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Inkscape Beginner’s Guide

Beginner's Guide
Bethany Hiitola

Create attractive layout designs, logos, brochures, icons, and more using the Inkscape vector graphics editor with this book and ebook.
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Book Details

ISBN 139781849517201
Paperback298 pages

About This Book

  • Comprehensive coverage of all aspects of Inkscape required for graphic design
  • Real world examples show you how to create everything from paths, complex shapes, to stylized text
  • Become an expert at using filters and working with images in Inkscape

Who This Book Is For

This book is intended for beginning graphic and web designers who want to expand their graphic software expertise. General familiarity with a graphics program is recommended, but not required.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Getting Started with Vector Graphics
What are vector graphics?
Scalable Vector Graphics
Determining when to use vector or rasterized graphics
Time for action — basic design
Time for action — vector versus rasterized images
Time for action — building brochure files
Summary
Chapter 2: Installing and Opening Inkscape
Inkscape's features
Installing Inkscape
Time for action — downloading Inkscape
Troubleshooting installation
The basics of the software
Time for action — getting started with Inkscape
Understanding a new document
Time for action — learning more about the main screen
Summary
Chapter 3: How to Manage Files
Creating new files
Time for action — creating a new CD cover
Custom document dimensions
Time for action — creating a new custom file size for a postcard
Saving Inkscape files
Time for action — saving an Inkscape SVG
Time for action — exporting to PNG
Creating a customized default document
Time for action — creating a new default document
How to structure project files
Time for action — exporting a batch of images
Importing non-native Inkscape files
Time for action — importing a PDF into Inkscape
Embedding and linking image files
Time for action — embedding a logo into your design
Time for action — linking a photograph into a brochure design
Summary
Chapter 4: Creating your First Graphics
Paths
Creating your first vector graphic
Time for action — opening a new document
Time for action — creating a star
Time for action — saving your graphic
Time for action — creating the Ellipse
Time for action — making an arc
Time for action — combining shapes
Time for action — creating a freehand object
Using grids and guidelines
Time for action — viewing the Grid
Time for action — making guides
Summary
Chapter 5: How to Work with Layers
Defining layers and how to create them
Time for action — creating a layer
Using Layers in an example drawing
Time for action — using Layers in web design
Locking layers
Time for action — locking a layer
Hiding layers
Time for action — hiding layers
Duplicating layers
Time for action — duplicating layers
Arranging layers
Time for action — moving layers
Time for action — nesting layers
Renaming layers
Time for action — renaming a layer
Deleting layers
Time for action — deleting a layer
Blend mode
Time for action — using Blend mode
Summary
Chapter 6: Building Objects
Working with objects
Time for action — creating a simple object
Fill and Stroke
Time for action — using the Fill and Stroke dialog
Time for action — using the color palette
Time for action — using the dropper tool
Grouping
Time for action — grouping objects
Clipping and masking
Time for action — clipping objects
Time for action — masking objects
Summary
Chapter 7: Using Paths
Working with paths
Time for action — using the Bezier tool
Transforming objects into paths
Time for action — creating spiros and swirls
Time for action — Object to Path
Path options
Time for action — creating an icon
Summary
Chapter 8: How to Style Text
Text and Font editor
Time for action — opening and using the Text and Font editor
Time for action — kerning text
Using paths and text
Time for action — using a path for text
Time for action — placing text in a closed shape
Spell check and find/replace
Time for action — performing a find and replace
Text effects
Time for action — using text effects
Creating text reflections
Time for action — creating a reflection
Summary
Chapter 9: Using Filters
What are filters?
Using the Filter editor
Time for action — using filters
Using filters with text
Time for action — using filters with text
Images and effects
Time for action — using filters with images
Tracing images
Time for action — using Potrace
Time for action — using SIOX
Summary
Chapter 10: Extensions in Inkscape
Templates
Time for action — installing Inkscape templates
Time for action — modifying an existing Inkscape template
Time for action — creating a custom template
What are extensions?
Installation extensions
Summary
Chapter 11: Working with Images
Time for action — using the Open Clip Art Library (Mac users only)
Basics about photo manipulation
Time for action — blurring the background of a photograph
Converting raster logos to vector-based logos
Time for action — converting a logo to a vector-based image
Summary
Chapter 12: Using the XML Editor
Inkscape's XML Editor
Time for action — accessing the XML Editor
XML Editor basics
SVG basics
Using the XML Editor to change characteristics
Time for action — using the XML Editor to change object characteristics
Using XML and graphics with programmers
Summary

What You Will Learn

  • Explore Inkscape by taking a tour of the software: menu by menu, toolbar by toolbar
  • A primer for what vector graphics are and how best they are used in design
  • Manage project files and discover what file types work best in Inkscape
  • Build your first vector graphic in Inkscape—and then make that simple shape more complex by combining it with others, and changing fill or stroke colors
  • Transform objects to paths, use stroke to paths, and even track bitmaps using the Path Effect editor
  • Make 2D graphics come to life by using filters
  • Import, render, and trace images. Raster images to vector, and learn how to export these images for best use in print or digital design
  • Explore what templates and extensions to add to Inkscape and install other Open Source plugins, scripts, extensions, and templates.

In Detail

Learning to use Inkscape, an exciting open-source vector graphics program, broadens your software toolkit as a graphic designer. Using practical, real-world examples, you’ll learn everything about the software and its capabilities so you’ll be able to design anything from logos to websites.

Inkscape Beginner’s Guide is a practical step-by-step guide for learning this exciting vector graphics software. Not only will it take you through each menu item and toolbar, but you will also learn about creating complex shapes, text styling, filters, working with images, extensions, and the XML editor—all using real world examples.

The book starts with an overview of vector graphics and how best to use them when designing for digital and print mediums. Then we install Inkscape and start learning all the ins and outs of the software.

You’ll build your first vector graphic while learning best practices for using layers, and build simple and complex objects with shapes and paths that will ultimately become exciting graphics to be used in your designs.

Beyond designing sample logos and brochures while learning the software, you’ll also learn how to use filters, install and use extensions, and the ins-and-outs of SVG and the XML Editor in Inkscape.

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