<aside> 📢 Have you ever struggled getting your figures to the right size to fit in a paper, grant, or poster?


With Inkscape this can be far less of a concern. While assembling the figure, we can set the size to the maximum size of the total figure that we want. That way, if we go beyond the bounds of the Inkscape document, we know the figure is too big.

Resizing the Document for the Figure

To resize the document size in Inkscape, we can select File, then then Document Properties. This should make the following pop-up appear.

While there is lots of useful information here, we will focus on the Custom Size panel. We can then change the document size.

We can also change the Background to clear or a certain color such as white (or any other color).

Finally, there are other taps with setting you can change to your liking.

Screen Shot 2022-04-20 at 4.34.35 PM.png

Once you are happy with your choices, just exit out of the pop-out and the changes will automatically apply.

Exporting Options

There are two main options for exporting your figure once you are done. This includes Saving a Copy and Exporting PNG Image. Which one you choose will be dependent on how high quality it needs to be, the file size, and if it is bitmap or vector based. As we explained in Module 1.2, there are pluses and minus to each choice and may be dependent on the medium the figure is used in.

Bitmap One layer Lower resolution, smaller file size .png, .tiff, .jpeg
Vector Based Many layers preserved Higher resolution, larger file size .pdf, .svg, .eps

Bitmap Image - PNG Export

If we want to export our figure into a bitmap, our only option in Inkscape is PNG but there are many tools to convert PNG images into other file formats such as JPEG and TIFF if needed.

To export out image, we can select the area to export:

Then we need to set the dpi (or dots per image). This is the number of pixels within the image.

Too low and the image will be pixelated.

Too high and the file size will be large and impractical to export.

Therefore, for most cases between 500 and 1500 dpi is sufficient for a high quality PNG image.