Using the Command Line
This is a Work in Progress.
Starting after the release of the 0.92.x series, Inkscape's code is undergoing a major rewrite with the dual goals of making it more powerful and flexible for the user while making it easier for the developer. This is a long term process and it will be awhile before we see the full benefits.
As a first step, we've started to use the latest Gtk 3 application code for Inkscape 1.0 which has resulted in some changes in how the command line works.
For the command line parameters for Inkscape versions up to 0.92.x, please check the corresponding output of
inkscape --help on the command line.
What can you do with the command line?
Print out information
- Help (list of command line options): inkscape --help or inkscape -?
- Inkscape version: inkscape --version
- Extension directory: inkscape --extensions-directory
- List of available verbs (very long): inkscape --verb-list
- List of available actions: inkscape --action-list
Query geometry information
- Find the x position of a set of objects: inkscape --query-id="MyTriangle,MySquare" --query-x my_file.svg
- This will return, for example:
- Query the geometry of all objects: inkscape --query-all
- This will return, for example (id,x,y,width,height):
Via export options
Use of export options will suppress the GUI. All files listed on the command line will be opened, processed according to export options. and then be closed.
Some options are exclusive.
- If both --export-filename and --export-type are given, the file name extension must match the type.
- Only one of --export-area, --export-area-page, -export-area-drawing, --export-use-hints will be used to determine the export area. (Which one?)
- Simple export of a PNG: inkscape --export-type="png" my_file.svg
- This will produce a PNG with a name my_file.png
- Export one object from the file to a PNG: inkscape --export-type="png" --export-id="MyTriangle" my_file.svg
- This will produce a PNG with a file name my_file_MyTriangle.png which tightly wraps the object. Objects that extend into the exported area will be shown.
- Export one object from the file to a PNG, hiding all other objects: inkscape --export-type="png" --export-id="MyTriangle" --export-id-only my_file.svg
- This will produce a PNG with a file name my_file_MyTriangle.png which tightly wraps the object. Only the triangle is shown.
- Export more than one object at a time to PNG files: inkscape --export-type="png" --export-id="MyTriangle,MyRectangle" my_file.svg
- This will produce two PNG files, one tightly wrapping the triangle, the other the rectangle.
- Export more than one object to SVG files: inkscape --export-type="svg" --export-id="MyTriangle,MyRectangle" --export-id-only my_file.svg CRASH: FIXME
- This will produce two SVG files, one with just the triangle, the other with just the rectangle.
Use of export options and actions can be mixed. (How?) All export options have matching actions (remove the '--' in front of the option and replace '=' with ':'). If only actions are used, either --without-gui or --batch-process must be used (due to our code structure, most verbs require the GUI to be present even if not used). All files on the command line will be opened, processed according to actions options, and then closed. Export can be forced at any point with the export-do action. This allows one to do multiple exports on a single file.
- inkscape --without-gui --actions="export-id:MyTriangle; export-id-only; export-background:purple; export-filename:triangle_purple.png; export-do; export-background:red; export-filename:triangle_red.png" my_file.svg
- This will export the object with the id MyTriangle with a purple background to the file triangle_purple.png and with a red background to the file triangle_red.png. (Note: there is an implicit file export at the end.
- inkscape --without-gui --actions="export-id-only; export-id:Triangle; export-filename:action_triangle.png; export-do; export-id:Path; export-filename:action_path.png" export_test.svg
- Exports the objects Triangle and Path to different files.
- inkscape --actions="select:Triangle; ObjectFlipVertically; export-filename:flipped-triangle.svg; export-do; EditUndo; select:Path; ObjectFlipHorizontally; export-filename: flipped-path.svg; export-do; EditUndo; FileClose" export_test.svg
- Flip the triangle, save the result. Undo the flip, then flip the path, save the result. Undo the flip and close the file. (At the moment, one must undo any changes to avoid popping up a dialog warning about unsaved changes.)
Changes from 0.92
- Each command-line argument can be used only once.
- In 0.92, command-line arguments can be repeated and are processed in the order they appear:
- inkscape --select=MyStar --verb ObjectFlipVertically --verb FileSave --verb FileClose MyStar.svg
- will open the file MyStar.svg, select the object with id MyStar, flip the object vertically, save the file and then close it.
- Post 0.92, command-line arguments cannot be repeated and the order does not effect processing. Instead, some arguments, e.g. --verbs, can have a semicolon separated list of values:
- inkscape --select=MyStar --verb "ObjectFlipVertically;FileSave;FileClose" MyStar.svg
- xverbs are not supported. They are (will be) replaced by actions.
- The command-line option --verb is deprecated, use --actions instead:
- inkscape --select=MyStar --actions="ObjectFlipVertically;FileSave;FileClose" MyStar.svg
- Eventually all verbs will be replaced by actions. Temporarily, any verb can be used as an action.
- Note, most verbs require a GUI (even if they don't use it). To close the GUI automatically at the end of processing, use --batch-process.
- The --export-id argument now supports a semicolon separated list of objects, each one will be exported separately.
- The --query-id argument now supports a comma separated list of objects. Any geometry query (e.g. ---query-x) will return a comma separated list of values corresponding to the list of objects in --query-id.