Release notes/0.46

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Revision as of 21:02, 31 March 2007 by Bbb (Talk | contribs) (Even more improvements)

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Inkscape 0.46

(not released yet)

Tools

Paint Bucket tool

The new Paint Bucket tool works exactly as you would expect: click in any area bounded on all sides and it will fill it with color. Being a vector tool, however, Inkscape's Paint Bucket just creates a new path that "fills in" the area in which you clicked.

It is important to note that the tool is perceptual, not geometric. That is, when looking for the boundaries around the point you clicked, it takes for such boundaries any visible color changes. This means that filling will stop at gradients, blurs, and even the color boundaries in imported bitmaps, but will ignore any paths or other objects that are fully (or almost) transparent or for any other reason do not stand out from the background. In short, it will work exactly as if you were filling a rasterized version of your image in a bitmap editor like Photoshop or GIMP - but will give you a vector object to work with.

For example, now you can scan a pencil sketch, import the bitmap into Inkscape, and quickly fill all its cells with colors even without tracing the bitmap first. This is a very convenient and interactive way of digitizing your paper drawings, making the traditional bitmap tracing unnecessary in many cases.

Internally, the tool works by performing a bitmap-based flood fill on a rendered version of the visible canvas, then tracing the resulting fill using potrace and placing the traced path into the document.

It places the rendered path onto the current layer, so you can have a layer on top (for example, "Inks") and select the layer below ("Colors") and do the fills so that they always appear below the Inks.

The resolution of the bitmap image used to perform the trace is dependent upon your current zoom level -- the more zoomed in to an area that you are, the higher the resolution of the bitmap-based flood fill. So, if you are got a fill that is too imprecise, has rough corners, or don't go into small nooks and appendices where it is supposed to go, just undo, zoom in closer and repeat filling from the same point. Conversely, if the fill leaks out through a small gap, zoom out to make the gap less visible and fill again.

Like all object-creating tools, the Paint Bucket may use the last-set style for the objects it creates (this is the default), or it can use its own fixed style. You can switch between these modes on this tool's page in Inkscape Preferences (Ctrl+Shift+P).

In the tool's Controls bar:

  • Tolerance (set in per cent units) controls how large must be color difference at a point (compared to the initial click point) to stop the fill. Zero tolerance means only the area of strictly the same color will be filled; the larger the tolerance, the easier it will be for the fill to leak into adjacent different-color areas. The default value is 10%.
  • You can control the amount of inset/outset to be applied to the created fill path. Setting a positive outset causes fill paths to be larger than the filled bitmap area (good for eliminating anti-aliasing errors), while setting a negative outset causes the path to be smaller. This works the same as the Outset and Inset path commands.
  • Paint Bucket's perceptual fill can use either all visible colors or specific color channels. You can restrict the fill algorithm to the following channels:
    • Red
    • Green
    • Blue
    • Hue
    • Saturation
    • Lightness
    • Alpha
  • A style swatch on the far right of the bar shows the style that will be used for the next fill object you create.

The tool's shortcuts are:

  • Single click performs filling from the click point.
  • Shift+click performs filling from the click point and then unions the resulting path with the selected path. This way, if your first attempt did not fill in all of the desired area, you can Shift+click the remaining corner to fill it in separately and combine the result with the result of the previous fill.

Some potential improvements to the tool are:

  • If the [Ctrl] key is held down, clicking on an object changes the fill color to the current fill color, and [Shift]-[Ctrl] changes the stroke color to the current stroke color

Gradient Tool

[- johan]

  • Stops in gradients can be added, deleted, and edited on-canvas now.
    • Stops can be added by double clicking on the gradient line or by Ctrl+Alt+Click on the line.
    • Stops can be deleted by Ctrl+Alt+Click on a Stop or the delete key for the selected stop(s).
    • More than one stop can be selected at a time.
      • Can be moved together if next to each other.
      • Can be deleted at the same time.
      • When you have one of the gradient handles selected, its style (color and opacity) is reflected by the selected style indicator (left of the statusbar) and the Fill&Stroke dialog. Previously, opacity of a gradient handle was reflected as fill-opacity and stroke-opacity; now it is reflected as master opacity (the "O:" spinbutton in the selected style indicator, the "Master opacity" slider in Fill&Stroke). This makes it much easier to view and change opacity of gradient handles using only the selected style indicator in the statusbar.
        • When multiple gradient stops are selected, the selected style indicator (in the statusbar) displays and controls the averaged color and opacity of the selected stops.
  • If the selected object(s) have gradient in fill or stroke, the selected style indicator in the bottom-left corner of the editing window now displays a live gradient preview prefixed by R or L to indicate Radial or Linear gradients (instead of displaying "L Gradient" or "R Gradient" text labels as before). Also, this and other similar widget now use italic font face to indicate None and bold to indicate Unset.

Node Tool:

[sculpt profiles - bbyak]

Text Tool:

  • [text toolbar - deadchip]


Speed and interactivity

  • In this version, Inkscape starts using the cairo library for rendering. It is now used for outline mode display which, thanks to using cairo and other optimizations, redraws faster by about 25%. More impressive are memory savings: thanks to cairo, in outline mode Inkscape now takes only about 50% of the memory used by 0.45 for the same file.
  • Smart redraw: With complex images and/or on slow computers, you may have noticed that Inkscape redraws the screen image in horizontal strips, and these strips are painted sequentially top to bottom. Now this direction is automatically changed based on where your mouse cursor is. In particular, if mouse is closer to the bottom of the area to redraw, strips will be painted in the bottom-to-top order. This significantly improves the responsiveness and interactivity in some situations. For example, when you are node-editing the bottom part of a complex path, the entire path needs to be redrawn on each change, but now this redraw starts from the bottom and therefore the you see the effect of your changes at once - i.e. while screen redraw may still lag behind your mouse movement, this lag is less noticeable.
  • [faster IIR blur - jasper]
  • Moving the cursor around in a file with large and complex paths has become much snappier and more responsive. Previously, in extreme cases Inkscape could freeze for seconds while catching up with the mouse cursor; such delays are now eliminated.
  • Several improvements make canvas panning and scrolling smoother and more interactive in complex slow-rendering documents:
  • When panning by the middle mouse button, Inkscape no longer attempts to redraw the canvas while your mouse button is pressed. Any redrawing only happens after you release the mouse. As a result, the newly revealed parts of the canvas are somewhat more "dirty" but the panning is smoother than before, with few if any "hiccups".
  • Previously, if you start panning with middle button while Inkscape is still redrawing screen in a complex drawing, panning sometimes completely failed or moved canvas just a little step. Now it is guaranteed to pan the canvas all the way from mouse-press point to mouse-release point in any case, even if sometimes it fails to show the intermediate positions.
  • When pressing and holding Ctrl+arrows to scroll canvas, Inkscape normally accelerates scrolling so that each next scrolling step is bigger than the previous. Previously, in complex drawings this acceleration sometimes got interrupted, which made scrolling annoyingly bumpy and slow. Now this is fixed so that scrolling is smoothly accelerated even in a slow-rendering document.
  • The default starting speed and acceleration of Ctrl+arrows scrolling are slightly increased. (They are both settable in Preferences.)

Filters

[More filters - kiirala, haa_rodrigues?]

Effects

  • [spirograph]
  • [barcode]
  • The Whirl extension uses the center of view as the center of whirl, so you don't have to enter the center coordinates numerically.

Bitmap export

  • Batch export: The Bitmap Export dialog (Ctrl+Shift+E) got a new checkbox, Batch export all selected objects. This checkbox is available when two or more objects are selected. If it is checked, instead of exporting selection as a whole, Inkscape exports each selected object separately into its own PNG file. This uses each object's export hints (i.e. export filename and DPI) if they are remembered from a previous export; otherwise, the filename is created from the object ID and the DPI is 90 pixels per inch. Caution: Unlike regular export, batch export overwrites all existing PNG files without warning.
This makes it possible to implement all kinds of image slicing and automated export scenarios. For example, if you are working on a web site design, you can create a separate "export" layer. In that layer, "slice" your web page image into separate areas by creating invisible rectangles with no fill and no stroke. Select each rectangle (by Tab/Shift+Tab, or by switching to Outline mode where even an invisible rectangle can be selected by clicking on its outline) and export it into the corresponding filename (which gets saved as that object's export hint). After that, if you do any changes to your graphics, it's very easy to reexport all the slices: just switch to the "export" layer, select all in that layer (Ctrl+A), and export with the Batch export selected objects checkbox on.
  • Hide all except selected: A new checkbox allows you to hide in the exported image everything except selected object(s).
  • The Export dialog automatically appends the .png extension to the export filename you specify.


Import/Export

  • [new wpg lib - ted gould]

Command line

Several new command line options are added that make Inkscape even more scriptable and automatable than before.

  • --verb-list will list all the Verb IDs and their names in Inkscape. This makes writing your own menus and hotkeys much easier as you can easily find out what the choices are.
  • --verb followed by a verb ID allows you to specify a verb to be called on every document opened by Inkscape initially from the command line.
  • --select followed by a node ID will allow you to add a node to the list of selected objects.

These options can be used, for example, for performance testing. You could do something like this:

$ time inkscape --verb=FileClose my_complex_file.svg

to measure the time it takes to load and display the file.

Of course, with the ability to select objects, it can be much more useful than that. You can call effects, or any other verb, then FileSave and FileClose to automate all kinds of things on your drawings.

UI

Markers

  • stock markers now appear in the "recently used markers" section of the marker selector dropdowns in the Fill & Stroke dialog. Before, any markers with stock id's (including markers modified by the user) were hidden, making it difficult to work with modified stock markers.

[toolbars - joncruz]

[calligraphy: menus, tooltips; star; ...]

[filedialogs - joncruz]

Print dialog integration

  • Print Dialog: The GTK Unix Print Dialog has been hooked up! From the dialog, you can select any of the Postscript-capable printers known to your system and configure them as with any other GTK application.

[multiple grids - johan]

Even more improvements

  • [if enabled! - mental] A new cairo-based PDF exporter has been added to Inkscape. Inkscape 0.46 can export shapes, strokes, transparency, gradients, patterns, text, and images correctly to cairo. While clipping paths and masks are known to be faulty or missing. cairo will write a PDF with vector graphics when possible and fall back to raster graphics when needed. What can be exported as vectors and how much of the image will be rasterized when the fallback kicks in depends on your version of cairo. cairo version 1.2 with the pdf backend compiled in is the minimum requirement for any cairo-based PDF exports.
  • Gnome VFS Improvements: Gnome VFS Non-Local files are now usable through all of our file choosers in Open, Save and Export. This compile-time option allowed people to open any Gnome-VFS-based URI from the command-line in the past, but not non-local resources (WebDAV, SFTP, etc) and this now allows for all the lovely possibilities Gnome-VFS provides.
  • In previous versions, Inkscape didn't allow you to group a single object. Yet in some cases, this operation is useful (for example, to blur the clipped edged of an object, or apply more than one clippath/mask to an object). Now this limitation is removed; just select any single object and group it to get a single-object group.
  • The somewhat cryptic "F:" and "S:" labels in the selected style indicator (at the left end of the statusbar) and in tool's style swatches are now spelled out as Fill: and Stroke:. We believe this makes the interface, even if less space-efficient, a bit more friendly for newbies.
  • The style swatches at the right end of object-creating tools' control bars now open the Preferences page of the corresponding tool when clicked. Also, now these swatches display a tooltip explaining its purpose (e.g. "Style of new rectangles", "Style of new calligraphic strokes", etc.)
  • After dragging a curve segment in Node tool, Inkscape no longer selects the two adjacent nodes if they were not selected before.
  • Snapping behavior has been implemented or improved for drawing of new shapes, for dragging the nodes of existing shapes, and for gradient handles. Snapping of text baselines works again. Snapping distance is now set in screen pixels and is therefore independent of zoom. Furthermore, the bug where "node-to-node" snapping caused jerky movement of nodes is fixed; snapping while skewing has been implemented; any object snaps with its rotation axis (which can be arbitrarily moved and whose position is remembered for every object); the aspect ratio is correctly preserved while scaling with snapping turned on; all four boundingbox corners now snap instead of only the lower-left and upper-right; snapping while uniformly scaling has been improved.
  • The Tile Clones dialog now uses the object's defined rotation axis (which can be freely moved by Selector tool and which is saved separately for each object) for all rotations (including both symmetry rotations and the Rotation tab rotations), scales, and flips. This renders unnecessary the previous workarounds where you had to group an object with another transparent object to affect how it's rotated by the clone tiler.
  • In Pencil and Calligraphic tools, pressing Esc or Ctrl+Z while drawing cancels the currently drawn path or stroke. When not drawing, these keys work as before (Esc deselects, Crel+Z undoes last action). (This is the same behavior as in the Pen tool where it was introduced in a previous version.)
  • A set of new verbs has been added to allow the user to easily unlock all locked objects or unhide all hidden objects. There are two variants one that operates on the current layer and its children and one that operates globally. While searching for hidden or locked object descendants of locked layers are ignored.
  • The list of folder shortcuts in the Open dialog includes the folder with Inkscape's SVG examples for easy access.
  • [busy cursor: paintbucket, simplify, ...; statusbar updates: save, ...]
  • Several improvements in inkview: busy cursor is shown while loading file, the button window stays on top and responds to keyboard shortcuts; several memleaks stopped and bugs fixed. The "slideshow mode" of the main inkscape application (-s or --slideshow command line option) is removed; use inkview instead.
  • In Document Metadata dialog, updated Creative Commons Licenses to version 3.0.

Notable bugfixes

These are bugfixes compared to 0.45.1; for a list of fixes in 0.45.1 compared to 0.45, see 0.45.1 release notes

  • The sodipodi:docbase attribute is no longer added to the root <svg> element. This attribute used to keep the latest directory that the document was saved to, and thus represented a mild privacy violation (i.e., by sharing your Inkscape SVG files you allowed others to have a peek into your directory structure). Note, however, that Inkscape does not remove this attribute from old documents it opens; if you want you can remove it yourself. Inkscape just no longer creates this attribute in new documents.
  • Inkscape now properly quotes font-family values and therefore can use fonts with various nonalphanumeric characters in their names, which previously failed.
  • If you have saved documents with a previous version of Inkscape which used right-to-left text (e.g. Arabic, Hebrew) then the paragraph alignment of non-flowed text has been reversed in this release. This is due to a bug in previous versions - the new behaviour is compliant with the SVG specification and compatible with other editors and viewers. To correct your images, simply reverse the paragraph alignment by selecting the text and clicking the appropriate button on the toolbar.
  • A regression in 0.45 caused crashes when undo or redo was attempted before the previous action could complete (e.g. pressing ctrl+z while you are still drawing a rectangle). This is now fixed.
  • Previously, if there was a single invalid property in a style attribute, the entire attribute was discarded, i.e. the object lost all styling. Now Inkscape's behavior is more compliant to the CSS specification: it ignores only the invalid property but reads in all the rest.
  • Several bugs are fixed in searching for linked images. Now moving SVG documents with their associated images to a different place or a different machine should work more reliably.
  • Master opacity did not apply to stroke markers as it should; fixed.
  • Creative Commons Public Domain Declaration URI points to right location now.

Previous releases