Inkscape/Introduction

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Vector graphics[edit]

Scaling a bitmap and a SVG drawings makes the differences appear.

A vector object is composed of edit enabled path(s) and geometrical elements (nodes) based on vector (x/y) coordinate values. This is very different from raster (or bitmap) images, which are composed from a grid (bitmap) of colored squares. Bitmaps are inherently "pixellated" when scaled larger (zoomed in), while vectors can be scaled to any size, and won't display any pixelized objects.

Some graphic editor programs, such as the GIMP, are known as bitmap or raster (photograph) editors. With Inkscape, you can create and edit vector graphics, and save them as SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) files or 'save as' over 25 graphic editor based file formats. SVG is an open standard designed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), that uses XML to create vector based objects.

The Graphic User Interface (GUI)[edit]

When you load Inkscape you will see the main interface:

Inkscape(main window).png

Here are some brief descriptions of what each tool does:

Icon Key(s) Action Description
Inkscape icons tool pointer.svg S Select and Transform tool From this option you can, select, move, scale, rotate, and skew objects
Inkscape icons edit nodes.svg N Edit Node tool Edit object's nodes and handles to set geometry
Inkscape icons tool tweak.svg W Sculpting / Painting tool Tweak objects by sculpting or painting
Inkscape icons sticky zoom.svg Z Zoom tool Allows you to access a wide set of zoom operations
Inkscape icons measurement tool.svg M Measurement tool Used to measure distance and angles
Inkscape icons draw rectangle.svg R Rectangle and Square tool For creating and editing rectangles and squares
Inkscape icons 3d boxes.svg X 3D Box tool Used to create 3D boxes
Inkscape icons draw ellipse.svg E Circles, Ellipses and Arcs tool For creating and editing circles, ellipses and arcs
Inkscape icons draw polygon star.svg * Star and Polygon tool For creating and editing stars and polygons
Inkscape icons draw spiral.svg I Spiral tool For creating and editing spirals
Inkscape icons draw freehand.svg P Pencil tool Draw lines freehand
Inkscape icons draw path.svg B Bezier curve and line tool For drawing bezier curves and straight lines
Inkscape icons draw calligraphic.svg C Calligraphy tool For drawing calligraphic or brush strokes
Inkscape icons draw text.svg T Text tool For creating and editing text
Inkscape icons tool spray.svg A Spray tool Spray objects by sculpting or painting
Inkscape icons draw eraser.svg Shift+E Eraser tool Used to erase an area from a path or to delete an entire object
Inkscape icons color fill.svg U Fill tool Used to fill objects with a color or gradient and can also color a stroke (border)
Inkscape icons color gradient.svg G Gradient tool Used to add and edit gradients to an object
Inkscape icons color picker.svg D Color Picker tool Used to pick a color from an image or any object within the canvas
Inkscape icons draw connector.svg O Connector tool Used to create diagram connectors

About · Interface

About · Inkscape · Interface