Setup Inkscape in Windows and Ubuntu

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Inkscape software is easy to install in both Windows and Ubuntu. However it is a little difficult for beginners to figure out how to customize the software. This article discusses the steps to customize Inkscape in both Windows and Ubuntu.

Windows Setup

Inkscape official website has a portable version. You can download a 7-zip file from this official download page. Click the third download button under text “Binary archive in 7zip format (64bit)” to down a .7z file. A free utility software 7-zip is able to extract .7z file into a directory. The 7-zip software also has a portable version if you do not want to install it.

After the file is extracted into this directory, double clicking bin\inkscape.exe or Run Inkscape! file starts Inkscape.


Inkscape User Extension Directory

In Inkscape, click menu item Edit > Preferences to open preference dialog (Ctrl + Shift + p). Choose System on the left, and the right side shows system paths for variables. The default value for User extensions is,


Open this location in File Explorer and copy and paste extension files (.py and .inx) into the directory. The extension programs will show up under Extensions top level menu next time Inkscape starts. Or you can change the location to a different directory.


There are two ways to customize fonts in Inkscape. The first one is to copy font files into C:\Windows\Fonts directory. The fonts become accessible to all Windows programs. You can find and download online .ttf font files such as popular Roboto fonts.

The second way is to create a new fonts directory at the location where Inkscape folder is extracted, and copy files into this fonts directory. Open file \etc\fonts\conf.d\50-user.conf and add a line <dir>./fonts</dir> before the last line. Check the new fonts on Text and Font dialog in Inkscape.


Ubuntu Setup

In Ubuntu 21.04, bash command sudo apt install inkscape installs Inkscape 1.0.2 as of 9/1/2021. If you want the latest stable version 1.1, this omg ubuntu web page provides more information. You add a ppa repository first and then type the same bash command to install.

sudo add-apt-repository
sudo apt install inkscape

To add fonts in Ubuntu, we create a .fonts subdirectory in the home directory and copy font files into it. The fonts will become available in Inkscape.

Custom Settings

Inkscape has lots of settings that users can customize. However, a few default settings do not work very well, and it is suggested to change them. We can access Preference dialog via menu Edit > Preference or keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + p.

We suggest changing Bounding box to use from Visual bounding box to Geometric bounding box. The setting is under Tools on the left panel.

The default Dialog behavior is Dockable under Interface/Widnows panel. We suggest changing it to Floating to be more consistent with other Windows programs.