Which web developer and ambitious website operator does not yet know the free vector graphics project Inkscape? Inkscape is virtually the vector counterpart to the free pixel editor Gimp and has been established for years. Four years after the first version 0.92 not only the stable 0.92.4, but also the alpha version 1.0 appeared this year.
SVG and CSS: Inkscape is getting closer to the standard
Inkscape is under the GPL, making it an open-source software of pure water. Inkscape is not developed by a company, but lives on the voluntary contribution of many dedicated developers. The commitment has been at an unusually high level for many years. In 2019, the Inkscape project will again participate in Google’s “Summer of Code”.
Funded from donations, the project can even send a representative to the W3C SVG Working Group. That’s the body that sets the standard
Scalable Vector Graphics(SVG) should evolve. Some new ideas from Inkscape are thus included in the SVG extension considerations, which obviously makes the project especially interesting for developers. The default file format of Inkscape is logically SVG.
The standard-compliant implementation has a special priority at Inkscape. To conform to the CSS standard, the default resolution has been increased from 90 to 96 dpi. The software offers several conversion options when trying to open an older Inkscape file.
Overall, the developers have focused on representing as many as possible SVG2 and CSS3 properties in the program at least. However, not all of these properties can be changed via the user interface. The use of complex grids no longer requires tricks under Inkscape 0.92, but is available as a standard feature.
Designers will especially enjoy the new path effects, which in fact allow for extremely creative designs through interactive deformations. But also in the other everyday work a lot has happened. In the meantime, you can also treat non-grouped objects like a group. Forms have been given meaningful handles that help you place them more easily and snap them into place on the edit grid. In addition, sliders can now be moved in given value steps if, when the Ctrl key is pressed.
The fact that SVG is the default format does not mean that Inkscape knows no other. Of particular note, because it’s important for web design, is the ability to export graphics to PNG format, which works flawlessly for all or individual parts of your work.
Inkscape is still available for Windows, macOS and Linux
As usual, Inkscape is available for the three major operating systems Windows, macOS and Linux. As of version 0.92.4, however, Windows XP and Vista are no longer supported. If you’re using one of these OSs, version 0.92.3 will be the last one that will work for you.
Although you can compile your own build, after all we are talking about open source, but it is not necessary. The developers have also put emphasis on a simple spread here. So there are appropriate installation packages. Under Linux, you will usually get on-board resources to the current Inkscape.
Since version 0.92.3 Mac users have to do without the easy-to-install DMGs and translate Inkscape via MacPorts. Still, the step towards a native MacOS running Inkscape is not complete. Although you can create a native app via MacPorts, this procedure is not recommended. Instead, you should continue to put on X11.
If you want to inform yourself in detail about the changes to the current stable version, you will find here the changelog in German language. You can read the release notes of Alpha 1.0 here in English and download the alpha here.