Scientific editing with Inkscape

Renato Alves   2023-06-29   Comments Off on Scientific editing with Inkscape

Date(s) - 2023-06-29
10:00 CEST - 16:00 CEST


This hybrid (in-person and virtual) workshop is aimed at everyone wanting to know the basics of figure and illustration manipulation, using Inkscape, a free and open-source vector graphics editor.

In this course we will cover the basics of using Inkscape and how to:

  • navigate the canvas
  • create and edit basic shapes
  • transform, align and distribute elements
  • modify different attributes of different shapes
  • use layers to control and manage image complexity
  • create and manipulate paths
  • handle text, fonts and some of their pitfals
  • use interpolation for creative effects
  • edit and use gradients

In the afternoon we will also explore two frequent use-cases:

  • Designing a simple poster from scratch
  • Editing a figure generated with code (in Python or R)


This 2+2 hour workshop is divided into a morning session where most of the concepts will be introduced, and an afternoon session, with hands on modifying a figure generated with code (Python / R) and designing a simple poster.
You are welcome to bring some of your own code to generate a figure and a poster concept you would like to explore


10:00 – 12:00 – Introduction to design principles and Inkscape
14:00 – 16:00 – Editing figures generated with code and creating a simple poster from scratch

Software requirements

In order to follow this course you will need a recent version of Inkscape. We recommend downloading the latest version for your operating system.
Note for MacOS users: If you are on MacOS Ventura (version 13), please update your system to the latest version 13.4. If you fail to do so you may run into the following problem:

There is an unresolved issue that currently affects all GTK3 based apps on macOS Ventura, making the app unresponsive to certain mouse events. (GTK is used by many different programs, and builds those programs’ user interfaces for you to interact with.)

This issue was reported to be fixed in MacOS 13.4 beta 4. For technical discussion see this issue.

Please be aware that the workshop does not include time to troubleshoot installation problems.



Bookings are closed for this event.

About Renato Alves

I am a Community and Project Manager for Bio-IT and Training Coordinator for ELIXIR Germany. Find me at EMBL-HD office 116 or at Bio-IT drop-in Sessions on Tuesdays 10:00-12:00 at the EMBL staff lounge (or online). Contact Details: email -, Twitter -, GitHub -, GitLab -, ORCID -