Write your own extensions for Inkscape

Tutorial – Inkscape Scripts

Article from Issue 239/2020

Inkscape's extensions add many useful features. Here's how to write your own.

Badly documented software is common. In fact, I'd say that for free software it is almost the norm. It is also what … er … "inspires" most of my Linux Magazine articles. I set out to do something, hit the wall of insufficient or non-existent documentation, doggedly try to do it anyway, and if I succeed, hey presto, an article.

Which brings me to Inkscape's extensions. Inkscape is a wonderful piece of software, a testament to how good free and open source, community-built applications can be. However, when I began exploring it, I found the documentation of the extension engine to be staggeringly bad. For starters, a link to a Python Effect Tutorial in the Inkscape wiki leads to an empty page ("[extensions under review]") that was last "modified" in 2008!

To add insult to injury, Inkscape was recently updated to version 1.0, after being in the 0.9x circle of hell for years. Much rejoicing was to be had. Alas, with the overhaul of looks and features came an overhaul of the scripting API, and you probably guessed what happened with the docs – nothing. The little documentation there is on the API is still for the old version and is completely obsolete.


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