Inkscape is a free vector graphics editor program compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems. You can use it to create and edit illustrations, typography, charts and other various design forms. In this beginner's guide to Inkscape you will discover how to use it and make vector illustrations.
How to set up preferences?
If you don’t yet have the Inkscape app, you can download it from here. To start working with Inkscape, you should configure the program for your needs and make it convenient for you. To do so, follow the instructions below.
How to change language?
To change the app language click on File > Preferences in the top left corner. In the new tab scroll down to Interface and use the drop menu located next to Language to select your desired language. Don’t forget to restart Inkscape to apply your changes.
How to use dots instead of lines for the grid?
If you feel more comfortable working in the dotted grid you can change these settings as well. Click on File > Preferences. In the new menu choose Interface > Grids and in the Default grid settings table checkmark Show dots instead of lines. Close the preferences window and restart Inkscape.
How to create templates?
If you’d like to save some graphics and use them as templates later, you can do so, by following the instructions below.
To save a template click on File > Save As. Type the name of the template file and locate it in templates file on the left column.
To open a template click on File > New from Template and choose the desired one from the list. Then, click on Create from template.
How to change page size?
If you’d like to work on a landscape orientation instead of the portrait or A3 format instead of A4, you can personalize the default settings. To change the default page size click on File > Document Properties and choose the page format or insert a custom size.
How to activate the auto-save feature?
To enable the Auto-Save feature and never worry about losing the data, click on File > Preferences > Input/Output > Autosave. Checkmark the Enable Autosave tab and choose the time interval after which Inkscape automatically saves your work in progress. You can also select a custom folder for your autosave (Autosave directory) and the maximum number of autosaves. To apply the changes, restart the program.
How to insert text?
To insert text to your document click on A icon on the left menu, select the area, and type a text. You can change its size and rotate it using the arrow tool, or change its colour using the pipetting tool.
How to import an image?
To import an image to your Inkscape document, just click on File > Import... And select the image you want.
How to use filters?
The Inkscape app offers tons of different filters that you can use. If you want to try the feature, click on Filters and pick the one of your choice. It will be automatically overlaid on the picture.
How to use shape tools and gradients?
There are different shape tools on your left panel. You can create rectangles, squares, triangles, arcs, ellipses, stars, 3D boxes, etc by using it.
To colour your drawing you can use different tools such as gradients, meshes, filling, and pipet. Try all of them and choose the most convenient for your document.
How to add layers?
Layers allow you to overlay illustrations on top of each other, manage the content, and easily make changes. To add a layer, go to Layer in the upper menu and choose Add Layer. Then you can manage your layers in the left-side menu.
How to export file in a different format?
Even though Inkscape supports SVG as a default format, you can save your documents in different formats. To save it in PNG, simply click on File > Save as PNG. To save it under other formats such as .eps, .pdf, .ps etc, click on File > Save As, then choose the desired format from the list and press Save.
How to clear the list of recently opened files?
- To clear the list of recently opened files under Inkscape:
- Click on the File menu > Inkscape Preferences > Interface
- In the right pane click on the "Clear list" button, next to "Maximum documents in Open Recent:.."
- Close the Preferences window.
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