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Product details

  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (24 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849517207
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849517201
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.7 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 481,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Bethany Hiitola is a working writer and technology geek. With a degree in Scientific and Technical Communications, she's worked as a technical writer and multimedia developer for over 12 years—she spends the rest of her time as a wife, mother, gadget geek, and Master of the Household. She's written more user manuals than she can count, essays, novels, and a few technical books—including Inkscape 0.48 Essentials for Web Designers. More details are at her website: bethanyhiitola.com.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ben Hall on 2 Mar 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This introduction starts from scratch and develops logically. The chapter on layers is particularly good as the successful use of layers is essential when developing any type of digital graphic. The frequent addition of equivalent shortcut keys for performing tasks is most welcome; Inkscape includes a huge list of these in its online help and perhaps the book's list of these shortcuts could have been extended beyond the two and a half pages allocated.

The book loses a fifth star for relatively minor points. Not all screenshots match one's experience with, in my case, Windows 7. The pop quiz feature is wasted space in my opinion. The page numbering is a fine example of poor graphical design - why are the numbers so small and in bold typeface? The index for any technical book must be at least 10%. Here we find ten and a half pages of index for a book of 268 pages.

Do not let my whingeing deter those new to Inkscape. This book took me from post-installation to producing quality 600dpi PDF output in less than one week. That PDF output produced stunning printed material from commercial printers.

This book has saved me tens of hours of trial and error and I am happy to recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Moeller on 1 Oct 2012
Format: Paperback
Inkscape is a vector drawing program, much like Illustrator, but free AND open sourced. This book is very detailed, assuming you know knowing of vector drawing, and possibly of any kind of digital drawing. It starts out very slow, describing what vector graphics actually are, how to install Inkscape, ect. Then it actually allows you to explore the interface by small little projects, such as basic drawing tools, starting to modify objects, using layers, and stylizing text. Towards the end, it starts touching on topics most well experienced vector artists use on a daily basis, or haven't even discovered yet, such as using filters to stylize your objects, different options for stylizing text, and making custom looking text, as well as manipulating nopn-vector images inside of inkscape, and even using the XML editor to directly modify the SVG, which gives you an intro into how shapes are actually stored, which can of course be used by different programs (such as HTML5's `canvas' tag), due to it being an open format for vector graphics.

If you're new to creating art working with a computer, new to vector drawing, or even want to transition from Illustrator to Inkscape, this book will get you from clueless to experienced in no time.
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By Tealady2000 VINE VOICE on 26 Jun 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I started using Inkscape recently to create diagrams for scientific publications. I had never used an SVG drawing program before and although there is some helpful information available on the web, I was struggling to get going. I decided to buy this book and I'm really glad I did because it is perfect for complete beginners. I quickly completed a couple of projects and I was very impressed by the versatility and sophistication of Inkscape itself. If you already know the basics, it's probably not for you.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville on 21 July 2012
Format: Paperback
Just over a year ago, I reviewed an earlier book on Inkscape version 0.48, Inkscape 0.48 Illustrator's Cookbook. That presupposed you already knew broadly Inkscape and perhaps needed some specialised help. In contrast, the current book by Hitola is aimed squarely at the newbie. No previous experience with Inkscape is required.

The text shows how vector graphics as implemented by Inkscape is quite easy to learn. And quite different from raster or bit mapped images like GIF, JPEG and BMP. The power of vector graphics is in its ability to retain sharpness under essentially arbitrary magnification. Whereas any raster image will inevitably turn blurry upon deep resolution.

Hitola also gives a nice treatment of the comparative merits of vector versus raster images. A balanced discussion. Plus, she shows more usefully how to combine these. Essentially, pure photographs are fundamentally raster in nature, while text and geometric graphics can and perhaps should be vectorised, provided that they do not overlay a photo.

You also learn that Inkscape lets you read and write to PDF files. Important for compatibility with other programs.

The chapter on making paths, especially using a Bezier tool, is quite detailed. Perhaps more so than texts on other vector graphics methods. A chance to really learn thoroughly Beziers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 16 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
no previous experience needed with Inkscape 21 July 2012
By W Boudville - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Just over a year ago, I reviewed an earlier book on Inkscape version 0.48, Inkscape 0.48 Illustrator's Cookbook. That presupposed you already knew broadly Inkscape and perhaps needed some specialised help. In contrast, the current book by Hitola is aimed squarely at the newbie. No previous experience with Inkscape is required.

The text shows how vector graphics as implemented by Inkscape is quite easy to learn. And quite different from raster or bit mapped images like GIF, JPEG and BMP. The power of vector graphics is in its ability to retain sharpness under essentially arbitrary magnification. Whereas any raster image will inevitably turn blurry upon deep resolution.

Hiitola also gives a nice treatment of the comparative merits of vector versus raster images. A balanced discussion. Plus, she shows more usefully how to combine these. Essentially, pure photographs are fundamentally raster in nature, while text and geometric graphics can and perhaps should be vectorised, provided that they do not overlay a photo.

You also learn that Inkscape lets you read and write to PDF files. Important for compatibility with other programs.

The chapter on making paths, especially using a Bezier tool, is quite detailed. Perhaps more so than texts on other vector graphics methods. A chance to really learn thoroughly Beziers.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Reviewed "Inkscape Beginner's Guide" on my blog 6 Oct 2012
By Penguin Pete - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Hi there, I'm known around the Inkscape community as "Penguin Pete", and you may have stumbled upon one or two of my Inkscape tutorials online. I decided to check this guide out to (a) see what I'd missed in teaching myself Inkscape, and (b) see if I could recommend it for new users.

> "Inkscape Beginner's Guide is very good at providing clear, step-by-step instructions and pacing everything so that even the rawest new user can follow along." ... "The guide also keeps the technobabble to a minimum in a fresh, clear writing style that only explains what's absolutely necessary. It also provides a few nice examples for laying out a postcard, web page, brochure, and other practical applications for office-level work. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it for the new user."

Read the full review here: [...]
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great for the beginner 1 Oct 2012
By Paradasia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is great for the complete beginner. I wish I had read this book about 6 years ago, when I was first playing around with Inkscape and other graphic design tools. The website promises "Real world examples show you how to create everything from paths, complex shapes, to stylized text." It's true: Hands-on tutorials and real examples, complete with screenshots and images, are the meat of the book. As a bonus, you get a general introduction to some graphic design concepts is woven into the book. It covers things you really need to know when using Inkscape; vector vs. raster graphics, how SVG and other file formats work, and how to organize a graphic design project.
For a more details about this book, check out my review here: [...]
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Go from knowing nothing about vector drawing to a confident, well experienced user! 1 Oct 2012
By C. Moeller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Inkscape is a vector drawing program, much like Illustrator, but free AND open sourced. This book is very detailed, assuming you know knowing of vector drawing, and possibly of any kind of digital drawing. It starts out very slow, describing what vector graphics actually are, how to install Inkscape, ect. Then it actually allows you to explore the interface by small little projects, such as basic drawing tools, starting to modify objects, using layers, and stylizing text. Towards the end, it starts touching on topics most well experienced vector artists use on a daily basis, or haven't even discovered yet, such as using filters to stylize your objects, different options for stylizing text, and making custom looking text, as well as manipulating nopn-vector images inside of inkscape, and even using the XML editor to directly modify the SVG, which gives you an intro into how shapes are actually stored, which can of course be used by different programs (such as HTML5's `canvas' tag), due to it being an open format for vector graphics.

If you're new to creating art working with a computer, new to vector drawing, or even want to transition from Illustrator to Inkscape, this book will get you from clueless to experienced in no time.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Good Introduction to Inkscape 9 Oct 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Packt Publishing recently sent me an e-copy of Inkscape Beginners Guide by Bethany Hiitola to review. For my review I am going to look at a couple of key areas that are important to me when reading and using books such as Inkscape Beginners Guide. And that would be Content, Formatting/Layout and my Overall Impression of the book. So, let's get to it.

Formatting/Layout

I looked at both the mobi (kindle format) and the pdf ebook versions. Both were formatted cleanly and flowed properly when read. This is very important when viewing on the growing number of mobile devices available for these formats. I personally used a small android device to view the mobi ebook and had no problems reading the book or viewing the screenshots.

Each chapter is organized similarly, in a an easy to digest manner that leads you through new information quickly and efficiently building on what was previously learned. Each new concept is introduced with a "Time for Action" heading where instructions are given to perform or create what is being covered, followed by a "What just Happened" section that explains in more detail what was just done. Then there is a Pop Quiz to test your knowledge and then "Have a Go Hero" section of practical exercises to reinforce the concepts.

Content

This book is aimed at beginning users, both those new to Inkscape and those new to vector graphics in general. The chapters and exercises take the reader on a tour of Inkscape's tools and abilities in a well thought out manner. Once finished, the reader should have a fairly good grasp of the basic fundamentals of Inkscape and the ability to start experimenting on their own.

Project files and resource links are provided as required for individual exercises so that the reader can follow along and achieve the same result as shown in the exercise.

Additionally, because of the way the book is laid out, going back to reference individual tasks will be easy and make this a great reference guide to refresh your memory on specific tasks.

My Overall Impression
Inkscape Beginners Guide does a good job at presenting the basics of using Inkscape. The exercises were interesting, easy to follow and presented good launching points for further experimenting and exploration. This book is not going to turn you into a master vector genius, but it will provide you with a good foundation to continue learning and exploring on your own.
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