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February 6, 2023

How to Use Inkscape: The Basics - Terms to Know

Here are some Basics for Inkscape and How to Use the Platform.

Updated: 2.6.2023

Inkscape can be overwhelming when you download it - there is so much it has available to use but for my SVGs I use the basics. If you want to learn how to create your own free SVG files, let's start here with what this program can do for you.

So let's begin - what is Inkscape?

Inkscape is a free open source that anyone can download and use to create digital art. It's similar to Adobe Illustrator but with a few bugs and downgrades. BUT! The main thing is that it is FREE!!!!!

inkscape main page

Just some of the features Inkscape includes are:

Here is a full list of what it can do!

You can download it for free HERE

But let's learn the basics of Inkscape first!

Here is an Inkscape guide to all the buttons I use the most:

diagram of what the main buttons on inkscape mean

When just getting started play around with shapes. To use these you click on the icon and drag out to create a shape like a rectangle or circle. Once you have it drawn out you can resize and color, add an outline or a stroke, and combine items. Start here and start adding shapes. In my next blog post I'll go deeper into how to connect shapes and create layers.

Fill and Stroke:

fill and stroke panel on inkscape

This panel which is added on will help you with your color shading and transparency - draw a circle, change the color and then play with these gradients. This is how you can create some awesome print and cut images for cricut!

stroke lines on inkscape panel
stroke style on inkscape panel

This changes your stroke - what is a stroke - think of it like an outline. It works with the objects fill but is an independent entity. You will have to work around with this, sometimes the stroke won't transfer properly with an SVG if youre using it for cutting purposed on your Cricut.

Align and Distribute:

Last lets look at one of the most important things that I use regularly especially for my mandalas! Align and Distrubute

align and distribute panel on inkscape
align and distribute nodes on inkscape panel

You will use this to align objects evenly by sides, in the middle, or distribute evenly in your project! If you use the node version it ill align your nodes.


Right, I should have mention this! Nodes are points on your objects - when I look at nodes I look at them as directions for your cutting machine like connecting the dots. Your blade hits each point so you want to minimize nodes while keeping the shape.

It's a lot of information if you have never used it, I know. Start small and build. I promise if you can use Design Space, you can use inkscape!

If you're ready to try it out, follow me in this tutorial to learn how to create a card in both design space and inkscape!

You can do this! I learned from trial and error and almost two years later, creation is all I do!

What will you make first?

Happy Crafting!

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