Inkscape 1.0 beta is available for testing

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Last week, the team behind Inkscape project released the first beta version of the upcoming and much-awaited Inkscape 1.0. The team writes on the announcement page that, “after releasing two less visible alpha versions this year, in mid-January and mid-June (and one short-lived beta version), Inkscape is now ready for extensive testing and subsequent bug-fixing.”

Most notable changes in Inkscape 1.0

  • New theme selection: In ‘Edit > Preferences > User Interface > Theme’, users can set a custom GTK3 theme for Inkscape. If the theme comes with a dark variant, activating the ‘Use dark theme’ checkbox will result in the dark variant being used. Then the new theme will be applied immediately.
  • Origin in top left corner: Another significant change integrated was to set the origin of the document to the top left corner of the page. It coordinates that a user can see in the interface match the ones that are saved in the SVG data, and makes working in Inkscape more comfortable for people who are used to this standard behavior.
  • Canvas rotation and mirroring: With Ctrl+Shift+Scroll wheel the drawing area can be rotated and viewed from different angles. The canvas can be flipped, to ensure that the drawing does not lean to one side, and looks good either way.
  • Canvas alignment: When the option “Enable on-canvas alignment” is active in the “Align and Distribute” dialog, a new set of handles will appear on canvas. These handles can be used to align the selected objects relative to the area of the current selection.
  • HiDPI screen: Inkscape now supports HiDPI screens.
  • Controlling PowerStroke: The width of PowerStroke is controlled with pressure sensitive graphics tablet
  • Fillet/chamfer LPE and (non-destructive) Boolean Operation LPE: This new LPE adds fillet and chamfer to paths. The Boolean Operations LPE finally makes non-destructive boolean operations available in Inkscape.
  • New PNG export options: The export dialog has received several new options available when you expand the ‘Advanced’ section.
  • Centerline tracing: A new, unified dialog for vectorizing raster graphics is now available from Path > Trace Bitmap.
  • New Live Path Effect selection dialog: Live Path Effects received a major overhaul, with lots of improvements and new features.
  • Faster Path operations and deselection of large number of paths
  • Variable fonts support: If Inkscape is compiled with a Pango library version 1.41.1, then it will come with support for variable fonts.
  • Complete extensions overhaul: Extensions can now have clickable links, images, a better layout with separators and indentation, multiline text fields, file chooser fields and more.
  • Command line syntax changes: The Inkscape command line is now more powerful and flexible for the user and easier to enhance for the developer.
  • Native support for macOS with a signed and notarized .dmg file: Inkscape is now a first-rate native macOS application, and no longer requires XQuartz to operate.

Other important changes for users

Custom Icon Sets

Icon sets no longer consist of a single file containing all icons. Instead each icon is allocated it’s own file. The directory structure must follow the standard structure for Gnome icons. As a side effect of a bug fix to the icon preview dialog, custom UI icon SVG files need to be updated to have their background color alpha channel set to 0 so that they display correctly.

Third-party extensions

Third-party extensions need to be updated to work with this version of Inkscape.

Import/Export via UniConvertor dropped

Extensions that previously used the UniConvertor library for saving/opening various file formats have been removed:


Import formats that have been removed:

  • Adobe Illustrator 8.0 and below (UC) (*.ai)
  • Corel DRAW Compressed Exchange files (UC) (*.ccx)
  • Corel DRAW 7-X4 files (UC) (*.cdr) [cdr imports, but this specific version?]
  • Corel DRAW 7-13 template files (UC) (*.cdt)
  • Computer Graphics Metafile files (UC) (*.cgm)
  • Corel DRAW Presentation Exchange files (UC) (*.cmx)
  • HP Graphics Language Plot file [AutoCAD] (UC) (*.plt)
  • sK1 vector graphics files (UC) (*.sk1)

Export formats that have been removed:

  • HP Graphics Language Plot file [AutoCAD] (UC) (*.plt)
  • sK1 vector graphics files (UC) (*.sk1)

Inline LaTeX formula conversion dropped

The EQTeXSVG extension that could be used to convert an inline LaTeX equation into SVG paths using Python was dropped, due to its external dependencies.

The team has asked to test Inkscape 1.0 beta version and report the findings on Inkscape report page. To know more about this news, check out official Inkscape announcement page.

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