How to Crop in Inkscape – Cropping an image

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How to Crop in Inkscape – Cropping an image

How to Crop in Inkscape - Cropping an image

Tutorial – How to crop in Inkscape

Cropping in Inkscape is as easy as in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Gimp.To crop in Inkscape,the only thing you need is to be skilled in basic commands of Inkscape.

In this tutorial, I will guide you step by step on how to crop in Inkscape, so that by the end of the lesson you become expert and startcropping yourself.

Let’s get started with how to crop in inkscape.

Inkscape is a vector graphic software so it uses different methods for cropping rather than traditional. Cropping in Inkscape is a slightly different concept but easy to understand and doable one. 

There are various methods to crop the images in InkScape as followed:

  1. Clipping (Shape, object, Typography, and Path)
  2. Masking
  3. Patterns

The choice of each method depends on the kind of images which you want to crop in Inkscape. If you have a very complex image (a mix of shapes, objects, and illustration) then you should go for clipping method.


Clipping is the most efficient and acceptable method to crop and image in Inkscape and is a preferable method of professionals. Because it gives the best result and hold the advantage of cropping the raster and vector images as well.  The detailed process is given below:

  1. Start Inkscape and then create a new file. It is better to assign the file a given name. After this set the size of canvas according to the dimensions of the image in study with file>>Document properties
crop in Inkscape
  1. Then import the desired image with File>>import>>computer directory
crop in Inkscape
  1. When you select a file to import, a small window will open in the Inkscape space and will ask you for certain properties, do not do anything, just click ok.
crop in Inkscape
  1. Now, we have our image on the canvas like this
crop in Inkscape

Example image at the canvas with selection handles

  1. After this you can crop it by drawing any shape for example rectangle, circle, Star, letter, etc.
  • Draw a rectangle on the specified item, such as the middle dog in the below picture
  • Then draw a rectangle or desired shape on the middle dog
  • Now select the rectangle and image, and clip it by object>>clip>>set
crop in Inkscape

Access to the clip feature by going to object

How to Crop in Inkscape - Cropping an image
How to Crop in Inkscape - Cropping an image
  1. After this save the final image as a PNG with File>>export as PNG

Crop in inkscape by using letters-based shapes

In Inkscape you can crop an image in various shapes for example as a star, polygon or any desired shape creating by using pen Bezier tool. But when you are working with vector graphics then you should be bit careful and first make group of all the objects in the vector graphics then follow the same procedure and have your desired image. As described in the below given image.

How to Crop in Inkscape - Cropping an image

Clipping is a method with which you can crop any raster or vector graphics in your desired shape. 

Note. The shape, path, or any Boolean operator will be placed on to the image to be cropped. 

Clipping by using Path to crop in Inkscape

To crop in Inkscape using a path is the most efficient method in Inkscape, but to get the desired and most accurate results, you should be too patient and to have a keen eye to catch the details as much as possible. 

You can create a path by using Bezier tool in the close proximity of the image. After creating the path, follow the same procedure for clipping object>>clip>>set. After doing this, you will be amazed by the outcome, as shown in below given figure. 

How to Crop in Inkscape - Cropping an image

The selection of the method depends on the final outcome to which method will work best for you. 

Note. Before opting for any clipping method, define the final outcome. It will assist you during the whole process.

The advantage of clipping in Inkscape is that you can crop an image in any desired shape instead of rectangle as in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Gimp.

Cropping by Masking

  1. Cropping and image in Inkscape using Masking is an advantageous method in Inkscape because it allows you to add gradient and artistic feature in the cropped image. There are few rules for masking. 
  • The white in masking will cover the image area beneath the mask
  • The black in masking will remove the image area beneath the mask
  • The all colors of in between black and white will become transparent and give a translucent appearance to the image area beneath the mask.

Masking give better results than clipping, How?? 

  1. At first access to the mask in object>>mask>>set 
How to Crop in Inkscape - Cropping an image
  1. Then select any shape, path, or gradient to mask the image, like this:
How to Crop in Inkscape - Cropping an image

In this example, I drew a rectangle and used white color to fill with grey stroke. You can see that the edges of the cropped images are translucent. This is the advantage of cropping in Inkscape. You can create object of different colors by using above described rules of masking and get an amazing final image, like this,

How to Crop in Inkscape - Cropping an image

Note: When you are using pattern in masking then at first make sure to group all the drawn objects and then use mask to crop in Inkscape, as we did in the previous example.

Cropping by Patterns

So far, we used clipping and masking method to understand to crop in Inkscape. There is one more method which named as Pattern cropping in Inkscape. This is the beauty of Inkscape to provide a lot of ways to crop an image or vector graphics in Inkscape. 

  1.   You can use pattern to apply on an image by going in Object>>Pattern>>Object to Pattern:
How to Crop in Inkscape - Cropping an image
  1. The pattern can be applied in any shape by controlling the handles of the square tools on the object. For this you need first to select the image then apply pattern, after this select the square tool and nodes and handles will appear on the image. Then control the nodes and handles to produce the desired shape or pattern of the image, like as:
How to Crop in Inkscape - Cropping an image

Cropping is an art in Inkscape

Inkscape considered cropping as an art instead of a tool. That’s why cropping in Inkscape becomes fun. There are distinct advantages of cropping in Inkscape for example:

  1. It is easy to apply e.g., by clipping method
  2. It gives amazing image shapes in one click
  3. The most important, it is quick and efficient

Now, we are familiar with three methods of cropping in Inkscape and the feasibility of each method for different purposes.


Crazy Laser Man, Outdoorsman, Designer, Australia

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