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Initial releaseNovember 2, 2003; 19 years ago (2003-11-02)
Stable release
1.2.2[1] Edit this on Wikidata / 5 December 2022
Written inC++ with gtkmm, Python (extensions)
Operating systemFreeBSD
PlatformIA-32 and x64
Size81.6 MB
Available in90 languages[2]
TypeVector graphics editor

Inkscape is a free and open-source vector graphics editor used to create vector images, primarily in the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format. Other formats can be imported and exported.[4]

Inkscape can render primitive vector shapes (e.g. rectangles, ellipses, polygons, arcs, spirals, stars and 3D boxes) and text. These objects may be filled with solid colors, patterns, radial or linear color gradients and their borders may be stroked, both with adjustable transparency. Embedding and optional tracing of raster graphics is also supported, enabling the editor to create vector graphics from photos and other raster sources. Created shapes can be further manipulated with transformations, such as moving, rotating, scaling and skewing.


Inkscape began in 2003 as a code fork of the Sodipodi project.[5] Sodipodi, developed since 1999, was itself based on Raph Levien's Gill (GNOME Illustration Application).[6] One of the main priorities of the Inkscape project was interface consistency and usability by following the GNOME human interface guidelines.[5]

Inkscape FAQ interprets the word Inkscape as a compound of ink and -scape.[7][8]

Four former Sodipodi developers (Ted Gould, Bryce Harrington, Nathan Hurst, and MenTaLguY) led the fork, citing differences over project objectives, openness to third-party contributions, and technical disagreements. They said that Inkscape would focus development on implementing the complete SVG standard, whereas Sodipodi development emphasized developing a general-purpose vector graphics editor, possibly at the expense of SVG.[9]

Following the fork, Inkscape's developers changed the programming language from C to C++; adopted the GTK (formerly GIMP Toolkit) toolkit C++ bindings (gtkmm); redesigned its user interface, and added a number of new features.[10] Inkscape's implementation of the SVG standard, although incomplete, has shown gradual improvement.[11]

Since 2005, Inkscape has participated in the Google Summer of Code program.[12]

Up until the end of November 2007, Inkscape's source code repository was hosted by SourceForge. Thereafter it moved to Launchpad.[13] In June 2017, it moved to GitLab.[14]


Object creation

Inkscape 0.48.2, showing a rectangle (selected with the select tool), an ellipse, a star and two text objects
Inkscape 0.48.2, showing a rectangle (selected with the select tool), an ellipse, a star and two text objects

Inkscape workflow is based around vector objects. Tools allow manipulating primitive vector shapes: simple ones like rectangles, ellipses and arcs, as well as more complex objects like 3D boxes with adjustable perspectives, stars, polygons and spirals. Rendering feature that can create objects like barcodes, calendars, grids, gears and roulette curves (using the spirograph tool). These objects may be filled with solid colors, patterns, radial or linear color gradients and their borders may be stroked, both with adjustable transparency. All of those can be further edited by transformations—such as moving, rotating, scaling and skewing—or by editing paths.

Other tools allow creating Bézier curves, freehand drawing of lines (pencil), or calligraphic (brush-like) strokes which support a graphics tablet.[15]

Inkscape is able to write and edit text with tools available for changing font, spacing, kerning, rotation, flowing along the path or into a shape. Text can be converted to paths for further editing. The program also has a layers (as well as an objects) feature that allows the user to organize objects in a preferred stacking order in the canvas. Objects can be made visible/invisible and locked/unlocked through these features.

Symbol libraries enable Inkscape to use existing symbols like logic-gate symbols or DOT pictograms. Additional libraries can be included by the user.[16]

Inkscape supports image tracing, the process of extracting vector graphics from raster sources.

Clones are child objects of an original parent object. Different transformations can be applied to them, such as: size, position, rotation, blur, opacity, color and symmetry. Clones are updated live whenever the parent object changes.

Object manipulation

Every object in the drawing can be subjected to arbitrary affine transformations: moving, rotating, scaling, skewing and a configurable matrix[clarification needed]. Transformation parameters can be specified numerically. Transformations can snap to angles, grids, guidelines and nodes of other objects, or be aligned in specified direction, spaced equally, scattered at random.

Objects can be grouped together. Groups of objects behave similarly to objects. Objects in a group can be edited without having to ungroup them first.

The Z-order determines the order in which objects are drawn on the canvas. Objects with a high Z-order are drawn on top of objects lower in the Z-order. Order of objects can be managed either using layers, or by manually moving the object up and down in the Z-order. Layers can be locked or hidden, preventing modifying and accidental selection.

The Create Tiled Clones tool allows symmetrical or grid-like drawings using various plane symmetries.

Appearance of objects can be further changed by using masks and clipping paths, which can be created from arbitrary objects, including groups.

The style attributes are 'attached' to the source object, so after cutting/copying an object onto the clipboard, the style's attributes can be pasted to another object.

Objects can also be moved by manually entering the location coordinates in the top toolbar. Even additions and subtractions can be done this way.

Operations on paths

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Inkscape has a comprehensive tool set to edit paths (as they are the basic element of a vector file):

Inkscape includes a feature called Live Path Effects (LPE), which can apply various modifiers to a path. Envelope Deformation is available via the Path Effects and provides a perspective effect. There are more than a dozen of these live path effects. LPE can be stacked onto a single object and have interactive live on canvas and menu-based editing of the effects.

File formats

This article needs to be updated. The reason given is: Inkscape supports more formats. Please help update this section to reflect recent events or newly available information. (January 2020)

Inkscape's primary format is SVG 1.1, meaning that it can create and edit with the abilities and within the constraints of this format. Any other format must either be imported (converted to SVG) or exported (converted from SVG). The SVG format is using the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) standard internally. Inkscape's implementation of SVG and CSS standards is incomplete. Most notably, it does not support animation natively.[18] Inkscape has multilingual support, particularly for complex scripts. Formats that used the UniConvertor library are not supported beyond the 1.0 release. A workaround is to have a parallel installation of version 0.92.x.[19]

Inkscape file format support
Format Name Import Export
Adobe Illustrator Artwork (AI) native
CorelDRAW (CDR) native
Microsoft Visio Drawing (VSD) native
Portable Document Format (PDF) native native
compressed SVG (SVGZ) native
JPEG native
PNG native
GIF native
BMP native
Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) with UniConvertor
Encapsulated Postscript (EPS) with Ghostscript native
PostScript (PS) with Ghostscript native
SK1 with UniConvertor
sketch with extension
Xfig (FIG) with extension
Flash XML Graphics (FXG) native
Hewlett-Packard Graphics Language (HPGL) native
HTML5 canvas element native
LaTeX (TeX) native
Synfig (SIF) native
Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) native

Other features

Platform support

The latest version of Inkscape 1.0.x (and older line 0.92.x) is available for Linux, Windows 7+, and macOS 10.11-10.15 platforms.[23] Inkscape is packaged with AppImage, Flatpak, PPA, Snap and source by all major Linux distributions (including Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE) with GTK+ 3.24+ (0.92.x with GTK+ 2.20+ for older Linux).[24][25]

As of 2017, Wacom tablet support for GTK 3 is in a reviving project. Version 1.0.x includes GTK 3 and Wacom support depending necessary Wacom Linux or Unix driver.[26][needs update]

Release history

Version Release date Notable features/changes
Old version, no longer maintained: 0.35 November 11, 2003 Initial release of Inkscape based on Sodipodi 0.32, new keyboard shortcuts[27]
Old version, no longer maintained: 0.36 December 11, 2003 GUI redesign and improved usability[28]
Old version, no longer maintained: 0.37 February 16, 2004[29] Boolean path operations and path inset/outset, major code refactoring[30]
Old version, no longer maintained: 0.38 April 12, 2004[31] Text kerning and letter spacing, multi-stage gradients[32]
Old version, no longer maintained: 0.39 July 20, 2004[33] Markers, clones, and pattern fills[34]
Old version, no longer maintained: 0.40 November 30, 2004[35] Multi-layer support, bitmap tracing (only greyscale), and text on path[36]
Old version, no longer maintained: 0.41 February 10, 2005 Clone tiler tool and color bitmap tracing[37]
Old version, no longer maintained: 0.42 July 26, 2005 Flowing text support, styling text spans, enhanced effects support, and the new gradient tool[38]
Old version, no longer maintained: 0.43 November 19, 2005 Connector tool, collaborative editing, tablet pressure/angle sensitivity[39]
Old version, no longer maintained: 0.44 June 24, 2006 Layers panel, support for clipping and masking, PDF export with transparency[40]
Old version, no longer maintained: 0.45 February 5, 2007 Gaussian blur, pattern along path, new Undo History panel, improved bitmap tracing using simple interactive object extraction, color effects[41]
Old version, no longer maintained: 0.46 March 24, 2008 Docking user interface, Paint Bucket, Tweak and 3D Box tools, Live Path Effects, support for most SVG filters, the ability to open PDF files, import from the Open Clip Art Library, and OpenType/PostScript and Type1 font support[42]
Old version, no longer maintained: 0.47 November 24, 2009 Eraser tool (can slice paths), timed autosave, spiro splines interface for paths, auto-smooth nodes for paths, spellchecker for the text tool, new path effects like "sketch" and "hatches", new Python extensions like "alphabet soup" and "convert to Braille", basic support for SVG fonts[43]
Old version, no longer maintained: 0.48.x August 23, 2010;
July 2014
Multipath node editing, improved text tool: subscript, superscript, numerical and preset inputs for text kerning, tracking and more text enhancements, new Airbrush (Spray) tool, LaTeX export with PDF / PS / EPS, JessyInk extension for creating presentations viewable in SVG-enabled web browsers[44][45][46][47][48][49]
Old version, no longer maintained: 0.91 January 30, 2015[50] Switched from libnr to Cairo rendering library, which brought a significant rendering speed improvement.[51] Refactoring; Measure tool, new import/export formats, grayscale mode, alignment modes, Symbol library and support for Visio stencils, Guides can have labels, variable width strokes (PowerStroke).[52][53]
Old version, no longer maintained: 0.92.x January 4, 2017[54] Infrastructure Focus; Mesh gradients, new path effects, default resolution changed from 90 dpi to 96 dpi to match the CSS standard, options for switching OpenType font features,[55][56][57][58] last release 0.92.5
Old version, no longer maintained: 1.0.x May 4, 2020[59] Transition to GTK3 and Python 3, customizable themes, better HiDPI screen support, controllable width of PowerStroke with pressure sensitive graphics tablet, new PNG export options, variable font support.[60][61][62][63][64][65][66] Native support for MacOS 10.10-10.15 Catalina.[67][68] Experimental color-managed PDF export.[69], last release 1.0.2
Old version, no longer maintained: 1.1.x May 24, 2021 Significant changes in core and GUI, only Python 3 extensions supported, improved live path effects (LPE),[70][71][72] last release 1.1.2
Old version, no longer maintained: 1.2 May 16, 2022 New Page tool for multiple pages, Layers and Objects dialog merged, improved gradient editor, ability to export to multiple formats, improved SVG Font Editor, new 'Tiling' Live Path effect, improved performance, bugfix and some changes in GUI, improved macOS integration.[73][74][75]
Old version, no longer maintained: 1.2.1 July 14, 2022 critical Bugfix[76]
Current stable version: 1.2.2 December 5, 2022 maintenance and critical bug fix[77]
Future release: 1.3 Plan 2023 New tools for shape building, document resources, page margin and bleed; return of Search, opacity & blend modes in Layers & Objects dialog and of an optional persistent snap bar; improved canvas editing, XML Editor, welcome dialog, LPE, PDF import[78]
Old version
Older version, still maintained
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release


In Jan. 2020, TechRadar gave Inkscape a positive rating of four stars out of five. It lauded the wide range of editing tools and support for many file formats, but noted that the application's processing can be slow. It considered Inkscape to be a good free alternative to proprietary graphics editors such as Adobe Illustrator.[79] PC Magazine's review was rather mixed, giving the application three out of five. It criticized the interface's graphics and lack of optimization for stylus support, the application's poor interoperability with other graphics editors, unwieldy text formatting controls, and the quality of the Mac version. However, it did praise the ability to add custom filters and extensions, the Inkscape community's passion for creating and sharing them, and the precise path and placement tools. It found Inkscape to have limited uses in profession compared to Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW.[80] In its 2012 Best of Open Source Software Awards, InfoWorld gave Inkscape an award for being one of the best open-source desktop applications, commending its typographic controls and ability to directly edit the XML text of its documents.[81]


See also


  1. ^ "Inkscape 1.2.2 Release Notes". December 5, 2022. Retrieved December 6, 2022.
  2. ^ "List of language files at time of release of version 0.92.3 - repository". Inkscape. March 8, 2018. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  3. ^ "COPYING in Inkscape source". Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  4. ^ "Inkscape Features". Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "FAQ | Inkscape". Retrieved May 5, 2020. How did Inkscape start? […] Inkscape was started as a fork of Sodipodi, in late 2003, by four Sodipodi developers: Bryce Harrington, MenTaLguY, Nathan Hurst, and Ted Gould. Our mission was creating a fully compliant Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) drawing tool written in C++ with a new, more user friendly (GNOME Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) compliant) interface and an open, community-oriented development process.
  6. ^ " Interviews Lauris Kaplinski". September 24, 2001. Archived from the original on May 18, 2005. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  7. ^ "FAQ". Inkscape Project. Retrieved February 10, 2016. What does 'Inkscape' mean? [...] The name is made up of the two English words 'ink' and 'scape'. Ink is a common substance for drawings, and is used when the sketched work is ready to be permanently committed to paper, and thus evokes the idea that Inkscape is ready for production work. A scape is a view of a large number of objects, such as a landscape or ocean-scape, and thus alludes to the object-oriented nature of vector imagery.
  8. ^ Compare -scape
  9. ^ "Announcing new project (sodipodi mailing list)". November 6, 2003. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  10. ^ "Inkscape Sodipodi Comparison". Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  11. ^ "Frequently asked questions - Inkscape Wiki". July 29, 2012. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
  12. ^ "Google's Summer of Code". Inkscape wiki. Archived from the original on July 4, 2007.
  13. ^ "Inkscape moving to Launchpad".
  14. ^ "Inkscape moves to GitLab".
  15. ^ "Inkscape tutorial: Calligraphy". Retrieved December 26, 2019.
  16. ^ "SymbolsDialog - Inkscape Wiki". Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  17. ^ "Inkscape Keyboard Layout". creative commons. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  18. ^ "Animation". Inkscape. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  19. ^ "Release notes/1.0 - Inkscape Wiki".
  20. ^ "Extension repository". Inkscape Wiki. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  21. ^ "inkscape/lib2geom". December 18, 2019 – via GitHub.
  22. ^ "Graphics Math Library 2geom's First Release Available For Use Beyond Inkscape | Inkscape".
  23. ^ "All Platforms for Inkscape 1.0". Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  24. ^ "Introducing Inkscape 1.0 | Inkscape".
  25. ^ "Inkscape 1.0 Theming Guide - Beyond the Basics - Inkscape Forum".
  26. ^ "Linux Tablet Driver Project Revived | Inkscape".
  27. ^ Harrington, Bryce (November 11, 2003). "[Inkscape] Inkscape Release 0.35". inkscape-announce (Mailing list). Retrieved January 5, 2020.
  28. ^ Gould, Ted (December 11, 2003). "[Inkscape] Inkscape 0.36 - "See, even a 5 year old can use it."". inkscape-announce (Mailing list). Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  29. ^ Harrington, Bryce (February 16, 2004). "[Inkscape] Announcing Inkscape 0.37 Release". inkscape-announce (Mailing list). Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  30. ^ "Download Inkscape 0.37 | Inkscape".
  31. ^ Harrington, Bryce (April 12, 2004). "[Inkscape] Announcing Inkscape 0.38 Release". inkscape-announce (Mailing list). Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  32. ^ "Download Inkscape 0.38.1 | Inkscape".
  33. ^ Gould, Ted (July 20, 2004). "[Inkscape] Inkscape 0.39". inkscape-announce (Mailing list). Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  34. ^ "Download Inkscape 0.39 | Inkscape".
  35. ^ Harrington, Bryce (November 30, 2004). "[Inkscape] Announcing Inkscape 0.40 Release". inkscape-announce (Mailing list). Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  36. ^ "Download Inkscape 0.40 | Inkscape".
  37. ^ "Download Inkscape 0.41 | Inkscape".
  38. ^ "Download Inkscape 0.42 | Inkscape".
  39. ^ "Download Inkscape 0.43 | Inkscape".
  40. ^ "Download Inkscape 0.44.1 | Inkscape".
  41. ^ "Download Inkscape 0.45.1 | Inkscape".
  42. ^ "Download Inkscape 0.46 | Inkscape".
  43. ^ "Download Inkscape 0.47 | Inkscape".
  44. ^ "Download Inkscape 0.48 | Inkscape".
  45. ^ "Download Inkscape 0.48.1 | Inkscape".
  46. ^ "Download Inkscape 0.48.2 | Inkscape".
  47. ^ "Download Inkscape | Inkscape".
  48. ^ "Download Inkscape 0.48.4 | Inkscape".
  49. ^ "Download Inkscape 0.48.5 | Inkscape".
  50. ^ "Inkscape Version 0.91 is Released!".
  51. ^ "Release notes/0.91". Inkscape Wiki. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  52. ^ "Release notes for 0.91".
  53. ^ "Download Inkscape 0.91 | Inkscape".
  54. ^ "Inkscape Version 0.92 is Released!".
  55. ^ "Release notes for 0.92".
  56. ^ "Download Inkscape 0.92.1 | Inkscape".
  57. ^ "Inkscape 0.92.2 Delivers Greater Stability and Easier Contributions | Inkscape".
  58. ^ "Download Inkscape 0.92.2 | Inkscape".
  59. ^ "Introducing Inkscape 1.0". Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  60. ^ "Notice of removal of GTK+ 2 support - Inkscape Wiki".
  61. ^ "GTK+ 3 migration - Inkscape Wiki".
  62. ^ "GTK+ 3 issues - Inkscape Wiki"., no uniconverter support with less Import filters
  63. ^ "Download Inkscape 1.0.1 | Inkscape".
  64. ^ "Download Inkscape 1.0alpha0 | Inkscape".
  65. ^ "Release notes/1.0 - Inkscape Wiki".
  66. ^ "Download Inkscape 1.0alpha0".
  67. ^ "Download Inkscape 1.0beta2 | Inkscape".
  68. ^ "Inkscape 1.0 beta1 available for testing | Inkscape".
  69. ^ "Inkscape version 1.0.1 patches crashes & bugs | Inkscape".
  70. ^ "Release notes/1.1 - Inkscape Wiki".
  71. ^ "Download Inkscape 1.1 | Inkscape".
  72. ^ "Welcome to Inkscape 1.1! | Inkscape".
  73. ^ "Download Inkscape 1.2".
  74. ^ "Inkscape adds multi-page support with v1.2". Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  75. ^ "Release notes/1.2 - Inkscape Wiki".
  76. ^ "Important Release of Inkscape version 1.2.1 fixes data loss and crash issues | Inkscape".
  77. ^ "Inkscape 1.2.2 Release Notes".
  78. ^ "Release notes/1.3 - Inkscape Wiki".
  79. ^ Ellis, Cat (July 26, 2017). "Inkscape review". TechRadar. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  80. ^ Tupper, Shelby (February 28, 2019). "Inkscape Review". PC Magazine. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  81. ^ Wayner, Peter (September 18, 2012). "Bossies 2012: The Best of Open Source Software Awards". InfoWorld. Retrieved January 18, 2020.

Further reading