Welcome back to our Inkscape tutorial series. In this lesson, we will be looking at more tool options that we have in the tool bar on the right of our work space. In lesson 1, we focused on the “select” and the “rectangle” tools.

Using the circle “handle” to make the corners round

I’d like to point out another feature of the rectangle tool that we did not go over in Lesson 1. When we select the rectangle tool and draw a rectangle, we see a small white square in the corner of our shape. By clicking on that square, we can control the size and shape of our objects. We call these handles. This can be done with the select tool as well, as we went over in Lesson 1, however by using the select tool, you are scaling your already created image. We will talk more about the difference later. You will also see a white circle in the corner. By clicking and dragging the small white circle, you can control the roundness of the corners. You can also access these options if you click on the object 3 times with the select tool. I wanted to go over this as we will be working with different shapes in the future, and these options behave differently with each shape.

Manipulating the
circle “handle” to
create a pie shape

Looking at your tool bar, you will see the “circle” tool. By selecting that tool and clicking and dragging, you can create a circle. You can use the “handles” or little white boxes that we discussed earlier, to adjust the size and shape. If you click on the little white circle, you can see that it adjusts the shape of your circle. By holding down the cursor and keeping it outside the dotted box, you can create a pie shape. If I move the cursor into the dotted box while holding it down, I create more of a half moon shape. After your shape is created, you can select the select tool and skew, move, or rotate the shape like we learned in Lesson 1.

When we have the circle tool selected we can find its options at the top of our screen. You will see partial and full circle icons. By clicking on those you can restore your circle to a full circle, or make it a partial circle. You will also see number boxes to change the radius of our circle.

The differences between stroke on a scaled object and a freshly create object

You will notice that if you draw a small circle (or any object) and scale it up using the select tool, that your stroke (the outline color) becomes much thicker. That’s because when you scale, it scales proportionately. If you drew a new circle to match the size of your small circle that has been scaled larger, you will see a thickness difference in the stroke. We will learn how to change the stroke thickness later.

If I have 2 objects that are overlapping and I want the one behind to be in front, I can click on my select tool, select the object I want raised, and use the “raise selection to top” tool at the top of my work space. You will see other corresponding buttons such as “raise selection 1 step” and “lower selection to bottom”. These are all tools used to mange multiple objects on multiple levels.

The next tool we will look at is “star or polygons”. It looks like a star on the tool bar on the left side of your work space. By clicking and dragging you can create a star. By clicking on the white handles (the small squares in the corners of your objects), you can change the length of the points, or where the points intersect. You will also see the tool options on the top option bar (above your work space). You can change the amount of corners or spoke ratio.

Creating a spiral

On your tool bar you will see a “spiral” tool. By clicking and dragging after selecting that tool, you can create a spiral. By manipulating the white handles on this shape you can change the length of the spiral. The spiral tool options allow you to change the tightness of the spiral, the amount of turns, and the inner radius. By playing with these settings, you will get a better feel for how they work.

Thanks for joining me and I look forward to seeing you in Lesson 3.