Selection tool 
Keyboard Shortcuts: S or F1 or Spacebar
This tool allows you to select objects, resize them and move them about. If you click twice on an object with the selection tool, the handles change and you are able to rotate an object. Click a third time to switch to the object's tool.
Zoom tool 
Keyboard Shortcuts: Z or F3
Drag the tool over a given area to zoom in. ⇧ Shift+Left click to zoom out again.
You can zoom in and out with the + and - keys, respectively. These keys are to the left of the ← Backspace key, and on the right side of the numeric keypad.
Other shortcuts to zoom in are:
- Ctrl+Middle click
- Ctrl+Right click
Shortcuts to zoom out are:
- Ctrl+⇧ Shift+Middle click
- Ctrl+⇧ Shift+Right click
Inkscape keeps a history of your zoom levels. For a 'Previous' zoom level, use `; for the 'Next' zoom level, use ⇧ Shift+`.
Text tool 
Keyboard Shortcuts: T or F8
Click and Drag an area where you want your text to go, then start typing! If the letters are too small, open on the Select tool F1, then drag the handles to make it bigger. There are a lot of things that you can do with text that are beyond the scope of this beginners tutorial.
Paint bucket tool
Gradient tool 
Keyboard Shortcut: G or Ctrl+F1
Click the Gradient tool button in the Inkscape tool bar, then Click+Drag on an object and you will create a gradient from a fully opaque colour to full transparency. The gradient tool can be used to edit an existing gradient, adjust colour stops by dragging and placing the gradient handles that appear over an object when the tool is active.
The Gradient tools Control bar (3rd bar from the top of the Inkscape GUI) is how to select the following beginner edits:
- Linear gradient
- Radial gradient
- Apply gradient to fill
- Apply gradient to stroke
- Select edit to preset gradients
Colour Picker tool 
Keyboard Shortcuts: D or F7
The Colour Picker, or "eyedropper" tool can be used to sample any colour in the Inkscape canvas. One of the key reasons for this tool's use is to enable the picking of colors from an image. First import Ctrl+I the image into Inkscape and then use this tool to pick a colour setting from the image to the selected object, beginner options listed:
- Click to set fill
- ⇧ Shift+Click to set stroke
- Drag to set average color of area
- Alt Click to pick inverse color
Connector tool 
Keyboard Shortcut: O
Use this to draw a connection between two objects. For example, a drawing and a label.
The nice thing about using this tool is that if you decide to move the objects about on the canvas, the connector still maintains the connection. As of v0.91, once the connector is created and rendered onto the canvas, if you drag only the path it will 'disconnect' itself from the objects it was attached to.