Section: Inkscape (1)
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Inkscape - an SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) editing program.
"inkscape [options] [filename ...]"
Inkscape is a GUI editor for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format
drawing files, with capabilities similar to Adobe Illustrator,
CorelDraw, Visio, etc. Inkscape features include versatile
shapes, bezier paths, freehand drawing, multi-line text, text on path,
alpha blending, arbitrary affine transforms, gradient and pattern fills, node
editing, SVG-to-PNG export, grouping, layers, live clones, and more. The interface is
designed to be comfortable and efficient for skilled users, while
remaining conformant to GNOME standards so that users familiar with
other GNOME applications can learn its interface rapidly.
SVG is a W3C standard XML format for 2D vector drawing. It allows
defining objects in the drawing using points, paths, and primitive
shapes. Colors, fonts, stroke width, and so forth are specified as
`style' attributes to these objects. The intent is that since SVG is a
standard, and since its files are text/xml, it will be
possible to use SVG files in a sizeable number of programs and for a
wide range of uses.
Inkscape uses SVG as its native document format, and has the goal of
becoming the most fully compliant drawing program for SVG files
available in the Open Source community.
- -?, --help
Show help message
- -V, --version
Show Inkscape version and build date.
- -a x0:y0:x1:y1, --export-area=x0:y0:x1:y1
In PNG export, set the exported area in SVG user units (anonymous length units normally used
in Inkscape SVG). The default is to export the entire document canvas. The point (0,0)
is the lower-left corner.
- -C, --export-area-canvas
In PNG export, exported area is the entire canvas (page). Usually this is the default, so you
don't need to specify this unless you are using --export-id to export a specific object.
- -D, --export-area-drawing
In PNG export, exported area is the entire drawing (not canvas), i.e. the bounding box
of all objects of the document. With this option, the exported image will
display just the visible objects of the document without margins or cropping. Can be
used in combination wtih --export-use-hints.
Snap the export area outwards to the nearest integer SVG user unit (px) values. If you are using the
default export resolution of 90dpi and your graphics are pixel-snapped to minimize antialiasing, this switch
allows you to preserve this alignment even if you are exporting some object's bounding
box (with --export-id or --export-area-drawing) which is itself not pixel-aligned.
- -b COLOR, --export-background=COLOR
Background color of exported PNG.
This may be any SVG supported color string, for example ``#ff007f'' or ``rgb(255, 0, 128)''.
If not set,
then the page color set in Inkscape in the Document Options dialog will be used (stored in the pagecolor= attribute of sodipodi:namedview).
- -d DPI, --export-dpi=DPI
The resolution used for bitmap export.
The default is 90, which corresponds to 1 SVG user unit
(px, also called ``user unit'') exporting to 1 bitmap pixel.
This value overrides the DPI hint if used with --export-use-hints.
- -e FILENAME, --export-png=FILENAME
Specify the filename for PNG export.
If it already exists, the file will be overwritten without asking.
- -f FILENAME, --file=FILENAME
Open specified document(s).
Option string may be omitted, i.e. you can list the filenames without -f.
- -g, --with-gui
Try to use the GUI (on Unix, use the X server even if $DISPLAY is not set).
- -h HEIGHT, --export-height=HEIGHT
The height of generated bitmap in pixels.
This value overrides the --export-dpi setting (or the DPI hint if used with --export-use-hints).
- -i ID, --export-id=ID
The id attribute value of the object that you want to export from the document. By
default the exported area is the bounding box of the object; you can override this using
--export-area, --export-area-canvas, or --export-area-drawing.
- -j, --export-id-only
Only export the object whose id is given in --export-id. All other objects are hidden and won't
show in export even if they overlay the exported object. Without --export-id, this option is ignored.
- -l, --export-plain-svg=FILENAME
Export document(s) to plain SVG format, without sodipodi: or inkscape: namespaces and without RDF metadata.
- -x, --extension-directory
Lists the current extension directory that Inkscape is configured to use and
then exits. This is used for external extension to use the same configuration
as the original Inkscape installation.
Lists all the verbs that are available in Inkscape by ID. This ID can be
used in defining keymaps or menus. It can also be used with the --verb
command line option.
- --verb=VERB-ID, --select=OBJECT-ID
These two options work together to provide some basic scripting for
Inkscape from the command line. They both can occur as many times as
needed on the command line and are executed in order on every document that
The --verb command will execute a specific verb as if it
was called from a menu or button. Dialogs will appear if that is part
of the verb. To get a list of the verb IDs available, use the --verb-list
command line option.
The --select command will cause objects that have the ID
specified to be selected. This allows various verbs to act upon them. To
remove all the selections use --verb=EditDeselect. The object IDs
available are dependent on the document specified to load.
- -p PRINTER, --print=PRINTER
Print document(s) to the specified printer using `lpr -P PRINTER'.
Alternatively, use `| COMMAND' to specify a different command to pipe to,
or use `> FILENAME' to write the PostScript output to a file instead of printing.
Remember to do appropriate quoting for your shell, e.g.
inkscape --print='| ps2pdf - mydoc.pdf' mydoc.svg
- -t, --export-use-hints
Use export filename and DPI hints stored in the exported object (only with --export-id).
These hints are set automatically when you export selection from within Inkscape.
So, for example, if you export a shape with id=``path231'' as /home/me/shape.png at 300 dpi from document.svg using Inkscape GUI, and save the document,
then later you will be able to reexport that shape to the same file with the same resolution simply with
inkscape -i path231 -t document.svg
If you use --export-dpi, --export-width, or --export-height with this option,
then the DPI hint will be ignored and the value from the command line will be used.
If you use --export-png with this option,
then the filename hint will be ignored and the filename from the command line will be used.
- -w WIDTH, --export-width=WIDTH
The width of generated bitmap in pixels.
This value overrides the --export-dpi setting (or the DPI hint if used with --export-use-hints).
- -y VALUE, --export-background-opacity=VALUE
Opacity of the background of exported PNG.
This may be a value either between 0.0 and 1.0 (0.0 meaning full transparency, 1.0 full opacity)
or greater than 1 up to 255 (255 meaning full opacity).
If not set and the -b option is not used,
then the page opacity set in Inkscape in the Document Options dialog will be used (stored in the inkscape:pageopacity= attribute of sodipodi:namedview).
If not set but the -b option is used,
then the value of 255 (full opacity) will be used.
- -P FILENAME, --export-ps=FILENAME
Export document(s) to PostScript format. Note that PostScript does not support transparency, so any transparency in the original SVG will be lost. This option can be used together with --export-bbox-page and --export-text-to-path.
- -E FILENAME, --export-eps=FILENAME
Export document(s) to Encapsulated PostScript format. Note that PostScript does not support transparency, so any transparency in the original SVG will be lost. This option can be used together with --export-bbox-page and --export-text-to-path.
- -A FILENAME, --export-pdf=FILENAME
Export document(s) to PDF 1.4 format. This format preserves the transparency in the original SVG (though not all PDF viewers can display it yet). This option can be used together with --export-text-to-path (currently this is required, because exporting text as text is not yet supported).
- -T, --export-text-to-path
Convert text objects to paths on export, where applicable (currently works for PS, EPS, and PDF export).
- -B, --export-bbox-page
Export files with the bounding box set to the page size, where applicable (currently works for PS and EPS export).
- -F, --export-embed-fonts
Embed fonts used in the document into exported PS/EPS file. Note: only Type 1 fonts can be embedded, not TrueType.
- -I, --query-id
Set the ID of the object whose dimensions are queried. If not set, query options will
return the dimensions of the drawing (i.e. all document objects), not the page or viewbox
- -X, --query-x
Query the X coordinate of of the drawing or, if specified, of the object with --query-id. The returned value is in px (SVG user units).
- -Y, --query-y
Query the Y coordinate of of the drawing or, if specified, of the object with --query-id. The returned value is in px (SVG user units).
- -W, --query-width
Query the width of of the drawing or, if specified, of the object with --query-id. The returned value is in px (SVG user units).
- -H, --query-height
Query the height of of the drawing or, if specified, of the object with --query-id. The returned value is in px (SVG user units).
- -S, --query-all
Prints a comma delimited listing of all objects in the SVG document with
IDs defined, along with their x, y, width, and height values.
Remove all unused items from the <lt>defs<gt> section of the SVG file. If this
option is invoked in conjunction with --export-plain-svg, only the exported file
will be affected. If it is used alone, the specified file will be modified in place.
- -z, --without-gui
Do not open the GUI (on Unix, do not use X server); only process the files from console.
This is assumed for -p, -e, -l, and --vacuum-defs options.
Part of the standard GTK option that are recognized. This forces any GTK
warnings to cause Inkscape to abort. This option is listed because it gets
used for debugging.
Display a brief usage message.
The preferences.xml configuration file located in ~/.inkscape/ is used
to customize the application settings for the user.
The interface element(s) of the config file is used to set parameters
related to the GUI interface, such as the open/closed status of various
GUI elements, etc.
- group id=documents
The documents group is used for containing the recent files list. Each
document is listed with its uri (path) and name indicated.
- group id=template
The template group is used for storing parameters related to blank
- group id=tools
The tools group is used for storing the user style preferences for
different event contexts (i.e., shapes, freehand or calligraphic stroke
- group id=palette
The palette group allows setting of dash styles. This allows you to
define the stroke lengths for different kinds of dashes.
- group id=dialogs
The dialogs group allows persisting the position and width of each of
the dialogs in the application, so that they'll start up in the last
place the user had them at the next time the app is run.
- group id=printing
The printing group is for storing different printer settings. Each
setting is identified with an id. Properties include bitmap
(true/false), resolution, and destination.
- group id=options
The options group allows persisting various user selected options
including nudgedistance, rotationstep, cursortolerance, and
The program returns zero on success or non-zero on failure.
A variety of error messages and warnings may be printed to STDERR or
STDOUT. If the program behaves erratically with a particular SVG file
or crashes, it is useful to look at this output for clues.
While obviously Inkscape is primarily intended as a GUI application,
it can be used for doing SVG processing on the commandline as well.
Open an SVG file in the GUI:
Print an SVG file from the command line:
inkscape filename.svg -p aq| lpraq
Export an SVG file into PNG with the default resolution of 90dpi (one SVG user unit translates to one bitmap pixel):
inkscape filename.svg --export-png=filename.png
Same, but force the PNG file to be 600x400 pixels:
inkscape filename.svg --export-png=filename.png -w600 -h400
Same, but export the drawing (bounding box of all objects), not the page:
inkscape filename.svg --export-png=filename.png --export-area-drawing
Export to PNG the object with id=``text1555'', using the output filename and
the resolution that were used for that object last time when it was exported from the GUI:
inkscape filename.svg --export-id=text1555 --export-use-hints
Same, but use the default 90dpi resolution, specify the filename,
and snap the exported area outwards to the nearest whole SVG user unit values
(to preserve pixel-alignment of objects and thus minimize antialiasing):
inkscape filename.svg --export-id=text1555 --export-png=text.png --export-snap-area
Convert an Inkscape SVG document to plain SVG:
inkscape filename1.svg --export-plain-svg=filename2.svg
Convert an SVG document to EPS, converting all texts to paths:
inkscape filename.svg --export-eps=filename.eps --export-text-to-path
Query the width of the object with id=``text1555'':
inkscape filename.svg --query-width --query-id text1555
Duplicate the object with id=``path1555'', rotate the duplicate 90 degrees, save SVG, and quit:
inkscape filename.svg --select=path1555 --verb=EditDuplicate --verb=ObjectRotate90 --verb=FileSave --verb=FileClose
DISPLAY to get the default host and display number.
TMPDIR to set the default path of the directory to use for temporary
files. The directory must exist.
To load different icons sets instead of the default
$PREFIX/share/inkscape/icons/icons.svg file, the directory
$HOME/.inkscape/icons/ is used. Icons are loaded by name
(e.g. fill_none.svg), or if not found, then from icons.svg. If the
icon is not loaded from either of those locations, it falls back to the
default system location.
The needed icons are loaded from SVG files by searching for the SVG id with
the matching icon name. (For example, to load the ``fill_none'' icon from
a file, the bounding box seen for SVG id ``fill_none'' is rendered as the
icon, whether it comes from fill_none.svg or icons.svg.)
$HOME/.inkscape/preferences.xml - The user's preference settings.
$HOME/.inkscape/extensions/ - Directory with user's extension effects.
$HOME/.inkscape/icons/ - Directory with user's icons.
$HOME/.inkscape/keys/ - Directory with user's keyboard maps.
$HOME/.inkscape/templates/ - Directory with user's new file templates.
The canonical place to find Inkscape info is at
http://www.inkscape.org/. The website has news, documentation,
tutorials, examples, mailing list archives, the latest released
version of the program, bugs and feature requests databases, forums,
potrace, cairo, rsvg(1), batik, ghostscript, pstoedit.
SVG compliance test suite: http://www.w3.org/Graphics/SVG/Test/
SVG validator: http://jiggles.w3.org/svgvalidator/
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.1 Specification
W3C Recommendation 14 January 2003
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.2 Specification
W3C Working Draft 13 November 2003
SVG 1.1/1.2/2.0 Requirements
W3C Working Draft 22 April 2002
Document Object Model (DOM): Level 2 Core
Arnaud Le Hors et al editors, W3C
To learn Inkscape's GUI operation, read the tutorials in Help > Tutorials.
Apart from SVG, Inkscape can import (File > Import) most bitmap formats
(PNG, BMP, JPG, XPM, GIF, etc.), plain text (requires Perl), PDF,
and AI format (AI version 9.0 or newer).
Inkscape exports 32-bit PNG images (File > Export) as well as AI, PS, EPS, PDF, DXF,
and several other formats via File > Save as.
Inkscape can use the pressure and tilt of a graphic tablet pen for width, angle,
and force of action of several tools, including the Calligraphic pen.
Inkscape includes a GUI front-end to the Potrace bitmap tracing engine
(http://potrace.sf.net) which is embedded into Inkscape.
Inkscape can use external scripts (stdin-to-stdout filters) that are represented by
commands in the Effects menu. A script can have a GUI dialog for setting various
parameters and can get the IDs of the selected objects on which to act via the command
line. Inkscape comes with an assortment of effects written in Python.
To get a complete list of keyboard and mouse shortcuts, view doc/keys.html, or use the Keys and Mouse command in Help menu.
Many bugs are known; please refer to the website (inkscape.org) for reviewing the reported ones and to
report newly found issues. See also the Known Issues section in the Release Notes for
your version (file `NEWS').
This codebase owes its existance to a large number of contributors
throughout its various incarnations. The following list is certainly
incomplete, but serves to recognize the many shoulders on which this
Maxim V. Dziumanenko,
Toine de Greef,
Karl Ove Hufthammer,
Diederik van Lierop,
Dmitry G. Mastrukov,
Derek P. Moore,
Xavier Conde Rueda,
Felipe Corr[^e]a da Silva Sanches,
Tom von Schwerdtner,
This man page was put together by Bryce Harrington
The codebase that would become Inkscape began life in 1999 as the
program Gill, the GNOME Illustrator application, created by Raph
Levien. The stated objective for Gill was to eventually support all of
SVG. Raph implemented the PostScript bezier imaging model, including
stroking and filling, line cap style, line join style, text, etc.
Raph's Gill page is at http://www.levien.com/svg/. Work on Gill appears
to have slowed or ceased in 2000.
The next incarnation of the codebase was to become the highly popular
program Sodipodi, led by Lauris Kaplinski. The codebase was turned
into a powerful illustration program over the course of several
year's work, adding several new features, multi-lingual support, porting
to Windows and other operating systems, and eliminating dependencies.
Inkscape was formed in 2003 by four active Sodipodi developers, Bryce
Harrington, MenTaLguY, Nathan Hurst, and Ted Gould, wanting to take a
different direction with the codebase in terms of focus on
SVG compliance, interface look-and-feel, and a desire to open
development opportunities to more participants. The project progressed
rapidly, gaining a number of very active contributors and features.
Much work in the early days of the project focused on code stablization
and internationalization. The original renderer inherited from Sodipodi
was laced with a number of mathematical corner cases which led to
unexpected crashes when the program was pushed beyond routine uses; this
renderer was replaced with Livarot which, while not perfect either, was
significantly less error prone. The project also adopted a practice of
committing code frequently, and encouraging users to run developmental
snapshots of the program; this helped identify new bugs swiftly, and
ensure it was easy for users to verify the fixes. As a result, Inkscape
releases have generally earned a reputation for being robust and
Similarly, efforts were taken to internationalize and localize the
interface, which has helped the program gain contributors worldwide.
Inkscape has had a beneficial impact on the visual attractiveness of
Open Source in general, by providing a tool for creating and sharing
icons, splash screens, website art, and so on. In a way, despite being
``just an drawing program'', Inkscape has played an important role in
making Open Source more visually stimulating to larger audiences.
COPYRIGHT AND LICENSE
Copyright (C) 1999[en]2008 by Authors.
Inkscape is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
under the terms of the GPL.
- OTHER INFO
- SEE ALSO
- GUI NOTES
- COPYRIGHT AND LICENSE
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