Join Mike Rankin for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding strokes to your objects, part of Inkscape Essential Training.
- One of the most basic kinds of formatting in vector drawing is applying strokes to objects, and in this movie we'll look at how to do that and how to modify strokes in Inkscape. Here in my document I have a simple computer graphic and I'd like to apply a border around it, also called a stroke. So to do that I'll open up the Fill and Stroke dialogue by clicking on the paint brush button in the Commands bar, and the second tab in the dialogue is Stroke paint, here I can choose the kind of stroke I want. Right now, if I select the graphic, I can see that it has no stroke paint or I could pick a flat color, a linear gradient, a radial gradient, a pattern, or a swatch.
I can use the question mark here to unset the stroke, which means that the object would have no stroke attribute of its own, although it could inherit a stroke attribute of its parent element in the XML code, and we'll see an example of how this can be useful in the movie about working with cloned objects. I can also adjust this stroke in the status bar at the bottom of the window. Double-clicking down here will open this same Stroke paint tab. Right-clicking here gives me a menu where I can choose a white or a black stroke, I can copy or paste the stroke color from or to other objects, I can swap strokes and fills, and I can remove strokes altogether.
Shift-clicking one of the swatches down here will set it as the stroke color, and as I choose any of the stroke options up in the Stroke paint tab of the Fill and Stroke dialogue, I get different controls. So solid color gives me sliders for RGB, HSL, CMYK color modes, and a color wheel. If I choose Gradient, a new gradient is created and then I could use the gradient tool to adjust it, same goes for Radial gradients. If I choose Patterns then I have a list of default patterns to from that I could apply as strokes, and clicking Swatches gives me access to define swatches in my document.
To control the opacity of a stroke, drag the Alpha slider that appears in all of the color choice modes right here, and in the Strokes style tab I can set the stroke width in terms of pixels or points or other units of measure. I'll make this stroke 25 pixels. Joins determines what happens at the intersection of two path segments, so I can have a miter join which will make a pointed corner, depending on the miter limit here. Higher limits make for long, sharp points on narrow angles, or I can have rounded joins, or chopped off, bevel joins.
Cap determines what happens at the endpoints of lines, so to show them I'll select a line and apply a thick, 30 point stroke to this line, and let's give it a light color, so I'll shift-click down here on the swatch. I'll switch to the Node tool, select my line, and click on Show Path, and now we can see the cap more clearly. So should the stroke stop exactly at the endpoint of the line, which is called the Butt cap, or should it extend a ways in a rounded or squared off fashion.
And I can also choose all kinds of dashed patterns and adjust them with an offset, and I can mark with arrowheads and circles and diamonds and so on. For example, with this line, I'm going to switch back to the Select tool, shift-click on the black swatch, I'll reduce the width down to something about seven pixels, choose a dash pattern, add an arrowhead, and I can even adjust the relation of the arrowhead to the rest of the stroke with the offset. I'll just press the plus key a few times to zoom in and scroll over so I can see, and we'll adjust this offset value.
See how the stroke moves until we get just the effect that we want where the stroke meets the arrowhead. Note that, unlike some drawing applications, there is no controls in Inkscape to align a stroke to the inside or outside of a path. Strokes are always centered on the path or object that they're applied to. If you need that sort of effect, you're going to need to fake it using more than one object stacked or clipped together. So in this movie we looked at the controls in Inkscape for working with strokes. We saw how to define stroke formatting with solid colors, gradients and patterns, and how to apply swatches to strokes as well as how to use dashes and markers like arrowheads.
- Downloading and installing Inkscape
- Creating new documents
- Importing AI and EPS files in Inkscape
- Working with input devices like tablets
- Drawing basic shapes
- Scaling and rotating objects
- Adding fills and strokes
- Using Inkscape extensions
- Adding and editing text
- Printing and exporting Inkscape artwork
Skill Level Beginner
Drawing Vector Graphics: Patternswith Von Glitschka4h Intermediate
1. Getting Started
2. Navigating an Inkscape Document
3. Drawing Basic Shapes
4. Transforming Objects
5. Working with Fills and Strokes
6. Using Filters
7. Using Extensions
8. Creating Complex Shapes
9. Working with Text
10. Printing and Exporting Artwork
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