Inkscape glossary

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Revision as of 16:39, 7 March 2005 by Buliabyak (talk | contribs)
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This is a beginning of an Inkscape glossary. Please respect it and contribute to it if you work on Inkscape UI. If you are doing translations, please create and link below a similar glossary for your language.

  • RussianTerminology


  • Node: a point on a path that you can drag. It is displayed as gray (when not selected) or blue (when selected) square on a path when you are in node tool. Shapes do not display nodes; they have handles. A node may also have one or two handles - these are the small circles connected to the node to adjust bezier tangents.
  • Handle: 1) one of two points around a node, displayed (for selected nodes) as a circle connected with its node by a line (node handles); 2) the arrows around the selected object in selector (scale handles, rotation handles); 3) points on a shape that can be dragged by node tool to edit the shape, displayed as small white diamonds (shape handles). (Internally this is called a Knot, but this is a deprecated term in user documentation.)
  • Path: an object that has editable nodes but does not have controls (when in node editor). An example is a line created by the freehand tool.
  • Shape: an object that does not display nodes but may have controls. An example is a circle or star. A shape can be converted to path by Convert to Path command.
  • Stroke: a visible outline of a shape or path. Not the same as path; a path may or may not have a stroke. If the stroke is present, it can be converted to path by Convert Stroke to Path command.
    • Stroke shape (to be implemented): the dependency of the stroke width on distance along the stroke. Currently only constant-width strokes are supported.
    • Stroke pattern (to be implemented): the representation of a stroke as a sequence of arbitrary objects positioned along the path.
  • Object: an independent editable thing on the canvas. May be a path, a shape, a text object, a group, etc.


  • Document window: the window with a document. Note that the same instance of the program may have several document windows. None of them is more main than others.
    • Menu, bar at the top.
    • Commands bar, beneath the Menu, with buttons for commands like New, Open, ... Note that this one will likely be broken into many smaller toolbars, each covering one topic, so the user will be able to switch them on/off and rearrange. So this name is temporary.
    • Tool controls bar, beneath the Commands bar. Has the controls for the currently active tool.
    • Toolbox, along the left side
      • Selector Tool
      • Node Tool
      • Zoom Tool
      • Rectangle Tool
      • Ellipse Tool
      • Star Tool
      • Spiral Tool
      • Pencil Tool: please, for consistency, do not refer to this as the Freehand Tool, or Freehand (pencil) Tool.
      • Pen Tool: please, for consistency, do not refer to this as the Bezier Tool, or Bezier (pen) Tool.
      • Calligraphy Tool
      • Text Tool
      • Gradient Tool
      • Dropper Tool
    • Canvas, the main area optionally bordered with rulers and scrollbars
    • Statusbar, along the bottom

DEPRECATED TERMS: these are for the code only. Never use them in user documentation.

    • knot (this may be a "handle", "control", "node" etc as seen by the user)
    • item (use "object")
    • desktop (use "canvas" or "document window" depending on context)
    • event contexts (they are known to users as "tools")