Tips to Try and Solve Your Inkscape Problems on Your Own

Submitted By: brynn Date: February 27, 2014, 05:49:42 PM Views: 5044
Summary: Yes, even beginners!

Tips to Try and Solve Your Inkscape Problems on Your Own

Yes, even beginners!

I have to admit, that even after 7 or 8 years of learning and enjoying Inkscape, when I'm frustrated with whatever is happening on my Inkscape canvas, and I can't seem to make something work, my first instinct is to post a message and ask for help.  But I couldn't tell you how many times, while composing the message, and detailing what I want to do, what I've tried, and the results, I actually solve my own problem!

Anyway, below are some things you can use, to try and solve the problem on your own.

And just a quick note.  When we ask you to try and solve the problem on your own, we aren't asking you to spend hours following each step on this page.  These are just some guidelines if you get stuck.  And following those that are appropriate for your problem will not only be a learning experience for you, it will show us your sincerity in wanting to learn.  If anyone hasn't noticed, this is a little pet peave of mine.  But I think most of us are more willing to help someone who shows some intiative and desire to learn, than if someone seems to be just milking us for info.  Anyway, I hope this info is helpful   :)

1.  First and most important:  Use the Status Bar!

    a)  The far left side (purple-ish) is called the Style Indicator.  It shows the Fill, Stroke, and Opacity (O:) for the currently selected object.  I find it useful to confirm what I've selected, whether on a complex object or complex canvas.  Also, you can use right-click while positioned over each style attribute, and find several convenient shortcuts for editing the style.

     b)  Next to the right is the Layer Info (yellowish).  Like the Style Indicator, use it to confirm how the canvas is set.  If you can't seem to select an object, maybe you forgot you had locked the layer?  Can't find something -- maybe a layer is hidden?  It can help to confirm which object is selected (on a complex canvas/object).  And finally, it offers shortcuts for hiding/unhiding and/or locking/unlocking layers

     c)  The middle area (green) is called the Notification Region.  This is the best part of the status bar!
  • When the Selection tool is enabled, this area identifies the type of each selected object (always bold); e.g. Path, Group, Clone, Ellipse, etc.
  • It also reports the state of the object (always in italics); e.g. clipped, filtered, masked, etc.
  • And if that's not enough, it reminds you what can potentially be done to the selected object, with whichever tool is engaged.
  • If nothing is selected, it tells you how to use whichever tool is engaged.
  • Press the Ctrl key to find out how this key changes the function of whichever tool is engaged.
  • Press the Alt key to find out how it changes the function of the tool.
  • Same with Shift key.
  • If you have your window not maximized, and can't read all the info, you can mouseover the notification area, and the info pops up in a tool tip!
     d)  Next to the right (orange-ish) shows the Pointer Position.  Personally, I haven't found much use for this, but now and then, it comes in handy.

     e)  To the far right (aqua-ish) is the Zoom Indicator (and you can also control the zoom there).  Also not much help with problem-solving, but I may as well mention it   B-)

2.  Help menu > Tutorials.

          These are instructional tutorials, in that they don't produce a finished image.  They can be accessed without an internet connection.  And the real beauty of these tutorials, is that they are actually Inskcape documents.  So you can draw and practice techniques right there on the canvas, using the illustrations in the tutorials!

The first 3 (Basic, Shapes, and Advanced) all cover very basic Inkscape skills, which are suitable for beginners, imo.  And yes, I realize the 3rd one is named "advanced".  Perhaps we could compromise and call that one intermediate.  But certainly the first 2 should be read.  Highly recommended!

3.  Help menu > Inkscape manual > Quick Start.
  This chapter of the manual contains a series of tutorials which can be followed in sequence, to learn Inkscape by creating finished images.  Highly recommended!

4.  And of course Help menu > Inkscape manual.

          Inkscape:  Guide to a Vector Drawing Program , by Tavmjong Bah.
          It really is not hard to understand, although admittedly, some areas do require some previous knowledge or understanding.  Highly recommended!

5.  a Quick Guide to Inkscape, by microUgly

          This manual is very well written for beginners, imo.  Highly recommended!

6.  Inkscape Tutorials

          This page contains links to over 200 tutorials and manuals.  You could try to find tutorials which cover the technique you're stuck on, or that show how to draw the object you're working on.

Ok, so I hope this info has been helpful.  But if you're still stuck, please don't hesitate to post a message in the forum.



updated 8-3-17

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