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The Book of Inkscape: The Definitive Guide to the Free Graphics Editor 1st Edition

37 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1593271817
ISBN-10: 1593271816
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dmitry Kirsanov is a developer and a graphic designer, specializing in website and logo design. His articles about Inkscape have appeared in Linux Format in the UK and on Kirsanov also writes the "Design Lab" column teaching creative fundamentals of web design (, and is the author of Dmitry Kirsanov's Web Design Book (in Russian). Tim Daniels, one of the founders of the Inkscape project, is the book's technical reviewer.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (October 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593271816
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593271817
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #421,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Iris Yoffa on December 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
One of the most significant barriers to using open source software that I hear from many home users (as wall as others) is the lack of adequate documentation and training materials. So, the publication of The Book of Inkscape makes the Inkscape open source vector graphics application much more accessible to the artist community as well as the general public. It is a rare developer who can provide clear insights into the nuts and bolts of the workings of the features of their software application in language for the non-developer. The author, Dmitry Kersanov, is able to do just that and in clear and complete explanations. The book contains 18 chapters packed with program information followed by six separate tutorial chapters to help you apply your newly acquired talents. There are four appendices: An SVG Primer, Import and Export, The Command Line (for those who must), and Keyboard Shortcuts.

The Inkscape program first caught my attention over two years ago when I was looking for an open source vector draw program. I had been quite proficient in CorelDraw when it was in version 5, but that was many, many versions and years ago. Just jumping back in was not an option, a total retrain would be required. So, here was a perfect opportunity to move over to open source software. However, finding documentation to guide me through the learning process was unavailable at that time. I decided to work on other projects and check back later. Once again, I'm in need of a vector draw program and The Book of Inkscape is just the reference and tutorial that I need.

The book begins with a little groundwork on what vector graphics is and the situations in which the format excels, as well as the limitations.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Erik S. Heyl on January 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
As a computer geek, I'm always looking for great FREE software that lets me get my work done faster and more efficiently. I also look for the fun stuff as well. And for those that have been around, Inkscape really does provide both. On the one hand, you've got a lightening quick app that is intuitive from the first time you open it, so you can get your work done. AND, it also screams "have some fun!" as well. But, the problem for a long time was that there was no good tutorial/reference style books for the software. This, I'm happy to say, has been fixed.

But before you wonder if The Book Of Inkscape is just an "intro" to a series of books, fear not: it isn't. Not only that but it strives to turn you into an Inkscape Master by the end of it.

The book itself starts off with a bit of history regarding the program, graphics in general and the SVG format in particular. You'll also get a gentle intro to the workspace and how you can customize it to work for you. Indeed, Inkscape can be customized to you and the book goes into this in detail.

The Book of Inkscape also goes through each interface element all the while using examples. This is important and is something a lot of other books miss. It is one thing to tell your readers about a particular feature. It is another to tell and then SHOW them as this will help you get inspired as to what you can do.

And lest you think that it is just a reference tome, The Book Of Inkscape also comes with tutorials that allow you to put your knowledge to practice. And these tutorials are done going from basic (setting up a business card) to more advanced (drawing the rose you see on the front cover).

Now, one key thing that needs to be addressed is writing style.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Wolfsstern on October 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Books about Inkscape are scarce (as opposed to Adobe Illustrator), so I patiently waited for this "definitive guide" (as the title page tells us) to appear.
As a reviewer of Dmitry Kirsanov's book about "XSLT 2.0 Web Development (Charles F. Goldfarb Definitive XML Series)" remarked already, Kirsanov's style is lucid & compact and he shoves a lot of information into the hungry reader's mouth.

As a core Inkscape developer and distinguished russian webdesigner he knows his baby well and offers lots of "hands-on" advice, lots of illustrations (mainly in B&W with a 4 page color insert) as well as in the appendix: an SVG Primer, keyboard shortcuts and examples of command lines (for those who'd like to use the program in a production pipeline).

One important issue in selecting a "definitive guide"-book for me has always been the thoroughness of its index: with 22 pages (prepared by his loving & knowledgeable wife :) ....) it leaves nothing to be desired.

So why did I rate this wonderful accomplishment not with five stars ? -
I missed a webpage with sample images and the python scripts he used in his tutorial:"Creating an animation" as well as some hints about scripting the Inkscape engine with Python (just google for IXML, if you are curious), though he offers at least some results of this tutorial on his webpage.

If all goes well I hope to see some scripting examples & a little more support on the Web with the 2nd edition to raise my rating gladly to five stars, Dmitry :) ....

And I ordered his XSLT Webdesignbook a day after I received his Inkscape book: the man knows his trade too damn well ;-P....
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