Inkscape 0.91 Feature — Measurement tool

The Inkscape developers are hard at work getting ready for the release of the new version of Inkscape (0.91). This post is part of a series that will outline some of the awesome new features that will be available when Inkscape 0.91 is released.

The Measurement tool is a new feature for the artist to measure the elements in their drawing. To use the measurement tool, simply choose the tool, click anywhere on the drawing and drag the ruler out. The measurement tool will live-update with measurements of length and angles as you pass over objects in your drawing.

ruler

If you want to try out this new feature already, you will need to  Download a “nightly” or “development” version of inkscape. Links to various builds of development versions of inkscape are listed at the Inkscape downloads page.

Quick things to do with Tile Clones

Tile clones is a powerful feature of inkscape, it allows you to create tiled copies of an object while tweaking the variables on how they are placed and styled. The dialog, however, can be daunting for the artist that is not familiar with it.

In this instalment of the “Inkscape Quick Tips” series on Tuts+, Aaron Neize provides a brief intro into the tile clones dialog, and shows you a few quick, yet awesome things you can achieve with it.

repeating-4

How do you rotate in inkscape?

How do i rotate is one of the most frequently asked questions for beginner Inkscape users. There are multiple ways to rotate in inkscape, and this FAQ will show you the basics for four of them. The three different ways for rotating objects are: the toolbar buttons, the on-canvas rotation handles, transform dialog, and the keyboard shortcuts.

Method 1, the toolbar buttons

Rotating with the toolbar buttons only lets you rotate objects 90 degrees at a time. To rotate with the toolbar buttons, first choose the select tool:

Next, select the object that you want to rotate by simply clicking on it. Once you have clicked on the group once, arrows  and a dotted line should appear around the object:

Finally, press the rotate button on the toolbar to rotate your selection in 90 degree increments.

Method 2, Rotate on Canvas

Using the toolbar buttons to rotate objects in inkscape is by far the easiest method to discover. However, it only lets you rotate in 90 degree increments.

For a wider range of motion, using the on-canvas rotate handles is the way to go. As with the previous method, choose the select tool, and then select the object that you wish to rotate. The select box and handles should appear as before:

Now that the resize handles are visible, simply click on the object again to display the rotate handles:

Now that the rotate handles are visible, simply click on one of them, and drag it to rotate your object freely.

Method 3, the Transform dialog.

The free rotate that the on-canvas rotate controls (method 2) give are great, but what if you need more accurate control? When using method 2, you can hold down the ctrl key to limit the rotation to 15 degree increments, but what if you want to rotate the object by a specific, arbitary amount?

That is where the transform dialog comes in. First, as with the other methods, select the object that you want to rotate. Then open the transform dialog from the menu, Object > Transform.

Switch to the “Rotate” tab of the newly opened Transform Dialog, enter in how many degrees you need your object rotated, and click apply to rotate.

Method 4, the keyboard shortcuts

This method is super simple. Select the object(s) that you wish to rotate, and press the square brackets key( [ or) to rotate left and right by chunks.

For finer-grained rotation with the keyboard shortcuts, use the shortcuts alt + [ and alt + ] to rotate one degree at a time.


The four methods above outline the basics of rotating objects in inkscape. For further information about rotating and transforming objects in Inkscape the “Select Tool” chapter of the Inkscape Manual has more detailed information, including how to change the rotation point or rotation center of your object. The transforms chapter of Tav’s Inkscape Guide also provides some in-depth documentation of rotating in Inkscape.

Are we close to a release of the next version of Inkscape?

It has been a long wait for the next version of Inkscape. The last major release of Inkscape was over 3 years ago back in August 23, 2010. And since then, the inkscape developers have been hard at work adding a multitude of new and awesome features to our favourite open source vector graphics editor.

However, the question that most people ask is when is the next version of inkscape being released? About a month ago, after a long-standing blocker was resolved,  Inkscape developer Martin Owens asked this question on the inkscape-devel mailing list. The basic consensus on the mailing list was that all the important blocker bugs (the count was 10 in September) needed to be resolved before the release process could even start.

Now, a month later, after a busy month, the awesome inkscape developers have whittled this down to 3 blockers. Martin writes on fedora-devel:

Hey Devs,

This is the bi-weekly report on our release-hope goal:

Blockers: 3 
 * High #1163449 Imported bitmap appear blurry when zoomed in
 * Medium #953992 Imported pattern fill disappers while transforming
 * Medium #1005892 Patterns applied to text objects are blurred

If you can fix one of these, please do. We can use all the help to
debug, locate the errors causing these regressions and fix them. These
blockers are high priority for our project goals.

So, we are inching ever closer to an Inkscape release!

Creating Interactive SVGs

Here is a tutorial from Máirín Duffy explaining how to quickly implement interactivity into your inkscape SVGs. The approach the Máirín Duffy takes is great for when you need an Inkscape SVG to have a small amount of interactivity, like a basic User Interface Mockup. However, this approach probably would not scale if for more complex interactive SVGs.

uimockup

 

 

Inkscape pro tip: resizing or rotating selected nodes of a path

A little known feature that was introduced in Inkscape 0.48 was the ability to resize and rotate selected nodes in a path using on-screen handles. These handles behave in the same manner as when rotating or resizing objects with the select tool.

Enabling the onscreen handles

To use this feature, first you need to enable it, so you need to select the Node tool from the toolbox, then flip the toggle to enable display of the resize / rotate handles for nodes:

turniton

Resizing nodes

Now, with the feature enabled, select 2 or more nodes, and the resize handles should appear around them in the same way when you select an object with the selection tool.
Use these handles in the same manner to resize the nodes.

resizenodes

Note also that the ctrl and shift keys work to constrain the transformation in the same way as with the select tool.

Rotating Nodes

The same applies to rotating nodes. Select the nodes to be rotated, then single-click one of the nodes again to enter rotate mode.(just like when free rotating).  Now use the handles in the same to rotate the selected nodes.

rotatenodes

Note also that the ctrl, shift and the rotation point all also work for rotating nodes as it does with the select tool.

Inkscape 0.91 Feature — currently used fonts shortlist

The Inkscape developers are hard at work developing the new version of Inkscape (0.49). This post is part of a series that will outline some of the awesome new features that will be available when Inkscape 0.91 is released.

The inkscape developers have been drastically improving the functionality of the Text tool in inkscape for the 0.91 version. One improvement to the text tool is that when looking at the font list, inkscape now displays the fonts that are currently in use in the document at the top of the list. This super simple improvement makes the text editing user experience much better, as the user had to hunt through the list of all fonts to find a font they had already chosen.

The currently used fonts shortlist is available in both the font list in the tools control bar: fontlist

and in the Text and Font dialog box:

textshortlist2

If you want to try out this new feature already, you will need to  Download a “nightly” or “development” version of inkscape. Links to various builds of development versions of inkscape are listed at the Inkscape downloads page.

Inkscape 0.91 Feature — Selecting objects by style

The Inkscape developers are hard at work developing the new version of Inkscape (0.91). This post is part of a series that will outline some of the awesome new features that will be available when Inkscape 0.91 is released.

The upcoming release of Inkscape has a new feature that allows an artist to select objects that have the same properties as the currently selected object. For example, you could select an object that has a fill of blue. Then, using the new feature select all other objects in the drawing with a fill set to that same shade of blue:

selectsame

The new feature is a menu choice under Edit > Select Same or as a Context menu if you right click on a selected object.

Also there are other choices available to select same, including: matching both Fill and Stroke, matching just stroke, matching stroke style, or matching on object type.

If you want to try out this new feature already, you will need to  Download a “nightly” or “development” version of inkscape. Links to various builds of development versions of inkscape are listed at the Inkscape downloads page.

Inkscape 0.91 Feature — Exchange position of selected objects

The Inkscape developers are hard at work developing the new version of Inkscape (0.91). This is the first in a new series of posts that will outline some of the awesome new features that will be available when Inkscape 0.91 is released.

The new updated Inkscape features a new set of buttons in the Align and Distribute Dialog called Exchange position of selected objects. It adds the ability to exchange the positions of the objects that the artist has selected. In the following example, three objects were selected, and their positions were exchaged with each other (using this new feature) according to their selection order.

swap-objects

There are also two other new buttons in the dialog that allow the artist to exchange the selected objects based on the stacking (z-index) order, or just exchange them clockwise based on there positioning on the page.

If you want to try out this new feature already, you will need to  Download a “nightly” or “development” version of inkscape. Links to various builds of development versions of inkscape are listed at the Inkscape downloads page.

Inkscape pro tip: How to select sequential nodes in a path

Have you ever been doing path manipulations in inkscape, and needed to select nodes in a path in order, yet it is too time consuming or tedious to select them the ways you normally do? When editing a path using inkscape’s path editing tool, the most common ways to select multiple nodes is either hold shift and click each individual node:

select-individualor to click and rubber band select the nodes that you require:

rubberband

But what if you have too many nodes to select them individually, or the rubber band box selects more nodes than you need? Well, using a mouse with a scroll wheel, you can select nodes in a path in inkscape by:

  1. Clicking on a node with the path tool.
  2. Keep the pointer hovered over the node
  3. Hold down the control key, and wheel the scroll wheel up. Inkscape will select the next nodes in the path:

selecting_nodes

Create a Sticker with Dogeared Edge using inkscape

Here is a tutorial for creating a simple sticker with a folded edge. I originally posted it a few years back on my personal blog.

This is what we are aiming for:
51.png


Phase One:
1. Draw  a circle with the circle tool.
2. Using the path tool, draw a shape that intersects the circle for your “dogear”
3. Select the path and the circle and use Path>Cut Path.
And set the colours of both the paths that result from this.
15.png


Phase Two:
1. Select the “Dogear” (mine is black) and press flip vertical.
2. Then press flip horizontal.

21.png


Phase Three:
1. Select the main body of the sticker (mine is blue)
RightClick > Duplicate, then change the colour. (mine is pink)
2. Do it again and change the colour to something different again. (mine is green)
3.  Select the green one, and use the arrow keys to offset it a bit.
4. Then select both the green and pink objects and choose Path>Difference
5. Change the colour of the remaining path to black.
6. Open the stroke/fill dialog and play with transparency & blur31.png


Phase Four:
1. Duplicate the black “Dogear” object, and change the colour.
2. Select the black one (underneath) and play with the blur and transparency.
3. Duplicate the body of the sticker again.
4. Press CTRL+A to select all, then choose Object>Clip>Set
5. Add your text, and you are done!

41.png

Create platform video game blocks

In another tutorial from 2D Game Art for Programmers, Chris builds on his previous tutorial by showing you how to create simple blocks suitable for 2D side scrolling platform games just using the square tool in inkscape

squares1

This tutorial also reinforces the fact that basically everything that you draw in inkscape is just a lot of simple shapes that are put together to create a masterpiece. Chris goes on to show an awesome example of this in his tutorial, by producing a drawing of a castle, then showing all the simple shapes he used to construct it.squares2