Inkscape: Guide to a Vector Drawing Program by Tavmjong Bah

Inkscape: Guide to a Vector Drawing Program

byTavmjong Bah

Paperback | May 6, 2011

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Inkscape: Guide to a Vector Drawing Program, Fourth Edition, is the guide to the Inkscape program. With coverage of versions 0.47 and 0.48, this authoritative introduction and reference features hundreds of useful illustrations.Using Inkscape, you can produce a wide variety of art, from photorealistic drawings to organizational charts. Inkscape uses SVG, a powerful vector-based drawing language and W3C web standard, as its native format. SVG drawings can be viewed directly in browsers such as Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer 9. A subset of SVG has been adopted by the mobile phone market. Inkscape is available free for Windows,Macintosh, and Linux operating systems.


Systematic coverage of the entire Inkscape program begins with twelve tutorials ranging in difficulty from very basic to highly complex. A new tutorial introduces the use of interactive SVG in HTML5.The remainder of the book covers each facet of Inkscape in detail, with an emphasis on practical solutions for common problems. The book is filled with valuable tips and warnings about the use of Inkscape and SVG. Find dozens of Inkscape illustrations from the book in the online color supplement available at


Updated for Inkscape version 0.48, this edition includes complete coverage of new features, including the new Spray Tool, updated Node and Text tools, improved bitmap image import, LaTeX export for PDF/EPS/PS, added extensions including the JessyInk extension for web-based presentations, the adaptive UI, and the new Glyphs dialog.


Complete Coverage of New and Improved Inkscape 0.48 Features

  • Live Path Effects for tasks such as adding patterns along a path while maintaining complete editability
  • More than two hundred pre-built SVG filters for adding textures, manipulating color, and so forth
  • A tiling tool to create complex tilings with thirteen different symmetries
  • Clipping and Masking objects
  • An integrated spell checker
  • Built-in bitmap-to-vector tracing
  • The ability to export to more than a dozen graphics formats, including PDF and PostScript
  • The ability to import from more than two dozen graphics formats, including PDF, Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, AutoCad, and XFig Graphics
  • Complete vector drawing program supporting the W3C SVG standard
  • Three path-drawing tools (Pencil, Pen, Calligraphy)
  • Five shape-drawing tools (Rectangles, Ellipses, Stars, Spirals, 3D Boxes)
  • Linear and Radial Gradients
  • Pattern fills
  • Tweak Tool for fine adjustment of paths and colors
  • Spray Tool
  • Eraser Tool with both Vector and Bitmap modes
  • Sophisticated snapping for precision drawing and aligning objects
  • Extendable through scripting; more than one hundred scripts included

About The Author

Tavmjong Bah is a physicist living in Paris whose writing about Inkscape combines his love for technology and culture. An active member of the community,Tav is an Inkscape developer and is responsible for the improvement in the Text tool between versions 0.47 and 0.48. He represents Inkscape as an invited expert in the W3C SVG working ...
Inkscape: Guide to a Vector Drawing Program (Digital Short Cut)
Inkscape: Guide to a Vector Drawing Program (Digital Short Cut)

by Tavmjong Bah


Available for download

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Details & Specs

Title:Inkscape: Guide to a Vector Drawing ProgramFormat:PaperbackDimensions:504 pages, 10.8 × 8.4 × 1.1 inPublished:May 6, 2011Publisher:Pearson EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0132764148

ISBN - 13:9780132764148

Customer Reviews of Inkscape: Guide to a Vector Drawing Program


Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

About the Author xii

Overview of What Is in This Book xiii

Introduction xiv


Chapter 1: Quick Start 1

The Anatomy of the Inkscape Window 1

The Swedish Flag—A Short Example 5

The European Flag—A More Elaborate Example 16

A Hiking Club Logo—An Exercise in Paths 19

The Northern Pacific Railway Logo—A Tracing Example 31

A Box for Cards—An Isometric Projection 38

A Can of Soup—A Three-Dimensional Drawing with Gradients 43

A Vine Design—A Tiling Example 56

An SVG Button—SVG and the Web 66

A Neon Sign—Animation 73

A Bank Note—Security Features 89

A Bottle—Photorealism 101


Chapter 2: Files 110

Opening and Saving Files 110

Importing Files 111

Exporting Files 114

Printing Files 128

Vacuuming Files 129


Chapter 3: Changing the View 130

Panning the Canvas 130

Zooming the Canvas 130

Miscellaneous View Commands 131


Chapter 4: Editing Basics 134

Undo and Redo 134

Selecting Objects 134

Copying, Pasting, and Deleting Objects 137

Clones 138

Ordering Objects (Z-Order) 139

Groups 140

Layers 140


Chapter 5: Positioning and Transforming 143

Inkscape Coordinates 143

Transformations 144

Snapping 152

Alignment and Distribution of Objects 157


Chapter 6: Geometric Shapes 161

Rectangles and Squares 161

3D Boxes 163

Ellipses, Circles, and Arcs 166

Regular Polygons and Stars 167

Spirals 169


Chapter 7: Paths 172

Bezier Curves 172

Creating Paths 173

Editing Paths 185

Path Operations 194


Chapter 8: Live Path Effects (LPEs) 197

Bend 198

Construct Grid 199

Envelope Deformation 199

Gears 199

Hatches (Rough) 200

Interpolate Sub-Paths 201

Knot 202

Pattern Along Path (LPE) 203

Ruler 206

Sketch 206

Spiro Spline 208

Stitch Sub-Paths 209

VonKoch 212


Chapter 9: Text 216

Creating Text 216

Selecting Text 218

Editing Text 219

Formatting Text 220

Text on a Path 224

Text in a Shape 225


Chapter 10: Attributes 227

Fill and Stroke Paint 227

Stroke Style 249


Chapter 11: Tweak Tool 254

Tweaking Objects 254

Tweaking Paths 255

Tweaking Colors 256


Chapter 12: Spray Tool 257


Chapter 13: Eraser Tool 259

Eraser Touch Mode 259

Eraser Cut-Out Mode 259


Chapter 14: Paint Bucket Tool 261

Simple Use 261

Filling Fidelity 262

Filling Multiple Regions 263

Closing Gaps 263

Adding to a Fill 264


Chapter 15: Clipping and Masking 265

Clipping 266

Masking 266


Chapter 16: Filter Effects—Preset 267

Use of Preset Filters 267

ABCs 268

Bevels 269

Blurs 270

Bumps 271

Color 273

Distort 274

Image Effects 275

Image Effects, Transparent 276

Materials 277

Morphology 278

Non Realistic 3D Shaders 279

Overlays 280

Protrusions 281

Ridges 281

Scatter 282

Shadows and Glows 282

Textures 283

Transparency Utilities 284


Chapter 17: Filter Effects—Custom 285

Basic Use 285

Filter Effects Dialog 286

Mini Tutorial—A Drop Shadow 287

Color Filter Primitives 290

Compositing Filter Primitives 292

Fill Filter Primitives 296

Lighting Filters Primitives 300

Pixel Manipulation Filter Primitives 302

Complex Examples 311


Chapter 18: XML Editor 315

Basic Usage 315

Editing XML Nodes 316

Examples 317


Chapter 19: Tiling 319

Symmetry Tab 320

Shift Tab 323

Scale Tab 327

Rotation Tab 329

Blur and Opacity Tab 331

Color Tab 333

Trace 335

Tricks 339


Chapter 20: Tracing Bitmaps 342

Single Scans 344

Multiple Scans 346

Common Options 349

SIOX 350


Chapter 21: Connectors 351

Creating Connectors 351

Modifying Connectors 352


Chapter 22: Extensions 353

Arrange 354

Color 355

Generate from Path 364

Images 374

JessyInk (Presentations) 374

Modify Path 377

Raster 386

Render 387

Text 401

Visualize Path 403

Web 405


Chapter 23: SVG and the Web 409

Simple SVG Display 410

Positioning SVG 414

Adding Links 416

Using Style Sheets 418

Adding JavaScript 419

Simple Animation 421

Inkscape for the Web 422


Chapter 24: Customization 424

Inkscape Preferences Dialog 424

Inkscape Configuration Files 424


Chapter 25: Using the Command Line 428

General Command Line Options 429

Export Command Line Options 429

Query Command Line Options 431


Chapter 26: Challenges 433

Red Spiral 433

Knot 433

Squares 434

Pine Cone 434

Spiral Gyral 435


Appendix A: Inkview 436


Appendix B: File Format 437

Default Template File 437

SVG Groups with Objects 438

Groups of Objects 438

Paths 439

Defs 440


Appendix C: Spheres 441

Sphere with Gradient Shading and Shadow 441

Sphere with Hatched Shading and Shadow 441

Sphere with Dot Shading and Shadow 442

Sphere with Text Shading and Shadow 442


Appendix D: Solutions for Challenges 443

Red Spiral 443

Knot 445

Squares 447

Pine Cone 448

Spiral Gyral 450


Appendix E: List of Dialogs 451


Appendix F: Tips for Illustrator Converts 453

Key Mappings 453

Terminology 453


Glossary 455

Comprehensive Index 460

Index by Menu 471

Index by Tool 473