Inkscape turns 20

Inkscape vector graphics editor turns 20

I have confessed in this venerable space my absolute uselessness for any artistic activity and my dependence on cloud applications like Canva to make up for this lack. If you can do it, I would definitely use open source programs. One of them, Inkscape, turns 20 years old.

In these two decades, many open source projects have disappeared, others survive fighting a lack of developers or torture users with poor or non-existent documentation.. Inkscape has been able to overcome these obstacles.

Inkscape turns 20

What are vector graphics?

To explain what it is for Inkscape Let's start by defining the concept of vector graphics. They are a type of digital image that is built from geometric components such as arcs, segments and polygons. Each of them are defined by concepts expressed in numerical form such as shape, position and color.

As they are not defined by pixels like traditional images, but by mathematical formulas, their size can be modified at will without losing quality. This makes it ideal for logos and images containing typography.

The advantages of using vector images are:

  • They are scalable: As we said in the previous paragraph, changing the image size does not affect the quality.
  • They weigh less: Bitmap graphics have to store the information of each pixel while vector graphics are expressed with mathematical formulas.
  • Easy modification: By not having to calculate the position of each pixel, it is easier to move, shrink, enlarge, edit and rotate an image.
  • They are clearer: Vector graphics have sharper edges than those generated by bitmaps.
Vector graphics adapt to different screen sizes

What distinguishes vector graphics from other traditional formats is that since they are drawn using mathematical formulas, they do not suffer alterations when their size is enlarged.

What is inkscape?

Now that we know what vector graphics are, we can talk about Inkscape.

Personally, I do not like to define open source programs by explaining them in terms of their proprietary alternatives, it seems to me that it detracts from their merits. Therefore, I am not going to fall into the commonplace of presenting it as the open source alternative to Adobe Illustrator.

I will say then, that it is about a vector graphics editor that can be used for creating artistic and technical illustrations. This includes producing cartoons, creating templates, designing typography and drawing all types of diagrams including flowcharts.

Being open source, Inkscape It works primarily with SVG, an open standard created by the W3C which can also be read by Adobe Illustrator and other popular design programs.

The W3C is the international consortium in charge of setting standards and guiding the future of the web. It is not surprising then that the main uses of the SVG format are then:

  1. Creation of graphic elements for websites such as logos, icons and buttons.
  2. Infographics and illustrations search engine friendly.

Inkscape can export your work to these formats (In addition to SVG):

  • HAVE: It is the native vector graphics format of Adobe Illustrator.
  • PS: File format for printing documents compatible with most printers.
  • EPS: FVector file format that includes Postscript instructions. It is ideal for printing high-resolution images.
  • PDF: Format for the creation, editing and viewing of documents independent of device or screen size.
  • PNG: File format for high-quality, lightweight images. Supports the use of transparencies.


Inkscape is on Flathub

To have the most current version of Inkscape on Ubuntu we can install it in Snap, Flatpak formats or using a ppa repository

Inkscape is available for Linux, Windows and Mac. In the case of Linux it can be found in the repositories, in Appimage format and in the Snap and Flatpak store.

The way to get the most current version is:

Ubuntu and derivatives

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:

sudo apt install Inkscape

flat hub

flatpak install flathub org.inkscape.Inkscape

Snap Store

sudo snap install inkscape

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