Inkscape is my vector editor of choice for several reasons.

  • Handles AI, EPS, PDF, SVG and a slew of other vector and raster formats
  • It’s open source and free
  • Runs on all major operating systems–Windows, Mac OS X and Linux

Last week, Inkscape’s newest version, 0.47, was released.

What’s new in Inkscapes latest version? Lots.

What’s New in Inkscape 0.47?

Improved UI and Desktop Integration

inkscape-0.47-photorealism_thumb

So you want to know what the new version of Inkscape looks like?

It’s not a radical departure from the previous version, but it has some streamlining and small tweaks that’s been given it. Mainly, it seems to integrate better with whatever OS it’s installed.

You can view some screenshots of the new Inkscape interface and examples of what’s possible on the Screenshots gallery page.

Above: Obligatory Megan Fox vector illustration

Additions and Improvements

Here’s just a brief list of additions and improvements. You can read the full list of changes on Inkscape.org.

  • Autosave with adjustable preferences
  • Spiro splines for the Pen, Pencil, and Node tools
  • Auto smooth nodes
  • New modes in Tweak tool
  • Reworked snapping and grid system, plus a Snapping toolbar
  • New path effects, including sketch, hatching, envelope deformation; effects can be stacked and assigned to groups
  • Tons of filters found in new Filters menu
  • Typography–Base support for creating SVG fonts
  • New and improved extensions
  • New cairo-based PS and EPS export: improved quality, more features supported, fallback rasterization for filters and transparency
  • Spell checker for text objects
  • Many new extensions: restacking, calendar, printing marks, cartesian and polar grids, interpolating attributes
  • Optimized SVG code options
  • Better desktop integration. Better Gnome integration (Linux) with improved icons. Also includes themable icons.

New Path Effects

New Sketch path effect in Inkscape 0.47

New Sketch path effect in Inkscape 0.47

There are several new path effects in the new version of Inkscape.

  • Sketch makes an object or path look like it was rough sketched
  • Hatches draws hatch and “scribbles” within a shape
  • von Koch creates fractal images
  • Knot makes a knot from a flat self-intersecting curve; giving the illusion of a knot
  • Spiro Splines is a useful alternative to Bezier curves. This could be handy for those creating type or fonts
  • Construct Grid
  • Envelope Deformation lets you deform an object or group of objects by deforming any of its principle sides (top, bottom, sides). Can be edited with the Node tool.
  • Create ruler marks along a path with Ruler
  • Interpolate Subpaths “tweens” (think Flash) shapes along an editable path

If you haven’t tried Inkscape or haven’t tried out the newest version, download Inkscape today.

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