Tools & Tips

Quick Tip: How to Export Your Artwork in Inkscape


So you've spent hours on end drawing a magnificent design in Inkscape and now you want to publish it once and for all! Thankfully, Inkscape has a ton of options to export your artwork to more friendly and compatible file types. We'll also go over a couple of neat tricks you might not have known.

1. Exporting Bitmaps

Step 1

We'll be getting to know Export Bitmap very well (File > Export Bitmap). It's pretty straightforward, but there are a ton of cool tricks in this thing. For now, let's simply publish our artwork with pretty standard settings.

inkscape export bitmap

Step 2

Below, you'll see our drawing that we're going to export. Let's set the Export area to Page, which is the exact size of the canvas. Below that, you can see the individual coordinates for the export area corners (x0, x1, y0, y1) which just happens to be the canvas dimensions (because we have Page selected). Easy enough, right?

Bitmap size refers to the final dimensions of your export area, which can of course be changed, but let's keep this one simple. The standard dpi is 90.00, so let's keep that there as well.

export area page

Step 3

Filename can get a bit goofy. The name is a little deceiving, because what you want in that text box is not simply the desired name of your drawing, but also the entire path in which you'd like to save.

You can use the nifty Browse... button to find your exact path, but what always messed me up was the fact that, when you find your desired path using Browse and type down your file name, the button you click afterwards is Save. I can't tell you how many times I've just clicked Save and thought my work was exported (it wasn't).

export filename

Step 4

You must click Export! (I'm sure this seems like a pretty silly mistake, but you'll thank me later.) Before you know it, you'll have a solid .PNG image file of your artwork. Yes, PNGs are the only bitmap Inkscape exports to because they have that awesome alpha channel that allows for transparency and opacity.

published artwork

2. Batch Exporting in Inkscape

Step 1

Okay, this one is awesome.

In this scenario, say I wanted to do four separate icon designs, but I didn't want four separate Inkscape documents. Below are my four icon designs arranged on a single canvas, each 130px by 130px. Let's work some magic.

set of icons

Step 2

With the Selection tool, select all of the icons/objects. Then head up to File > Export Bitmap and on the bottom, check Batch export selected objects. This is going to export each individual object into the same folder your SVG is saved in.

Note: Definitely save your SVG before doing this, because batch export doesn't ask for a path.

And of course, hit Export.

batch exporting

Step 3

Look at how efficient that is! They're all still 130 x 130 with no wasted space. Now I can just save my single source SVG for four entirely separate designs.

batch exported files

3. Export With Frame

Step 1

Here's another really cool trick. Below is a drawing, the only thing I want to export are the apples in the center, but I sort of want to keep the other stuff there too. So what I've done is literally draw a frame using the Rectangle tool and colored it brown. We'll use this as our export area next.

export with frame

Step 2

With your square/frame still selected, let's get Export Bitmap out again. For our Export area, click Selection. Just as before, all coordinates will adjust to the frame we have selected. Just pick a Filename and let's Export this! It'll be neat.

export selection

Step 3

And there we go! A cool frame from simply exporting a small area of a design.

Note: If you'd like the exported area result, but without the frame, you can make your square/frame completely colorless. This is a lot easier than going to Custom and filling in all of your coordinates manually.

export selection result

4. Publish as Other File Types

Step 1

Perhaps all you'd like to do is publish your artwork as something like, a PDF file. Luckily, this is very easy to do in Inkscape. Just head up to File > Save As. Yes, it's that easy.

Under the Save as type menu, you'll find an impressive list of file types to save as (among those is a PDF, of course). Each file type has its own set of exporting options, or lack thereof, depending on what you choose.

save as other files

That Finishes Things Up!

From simply exporting your Inkscape artwork, to exporting icons in a batch, I hope you've enjoyed this quick tip. Thanks for reading!

The fruit vector icons in this tutorial were purchased from GraphicRiver.

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