculpting" (proportional editing of multiple nodes)
  • Converting to path (for text, images or shapes), including converting stroke to path
  • Boolean operations (union, intersection, difference, exclusion, division)
  • Path simplification, with variable threshold
  • Path insetting and outsetting, including dynamic and linked offset objects
  • Clipping paths (non-destructive clipping)
  • Bitmap tracing (both color and b/w)
  • ‣Path ‣‣Path Effects... contains over a dozen effects that can be manipulated on canvas and via menu settings.
  • ‣Extensions ‣‣Modify Path, to add effects to existing paths and ‣‣Generate from Path for additional operations on paths.

Text Tool edit

  • Multi-line text
  • Adjustable font sizes
  • Use of any fonts installed in the Operating System
  • Condensed, Normal, Italic, Italic Condensed, Bold, Bold Italic, Bold Italic Condensed, Heavy
  • Align left, Align center, Align right, Justified (flowed text only)

  • Superscript(s) and Subscript(s)
  • Line spacing, Text spacing, Word spacing, Horizontal character spacing (kerning), Vertical character shift, Character rotation
  • Horizontal text frame, Vertical text frame
  • Unicode character support (Ctrl+U while in the 'Create and Edit Text' tool)
Text Menu bar edit

  • Text and Font... (Dialog)
  • SVG Font Editor...(Dialog)
  • Glyphs...(Dialog)
  • Put on path (text and path remain editable)
  • Remove from path

  • Flow into frame
  • Unflow
  • Convert (flowed) to text (retains margins)
  • Remove Manual Kerns
  • Spell Checking...(Dialog)

Viewer edit

  • Zoom options
  • Display mode: Normal, No filters, Outline
  • Color mode: Normal, Grayscale
  • Page Grid
  • Guides
  • Show/Hide interface bars
  • Show/Hide Dialogs

  • Swatches...
  • Previous Window
  • Next Window
  • Icon Preview...
  • Duplicate Window
  • Full Screen
  • Default, Custom and Wide

File formats edit

  • SVG compliant file generation and editing
  • PNG, OpenDocument Drawing, DXF, sk1, PDF, EPS, PostScript and more export formats

  • Live watching and editing the document tree in the XML editor
  • Command line options for export and conversions

Miscellaneous edit

  • Collaborative editing over a network (whiteboard)
  • RDF metadata (authorship, date, license, etc.)
  • Graphic tablet support

  • Extension support
  • User interface is translated in more than 40 languages

Interface and usability edit

One of the priorities of the Inkscape project is interface consistency and usability. This includes efforts to follow the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines compliance, universal keyboard accessibility, and convenient on-canvas editing. Inkscape has achieved significant progress in usability since the project started.[4]

The interface of Sodipodi (Inkscape's predecessor) was partly based on those of CorelDRAW and GIMP. The current Inkscape interface has been partially influenced by that of Xara Photo and Graphic Designer.

The number of floating dialog boxes has been reduced, with their functions available using keyboard shortcuts 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/mouse-over tooltips and status bar 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.

References edit

  1. "Initial announcement of Inkscape fork on Sodipodi mailing list".[dead link]
  2. "Open Clip Art Library".
  3. "Google Summer of Code entry in the Inkscape developers' wiki".
  4. GNOME Human Interface Guidelines book

External links edit