What is Inkscape


Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editor whose capabilities are said to be comparable to those of commercial products such as Illustrator, Freehand, CorelDraw or Xara X. The one standardized by the W3C is used SVG-File format (Scalable vector graphics). Formats such as PostScript, EPS, JPEG, PNG and TIFF can be imported. PNG and various vector-based formats are exported.

Inkscape is still under development, but has now reached a status in which it can be used productively for most people and is also stable enough that the painstakingly created drawing is not suddenly gone with a crash.

Among other things, Inkscape allows you to work with a wide variety of shapes, paths, texts, markings, clones, transparency effects (alpha), transformations, color gradients, patterns and groups. Inkscape also supports node editing, layers, complex path operations, bitmap tracing, path-bound text, text flowing around objects, direct XML editing, and much more.

Download and installation

From the project homepage you can find not only the download page (for Windows, Linux, Mac) but also many additional notes. Not all pages are available in German!


Inkscape is certainly not easy to use, especially because it already has a large range of tools. However, the basic operating concepts are exactly the same as in other drawing programs. Here is some information about existing tutorials and how to get started.

With all tutorials, regardless of the form, you should have the program running in the background, follow the instructions and try everything out right away. This is the only way to really get to know how to use it

A collection of videos that gradually introduce features in Inkscape can be used to gradually familiarize yourself with it.

Written instructions

On the Project homepage there is a documentation page and there you can find tutorials on various topics (basics, advanced use, forms, etc.). These tutorials are text-based and, in addition to the mouse actions, keyboard shortcuts are also presented.

Particularly suitable for people who prefer to do everything in peace and quiet and feel too rushed by videos.

The first instructions are interesting for beginners:

Special instructions for chemistry

Draw a bent cable or hose

Trace an image

Long instructions on how to assemble and customize a drawing

Convert SVG

Inkscape can easily convert graphic files in SVG format to PNG format. The following steps are necessary for this:

  1. Open the file in Inkscpae
  2. -> File -> Export bitmap ...
    1. Select the desired directory via "File name" and enter the desired file name (without extension)
    2. Click on "Export" - creates the desired file with the extension .png