Chapter 21. Extensions

Table of Contents

Updated for v0.47. Extensions were called Effects prior to v0.47.

Inkscape can be enhanced by Extensions. These are scripts or programs that can be run from inside Inkscape. Most Extensions require external programs, usually written in Perl or Python.

Some of the included Extensions might be of marginal use to the average user. However, much can be learned by examining the code in order to write your own scripts. Look in the share/inkscape/extensions directory for the code.

A few Extensions are built into Inkscape; they are located in the source directory src/extension/internal. Often, an Extension can be used to quickly prototype a feature that may be included natively in a future version of Inkscape. Extensions are also a good way to add a feature that may have limited use by the general Inkscape community and thus not warrant the long-term commitment of adding the feature to the main code base.

If an extension doesn't work, it may be that you are missing some external dependency. You can check if this is the case by looking at the log file extensions-errors.log in your Inkscape preferences directory (Linux: .config/­inkscape in v0.47, .inkscape in older versions; Windows: Documents and Settings\­USER\­Application Data\­Inkscape).

As of v0.46, Extensions can be run live, that is, the script code can be run automatically in the background, responding immediately to changes in parameters. This can both be good (see results of parameter changes immediately) or bad (updating before a parameter is fully modified). Each Extension dialog has a button to toggle on and off this Live Preview.

It is possible to assign keyboard shortcuts to extensions. See the section called “Custom Keyboard Shortcuts” in Chapter 23, Customization.

Extensions are grouped under several broad categories:

Two entries under the Extensions menu allow you quick access to the previously used extension. The first, Extensions Previous Extension, will run the extension with the same parameters. The second, Extensions Previous Extension Settings... , will pop up the parameters dialog.