Release notes/0.46

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Inkscape 0.46


Flood tool

Inkscape now has a rudimentary flood fill tool. It 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 on the canvas.

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.

This tool is in a very basic state, and there are issues with rendering accuracy and memory usage. Some potential improvements to the tool are the following:

  • 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
  • The ability to either manually or dynamically increase the resolution of the rendered version so that the accuracy of the flood fill is better

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]


  • 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 blur - jasper]
  • 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%.
  • 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 & Effects

[more filters - kiirala, haa_rodrigues]


[markers - bryce]

  • 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]

  • 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.

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).


  • [new wpg - ted gould]

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). So now this limitation is removed.
  • 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.)
  • [more snapping: drawing rects]