The Book of Inkscape

Book of Inkscape

The Definitive Guide to the Free Graphics Editor
by Dmitry Kirsanov
September 2009, 472 pp.
This book is currently out of stock, but the ebook is still available


Download Chapter 10: Gradients and Patterns
Download Tutorial 2: Designing a Business Card
Download Color Insert Figures 1-14

This is it. The complete and definitive guide to Inkscape, the free, vector-based graphics editor that competes with expensive drawing programs like Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW.

In The Book of Inkscape, core Inkscape developer Dmitry Kirsanov shares his design experience and knowledge of Inkscape's inner workings as he walks you through the basics of using the program: drawing, working with objects, transformations and styling, adding text and shapes, and more. Kirsanov couples his detailed explanations with step-by-step tutorials that show you how to create business cards, animations, and technical and artistic drawings.

In addition to the basics, Kirsanov teaches you how to:

  • Navigate the canvas and customize your workspace and views
  • Create new objects and then transform, style, clone, and combine them
  • Use drawing tools, strokes, and Bézier curves
  • Use gradients, patterns, filters, and path effects to liven up your work
  • Use the XML Editor to view and manipulate the structure of your artwork
  • Work with layers, groups, object order, and locks to control your images
  • Export your artwork to various formats

This practical guide will show you how to harness Inkscape's powerful features to produce anything from a child's doodle to high-end, professional design projects. Now go ahead and draw something fun.

Author Bio 

Dmitry Kirsanov is a developer and a graphic designer, specializing in website and logo design. His articles about Inkscape have appeared in Linux Format in the UK and on Kirsanov also writes the Design Lab column teaching creative fundamentals of web design, and is the author of Dmitry Kirsanov's Web Design Book (in Russian).

Tim Daniels, one of the founders of the Inkscape project, is the book's technical reviewer.

Table of contents 

Chapter 1: Inkscape and the World
Chapter 2: Inkscape Primer
Chapter 3: Setting Up and Moving Around
Chapter 4: Objects
Chapter 5: Selecting
Chapter 6: Transforming
Chapter 7: Snapping and Arranging
Chapter 8: Styling
Chapter 9: Stroke and markers
Chapter 10: Gradients and Patterns
Chapter 11: Shapes
Chapter 12: Editing Paths
Chapter 13: Drawing
Chapter 14: Text
Chapter 15: Clones
Chapter 16: Filters
Chapter 17: Bitmaps

Tutorial 1: The Rose
Tutorial 2: Designing a Business Card
Tutorial 3: Creating an Animation
Tutorial 4: Drawing a 3D-Correct Cartoon
Tutorial 5: Artistic Drawing
Tutorial 6: Technical Drawing

Appendix A: SVG Reference
Appendix B: Import and Export Reference
Appendix C: Command Line Reference


View the detailed Table of Contents
View the Index


"I give this book a big thumbs up."
—LinuxPlanet (Read More)

"Highly recommended, well written and full of practical examples and insights, this excellent text can make you a pro at using Inkscape."
—IT World (Read More)

"Inkscape is a really exciting, interesting and powerful design program to learn, and The Book of Inkscape makes this learning process fun and rewarding."
—Dr. Dobb's CodeTalk (Read More)

"Kirsanov . . . is able to hand out the knowledge with ease, without confusing the reader. He also has an uncanny ability to prioritize concepts and tools, and so each chapter and each section appears at the right moment in the book, while the reader is ready for it."
—OSNews (Read More)

"Dmitry Kirsanov's book enables you to sit down with a freshly downloaded version of Inkscape and work in an ordered and logical way through the software features."
—Free Software Magazine (Read More)

"Anyone who wants to use, or learn about, Inkscape should take the time to examine The Book of Inkscape."
—Linux Users of Victoria (Read More)

"This book is a great guide to using Inkscape."
—On Computers (Read More)

"Clear writing and numerous step-by-step tutorials make this manual the go-to reference for artists new to Inkscape and for experienced users looking for detailed information on the application's features."
—SciTech Book News (Read More)

"The Book of Inkscape is an absolute must for anyone trying to master the program for professional use."
—The Midwest Book Review (Read More)

"The ability of Dmitry Kirsanov to vary his tone and detail depending on the subject matter is perhaps key to The Book of Inkscape largely being effective in its ambition of being the definitive guide to the graphics editor."
— (Read More)