The Inkscape Program

Inkscape has its roots in the program Gill (GNOME Illustrator application) created by Raph Levian of Ghostscript fame. This project was expanded on by the Sodipodi program. A different set of goals led to the split-off of the current Inkscape development effort.

The goal of the writers of Inkscape is to produce a program that can take full advantage of the SVG standard. This is not a small task. A link to the road map for future development can be found on the Inkscape website. Of course, you are welcome to contribute!

Instructions on installing Inkscape can be found on the Inkscape website. Full functionality of Inkscape requires additional helper programs to be installed, especially for importing and exporting files in different graphic formats. Check the log file extensions-errors.log located on Linux at ~/.config/inkscape/ and on Windows at %userprofile%\Application Data\Inkscape\ for missing programs.

[Note]Inkscape on the Mac

Inkscape version 0.92 uses GTK 2 which requires the XQuartz, the X11-window layer. This is normally included in OS X 10.7 and earlier versions (if not already installed it is available on the installation disks). Since 10.8, Apple no longer includes XQuartz by default with OS X and one will need to download it. (The system will notify you where to download XQuartz the first time you try to use Inkscape.) The non-native interface lacks the look and feel of normal Mac programs. Fear not, it will still work, although starting Inkscape may take a bit longer than other programs, especially the first time.

As of version 0.93, Inkscape uses GTK 3 which includes a native OS X backend.

A number of the keyboard shortcuts may also not work out of the box. You can consult the Mac OS X section of the Inkscape FAQ for how to get the Alt keys to work properly and for other Mac related issues.