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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go from knowing nothing about vector drawing to a confident, well experienced user!, 1 Oct 2012
By 
C. Moeller (Arizona) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to powerful software, 2 Mar 2013
By 
Ben Hall "Ben" (Reading, England) - See all my reviews
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful for getting started, 26 Jun 2013
By 
Tealady2000 (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
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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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars no previous experience needed with Inkscape, 21 July 2012
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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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