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Inkscape adds multi-page support with v1.2 update

Pain points plugged in open-source vector art package

Open-source vector drawing package Inkscape has resolved at least one user pain point with v1.2 – multiple-page documents.

multipage ahoy

Multipage update plus merged Layers and Object dialog

"This is one of the features that Inkscapers have been clamoring for over the past few years," the team acknowledged, and the functionality works well. It's possible to create standard or custom-sized pages in the same document, give them names, arrange them, and export them.

Other updates include improvements to the color palette and a merged Layers and Object dialog. A new Live Path Effect (or, as the Inkscape team humorously put it, "Tiled Clones dialog on steroids") permits a vast array of tiling types when copying large numbers of object and there are new modes of on-canvas snapping to ease alignment.

Finally, there is an improved gradient editor and the ability to fiddle with markers on the end of a line.

Fixes include consistency in unit conversions and stop positions in percentages in gradients. The annoying console pop-up on Windows when calling external utilities is also hidden.

While the release notes feature a raft of other improvements, including better integration with macOS and a .dmg file for M1 users, multiple pages remove a gaping hole in the tool's functionality.

Which, of course, brings us to the question of competition. After its initial 1.0 release, Inkscape seems to be settling into an annual cadence and with each iteration has perhaps narrowed the gap on the likes of Adobe Illustrator.

Should Adobe be worried?

While a glance over its shoulder would be advisable, we spoke to some creative types who told us they had no plans to give up their Creative Cloud subscriptions any time soon.

However, Inkscape's improved macOS integration gave some pause for thought (as well as other new toys), particularly considering the $20.99 per month starting price for Illustrator. Creative Cloud starts at $54.99/month and both require an annual commitment for those prices.

That said, one designer told The Register of Adobe: "It's the industry standard," thus demonstrating the challenge Inkscape faces despite being both free and cross-platform.

While we used Windows to take a look at 1.2, a Linux version is also available as well as macOS. ®

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