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Installing ‘Inkscape’ or Dammit, Dammit, Dammit

If you have an Apple computer using OSX 10.3 (Panther) then please read the entire article featured below BEFORE proceeding. It worked for me. ALL downloads should be virus-checked whether you trust the website you have taken them from or not.

If you have made any previous attempts to install ‘Inkscape’ then it may be necessary to ‘tidy up’ any remains from these attempts. To do this you will need to visit this URL and download a useful item called ’Blind’.

When you have done this, place ‘Blind’ in your “Home” folder location. When you double-click ‘Blind’ your machine will ‘reconfigure’ the “Home” window. This will show all of the ‘invisible’ files in “Home”.

If you find: (.inkscape) and (.inkscape-etc) then these should be removed by trashing them in the usual way. WARNING: DON’T TRASH ANYTHING ELSE.

When you have done this, double-click ‘Blind’ again and your machine will return to its usual standard mode.

Special note: ‘Blind’ can be left where it is for the time being and used again if you ever have the need to do so. It can also be moved to other folders, (using drag and drop), and used at those locations to show the ‘hidden’ files in those places.

Next you need to install ‘X11’. ‘Inkscape’ only works in the ‘X11’ windows environment. To do this, go to this URL and follow the usual download procedure.

The ‘X11’ file that you will get must be placed in the file path: (Applications/Utilities/X11)

The X11User.pkg is the installer. When you double click on it, it will open up an ‘X11’ Installer window. Just go through the installer clicking "Continue" at the bottom until you finish the process, (It will go through Introduction, Licence, etc.). You shouldn't have to make any selections throughout the process, just click on "Continue" for each step.

‘X11’ will automatically install in the correct location. This is the file path: (Applications/Utilities/X11).

Next you need to get the right version of ‘Inkscape’. Visit this URL and follow the usual downloading procedure.

Go to the middle of the page to where there's a list called "File Releases". In the list, you need the file called:


When you have placed this (.dmg) file in your Applications folder, all you should have to do is double click the ‘Inkscape’ icon, and ‘Inkscape’ will unpack itself. You can then drag the ‘Inkscape’ application to your chosen place in your Applications folder; the (.dmg) file can then be put away in a place of your choice or trashed as you see fit.

The first time that you launch ‘Inkscape’ it will take a very long time to become active. This is because it must integrate with, among other things, the font library. On my machine, for example, I have 447 fonts. This meant that the first time I launched ‘Inkscape’, it took just over 2 minutes 50 seconds; but since then it takes around 26 to 36 seconds. Remember I have an unusually large font library. BE AWARE: the first launch can be even longer than I experienced.


Additional information

You may also like to add other ‘open source’ applications, which also work in the ‘X11’ windows environment. For example: I have also added GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program) to my Applications folder.

Other graphics applications you might like to check out are ‘Expression 3’, also known as ‘Ex3’, ‘X3’ and E3, and ‘Blender’. These do not require the ‘X11’ environment but may be a useful addition to any creative repertoire. ‘Blender’ can be found at:

To obtain all of the above graphics applications I used ‘Google’ as my search engine with the key words in the search box:

'open source osx graphics software'

This article was last updated on the 19th of September 2007 and brought to you by the TwoMarks Corporation, Cyberian, and Maelstrom. If you have any suggestions for improvements to this item then please do not hesitate to contact the Cyberian. e-mail: