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Inkscape: Guide to a Vector Drawing Program Paperback – 6 Nov 2009

3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 3 edition (6 Nov. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137051735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137051731
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 2.8 x 27.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,100,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Back Cover


About the Author

Tavmjong Bah is a reformed physicist living in Paris whose writing about Inkscape combines his love for technology and culture. An active member of the community,Tav is a registered Inkscape developer and has quite a few patches to his credit. His nom-de-plume is the title granted to him by the paramount chief of the Nso, a Cameroonian people.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Aj Chase on 22 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book does tell you all about Inkscape but it does it in mostly very technical language. I am fairly new to Inkscape & found this book to be not much help to learn the basics.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mr. N. S. Wedd on 7 May 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book starts with ten examples of creating images with Inkscape, so that the reader can work through them and get used to Inkscape's features. The examples get progressively more difficult. The first two I found easy; the third had its problems; and after struggling with the fourth, I gave up. The problem isn't that the material is difficult, at least for these early examples it's simple enough. But I kept finding that the Inkscape program doesn't do what the book says it does. (I was using Windows XP 5.1 to run Inkscape version 0.47, just what the book says it is intended for.) After searching around and trying several options I generally found a way to produce the effect that was required; but I found that so much mental energy was consumed by finding these workarounds, that I wasn't retaining any of whatever I was meant to be learning from the examples.

If these early chapter had done more to explain the logic of what was going on, they would still have been useful. But when the text says "Tapping the space bar will change the Select Tool for repositioning the circle", and I tap the space bar and nothing happens, it is demotivating. After a dozen or so things like that, I gave up.

For all I know, later chapters may be much better.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Allerton on 8 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent well-written text with numerous useful examples. Essential reading for a software package (Inkscape) which has many advanced features that are hard to understand without this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A solid reference book, though not without downsides 28 July 2011
By Elthar - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Actually, i have just read the 4th edition of this book in a digital format, which Amazon sadly lacks for sale for Kindle. The 4th edition has some improvements due to the new version of Inkscape being released since the 3rd edition were written, so i recommend using the newer book.

At the time when i read the book i had no knowledge of Inkscape, and being only slightly familiar with other vector drawing software. The book offers information on all of Inkscape's tools and the basic use of them, but instead of just telling how they work the author starts out with tutorials which include using most of the tools, so you can get a feel of them. The tutorial are written assuming you will do them in particular order, thus the later ones are mentioning the thing you did in the previous ones, but aren't telling you how to do them all over again. I don't know why other reviwers had problem with this, i am myself are greatly annoyed by the contrary - when authors write out each step again and again, even when i did them already for ten times.

Why i'm not giving the book 5 star rating is that some of the said tutorials were missing details not obvious to a complete beginner - for example, in one of the very first tutorials reader has to use a certain tool on several objects, but author fails to note that these objects must be first grouped in order for this tool to work. How am i supposed to know that if the tutorial isn't telling me that and the tool's description is placed well past all of the tutorials?
Also,the tutorials that tell you how to create a button and an animation for web include an overview of html, css and even some extensive scripting, which i don't see as a necessity for a book that is supposed to be a guide to Inkscape, not to web design or coding. I would't mentioned it if the author did not try to teach me a bunch of weird scripting instead of simple JavaScript we all use, when even this book is stating that the scripting included in it will be incompatible with Internet Explorer 9. Then why even mention it in the first place? If i am a webdesigner (and i am), i will not use something incompatible with one of the main web browsers, and even if i was a visual designer or someone else that piece of scripting still be useless and confusing to me.

If to let these slips pass this is a solid book and i would recommend it to a complete beginner or someone who wants a cheaper-than-other-books reference on Inkscape tools.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Not Very Comprehensive 14 May 2010
By A. D. Turner - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This might be a good basic guide to Inkscape but it is not the comprehensive guide that was expected. It once again falls back on referring you back to a previous section when stepping you through a tutorial instead of including those steps necessary to complete a task in the current tutorial that is being used. Some of the steps in some of the tutorials also make assumption as to the knowledge level of a person using this book as a guide. The author might understand what is being written, but the author is not the one paying to use this book.

It does not get into the nuts and bolts of the program either. Not enough detailed information is given for all of the various functions of Inkscape. A complete and total explanation, with examples, of every item in every menu is what is needed, not just what the author thinks might be important.

Not recommended for someone looking for a complete and comprehensive guide to Inkscape, recommended for someone looking for a quick guide.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Great reference book. Recommend it. 14 July 2010
By heathenx - Published on
Format: Paperback
For many of us Inkscapers who started out several years ago there were not many places to go in order to get an understanding of this application. There still seems to be a shortage even though several new tutorial sites that have cropped up since then serve to fill some of the gaps. I can't even recall if there were any published books that users could turn to back then. Although, what has seemed to have been there from the beginning is Tavmjong's evolving Inkscape manual. Not quite sure when Tav published his guide but since discovering it his guide has become quite a valuable source of documentation for many of us. It's something that I have come to rely on whenever I feel that I have forgotten a feature or needed to re-learn a technique.

I wouldn't say that Tav takes an exhaustive approach at explaining every fine detail of Inkscape but he explains what I consider are the important things by providing practical examples. It doesn't take much reading between the lines in order to grasp a feature's potential use. In addition, he throws in some tips along the way.

I might feel like I have a bit of a soft spot for Tav since I feel like he is partly responsible for teaching me how to use Inkscape and that was just me perusing the pages of his manual. There are probably quite a few of us who fiddle around with features and settings in just about any application but it's nice to know that a good reference manual exits as a companion.

Tav's guide is the number one resource that I recommend to many new users when the opportunity presents itself. I'd even recommend this book to seasoned users of Inkscape for nothing more than just having a handy reference guide to turn to.

My only gripe with this book is that I wish the images that were used were in color as opposed to grayscale. I assume that it was to keep the cost of the book down or perhaps it was just easier to print. It slightly impedes on some of Tav's tutorials. Just a minor thing really.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Tutorial and Reference 4 Jan. 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I find this book to be a very good introduction to Inkscape. The tutorials are well chosen and serve to illustrate a wide range of the functionality available. Bah clearly knows his subject. He introduces some clever techniques that probably would not occur to the typical user (like myself).

I have the Kindle version of the book. By having the book on Kindle for the PC I was able to see color versions of the photos. What really worked well was being able to have the tutorials open side by side with Inkscape on the screen. This allowed me to easilly read the tutorial while I worked.

The book is well organized and seems to provide a level of detail that will enable most users to master the program. There were a couple of spots where I would have liked to see a bit more detail, but all in all I thought the book was very good.
Needs improvement 24 Oct. 2012
By Thornflesh - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good reference, but the online version is actually more usable. The examples cannot be followed, practically-speaking, without resorting to the online version. (Note: I am using the Kindle version of the book, not the printed version which may be different). It would be even better if the thing were converted to a pay video series so a person can actually see what is being done, as there are far too many buzzwords for the average person to follow it.
Inkscape itself is a pretty good program. I did have it go completely haywire as I was finishing up a project, and lost all my work, so it's not without bugs. (In this case, the ruler at the top and sides went to very large numbers with scientific notation (!), and the work was all gone - no page section was present anymore. :(
But it's free, so what do you expect?
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