Getting Started

Types of extensions

There are four types of extensions:
  1. Effect: Takes the SVG from Inkscape, modifies the selection or the document and returns an SVG to Inkscape.
  2. Generate: Does not need any SVG, but instead just outputs an SVG fragment which is inserted into Inkscape, centered on the selection.
  3. Input: Takes any type of file as input and outputs SVG which Inkscape can read.
  4. Output: Takes the SVG from Inkscape and outputs it to something that’s not an SVG.

Extension Architecture

Every extension needs two files: <name>.inx and <name>.py. The names should match up.


(Note: Using Python for the extensions is only a recommendation, but the documentation will focus exclusively on that method.)

Inx file

Sample File

The inx file is a specialized xml file. Its purpose is to tell Inkscape various information about your extension. It follows the following format:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<inkscape-extension xmlns="">

<!-- 1. Replace this with the title of your extension. This will Show in the extensions menu-->
<_name>Your Cool Title</_name>

<!-- 2. Fill this in. It ensures that your extension has a unique ID -->

<!-- 3. Show the relative path to your extension. For example, `~/.config/inkscape/extensions/` would be ``-->
<dependency type="executable" location="extensions">path/to/</dependency>
<dependency type="executable" location="extensions"></dependency>


    <!-- 4. Where is your extension located? (You can nest menus) -->
    <submenu _name="submenu"/>


    <!-- 5. Same as #4 -->
    <command reldir="extensions" interpreter="python">path/to/</command>


Python file

The python file is where most of the work will be done. The code will always reference the inkex module in some way, so it may be worth your time to take a look at it here