Inkscape quick start guide

From Fab Lab Wiki - by NMÍ Kvikan
(Redirected from Inkscape basics)
Jump to: navigation, search

inkscape screenshot overview

Inkscape logo.png


inkscape is open source program and free to download ː


This is a short beginners tutorial to explain how to turn a image into a vector PDF, ready to vinyl or laser cutting.

set document size

1. Go to menu > file > document properties.

1 how-to-prep inkscape document-size.jpg

2. Change the width and height to your preference.

2 how-to-prep inkscape document-size.jpg

And close this window.

copy&paste image

3. Find a black&white image on google. Right click to copy the image.

(if your image is a PNG istead of Jpeg, then first save the file to the desktop, and in inkscape go to the menu > file > import)

3 how-to-prep inkscape img-to-vector.jpg

4. Go back to inkscape, right click and to paste.

4 how-to-prep inkscape img-to-vector.jpg

5. Re-size the image to fit in the page. Hold the [CTRL] key down to keep the image in proportion.

5 how-to-prep inkscape img-to-vector.jpg

change image to vector

6. select you image and go to the menu > path > trace bitmap

6 how-to-prep inkscape img-to-vector.jpg

7. In this window, click on update then on ok. (it can happen that the preview will no respond after clicking on update)

(if you want to know more about this menu ː watch this video)

7 how-to-prep inkscape img-to-vector.jpg

8. A copy should have appeared over the image. Pick it up and drag it to the side.

You can now delete the (original) image (select > right mouse button > delete) and keep the vector (copy).

8 how-to-prep inkscape img-to-vector.jpg

editing your design

9. optionalː To make changes to the vectorː select the edit mouse from the toolbar and click on the shape.

The little squares that now appear (called nodes) can be dragged around to where ever you like.

10 how-to-prep inkscape img-to-vector.jpg

cleaning up

10. optionalː how to remove many details quickly, like all highlighted yellow area's of this example, .

Select your design, and in the menu go to path > break apart.

The image should break apart in a lots of little parts. Notice that the eye's turn black (this will be fixed later).

If it does not work, check if your design is not a group (menu > object > ungroup).

12 how-to-prep inkscape img-cleanup.jpg 13 how-to-prep inkscape img-cleanup.jpg

12. optionalː if it is hard to see what you are doing, you can temporary tun you design to lines instead of colored fills.

Select you whole design and go to menu > object > fill&stroke.


13. You can now select the bits you want to delete, and clean up the design.

When done, select everything and go to menu > path > combine. That should fix the eye's again.

14 how-to-prep inkscape img-cleanup.jpg

set file&stroke

14. before we save the file,

Select your design and go to menu > object > fill and stroke.

  • for cutting shapes: turn off fill, turn on stroke, set it to 255 red, and set the stroke style to 0.02 mm
  • For engraving keep the fill on and set it to black, and turn the stroke off.


15. if you notice that objects need to be joined, first make sure it is not a group (menu > object > ungroup)


save file as...

15. Go to the menu and choose file > save as...

Navigate to the desktop > choose either vinylcutter or lasercutter folder.

30 how-to-prep inkscape saving-as-pdf.jpg

Type in a descriptive file name, and select PDF as file format. Then hit the save button.

31 how-to-prep inkscape saving-as-pdf.jpg

3. In this window the resolution to 600. And you need to choose if you want to export as drawing or as page.

- Exporting as drawing: will mean you document size will be cropped to the size of your drawing. (It will ignore your document properties setting.)

- Exporting as page: will mean it will export your document properties settings. So you're drawing is drawn over the edge of the page, it will get cut off.

32 how-to-prep inkscape saving-as-pdf.jpg

recommended YouTube's