Tapered lines

Asked by k_iwan on 2008-01-24

How do I create a tapered line? In brush/pen attibute dialog, I can see 2 square ends and a round end. How do I create liens with tapered end?
In other words, to get calligraphic effect by using pen tool?

Thank you.

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Best prkos (prkos) said : #1

Could you please clarify what exactly you want to do?

If you use Pen or Pencil tools you can only get lines that don't change in thickness. You mentioned square and round ends, I presume its in the Fill and Stroke dialog where you can choose Stroke style.

To get tapered ends you have to use Calligraphy tool, use Thinning option on the Calligraphy toolbar to get your lines change thickness depending on how fast you draw. Also check out this Answer https://answers.launchpad.net/inkscape/+question/23068

k_iwan (k-iwan) said : #2

I cannot get a good result with inktool, because my hand shivers a lot when drawing, even with smooth action (Ctrl + L) still doesn't give me the result that I want. If I want to use INk tool (with pen or mouse) I'll end up spending hours and hours tweaking the ink-shape manually to get the shape that I want.

I do apologise if I didn't give a clearer information. What I would like to know is.. would it it possible to use Pen or Pencil tool to produce a shape - like ink tool?

However as you mentioned it seems that I have to use INK tool to get the tapered lines. Well, if it has to be that way, then, that's fine. Do you think this sort of feature would be implemented in the future?

[problem solved, it's my inability to draw good lines with INK tool]

prkos (prkos) said : #3

This problem has been reported before:

bug 171701
bug 171385
bug 171429

this isn't your inability ;)

Until it gets implemented you can use Calligraphy tool and you even won't feel the difference, you can set the width and remove the angle feature so it feels like drawing with a brush or pencil, and you can set Mass so you get smooth lines with less nodes.

k_iwan (k-iwan) said : #4

Well, I'm looking forward to it! :D Thank you for letting me know about those wish list! :D

k_iwan (k-iwan) said : #5

Thanks prkos, that solved my question.

ciradrak (linux-dracoquies) said : #6

Seeing that this is the number one hit in Google for "inkscape tapered lines" I would like to submit a solution using the new "path effects" feature in 0.47 The "Pattern along path" effect is an excellent way to create tapered lines.

I was going to illustrate how to do this myself but Tavmjong does such a great job in his book.


Replace Tavmjong's lizard with a skinny horizontal trapezoid and you're in business.

The 'LPE' "Path Effect Editor dialog" he mentions is under the Path menu. And yes, it's still called "Pattern along Path"

Once the path effect you want has been achieved you can use copy and "Paste Path Effect", again under the Path menu, to duplicate it as many times as needed.

Also, for your confusion, the old path effect is also called "Pattern along Path" and is located under:

"Extensions" --> "Generate from Path" --> "Pattern along Path..."

It does other cool things that the new version does not do yet.

ciradrak (linux-dracoquies) said : #7

After thinking about this, there is also a quick and dirty way which may be easier in most situations... the Bezier tool's Shape from clipboard.

Draw a taper (path) exactly as you wish it to appear. The path must be oriented horizontally to get the effect you want. Copy the path to the clipboard. Choose the bezier tool, set Shape to "From clipboard". Create your tapered lines.

This is actually a short cut to using the "Path Effect Editor", so you can use the editor to tweak the output if needed.

Caveat: Live Path Effects do funny things with cusp nodes in their skeleton path. For simple tapers, it pinches them.