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Inkscape: new amazing features

screenshot of inkscapeThe new version of Inkscape, 0.42 (available as always as a free download: this is an Open-source project)is full of amazing features. Let’s see:

One of the most important new features in 0.42 is the support for flowed text - text that can flow within a rectangle or any other shape. You can edit the text or the shape, and the text is reflown automatically. Also in this version, you can select any portion of a text object and assign any style to it.

Inkscape 0.42 provides support for running extensions - external programs or scripts (Python, Perl, and Ruby are supported) that can do anything to your SVG document. Aaron Spike has written a lot of cool effects in Python, including path interpolation, randomization, recursive generation, visualization of handles and points, etc. If you have an idea of some cool visual effect but don't want to learn to program Inkscape itself, go to Aaron's page to get an idea of how to create an extension.

With the Tile Clones dialog, you can trace anything by anything, in any way imaginable. If the original tile is a group, you can unset paint on some objects on the group while others (e.g. highlights or shadows) will retain their original colors, unaffected by trace coloring.

The new Trace tab in the Tile Clones dialog can change a number of parameters of clone tiles based on the parameters under the tile, i.e. in the drawing that the tiling overlays. The simplest way to use it is to trace color-to-color, i.e. set the color of each tile the same as the averaged color under it. You can also trace R, G, B, or H, S, L channels separately.

The new Unclump button in the Tile Clones dialog removes the local "clumps" in a tiling, making it look more even and man-made (without losing the randomness). The contrast and detailedness of the dot pattern improve as you apply unclumping repeatedly - even though unclumping is unaware of the background image that was traced by the tiling, it seems to bring out more image details that were "hidden" in the random scattering. You can also apply unclumping to regular tilings, converting them from "newspaper print" to "old engraving".

The new Color tab in the Tile Clones dialog can create an exciting variety of color landscapes, with any amount of randomization, gradual change, or per row/per column alternating. Note the new HSL color sliders (replacing the old HSV). For this to work, the original tile must have fill or stroke unset via the Fill&Stroke dialog.

(descriptions reproduced from the Inkscape official site. Visit it to stay up to date with the project and download the latest version.)

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