Exporting Pixmaps

When you're happy with your design, save it in Inkscape's native SVG format. To use your artwork in programs that don't support vector graphics, you need to export it as a static pixmap. One advantage of this process is that the pixmap of your artwork should look exactly the same in any program or on any platform, regardless of SVG support or the fonts installed.

To do this, choose File > Export Bitmap on the main Inkscape menu. The resulting dialog allows you to select the whole page for export, just your drawing, a particular selection, or a specified area of the page (see Figure 4-28). You can also specify the bitmap size and resolution and the export filename. Inkscape exports pixmaps in Portable Network Graphics format (.png) by default, which is a cross-platform, standard format understood by all modern graphics programs and web browsers.

Export area




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Figure 4-28. Inkscape offers a range of choices for bitmap export.

If Inkscape can't export the pixmap format you need, you can import a PNG file into the GIMP and then save it in one of the wide array of pixel-based formats that the GIMP supports. You can also perform effects and transformations on the pixmap using the GIMP's tools and filters, some of which are difficult or impossible to achieve with a vector program like Inkscape.

■ Tip If you need to apply the same operation to many pixmap images, or repeat a specific operation at different times, it's well worth knowing about ImageMagick (GNU/Linux, Windows, Mac), a suite of command-line tools. This package comes as standard with many GNU/Linux distros, including Ubuntu. It's used behind the scenes on the servers of many photographic web sites, whenever images are converted automatically. For Windows and Mac versions, visit the ImageMagick web site at www.imagemagick.org.

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