Inkscape 0.47 Released With a Batch of Cool Improvements

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 24, 2009

After a long wait, the community around Inkscape, an open source vector graphics editor, are excited about a great new release with loads of improvements and tweaks. Some of the biggies include timed autosave to keep you from losing your work, a spell checker for text objects, and a huge batch of preset filters.

According to the project's developers, the focus of Inkscape 0.47 is "to clean up legacy code and push forward the migration to clean object-oriented C++. The goal of this effort was to increase reliability and maintainability of Inkscape. In the long run, it will mean fewer bugs and more new features, because it will be easier to develop and find bugs in Inkscape."

Additional improvements include:

* Spiro splines: an exciting new way to work with paths, fully supported in Pen, Pencil, and Node tools
* Auto smooth nodes: a new type of node that keeps the path as smooth as possible as you move it or its neighbors
* New modes in Tweak tool: pushing and jittering whole objects, scaling/rotating objects, deleting and duplicating using the "soft brush"
* Reworked, much more usable snapping system and a Snapping toolbar
* New path effects, including sketch, hatching, envelope deformation; effects can be stacked and assigned to groups
* New cairo-based PS and EPS export: improved quality, more features supported, fallback rasterization for filters and transparency
* Many new extensions: restacking, calendar, printing marks, cartesian and polar grids, interpolating attributes
* Optimized SVG code options, now with their own Preferences page

If you're not familiar with Inkscape but are ready to give it a try, be sure to check out Sam Dean's post that takes a look at four resources to help you get your feet wet and learn your way around.