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How to Use the Bezier Curve Tool in Inkscape
  • By Design Bundles
  • 04 Jul 2021
  • 13 Mins
  • Inkscape Tutorials

How to Use the Bezier Curve Tool in Inkscape

In this tutorial, learn how to create lines and curves in Inkscape with the Bezier Curve Tool!

The Bezier Curve Tool in Inkscape is used to create regular lines and curves. These are then edited through the use of paths and nodes. Each Node is placed with a click and adjusted for a sharp or curved point. In this tutorial you will learn how to use the Bezier Curve Tool.

To begin, Click on Inkscape to open and select New Document.

Step 1 - Draw a basic straight line

The Bezier Tool,also known as the Pen Tool,can be found on the left side panel. Click on the Bezier Tool to activate it. By default Create regular Bezier path is selected. If not, click top left of the screen to select. Next, click on Shape and choose None.

On the canvas, click to place the first node. Drag your mouse across the page and double click or press Enter to place the second node. To keep the line straight Ctrl + Click.

The line is called an open path with end points or nodes.

Draw basic line Inkscape

If you need to access the nodes at any point, click on Edit path by nodes on the left side panel. You can also double click to access the nodes.

Step 2 - Edit nodes on path

On each side is a node. These nodescan be edited by clicking and dragging in any direction.Select the line,double click to access the nodes and Click + Drag one node up.

Create a curve by clicking and dragging the middle of the line up or down. Alternatively, Shift + Click and drag a node to create a curve.

Edit nodes on path Inkscape

Shift click to create curve Inkscape

When a curve is created, handles on the nodes become active. Handles are control points for the nodes. They help fine tune that particular line or curve segment. The curvature of the linechanges as youdrag the handlesaround.

Click on a handle and drag in any direction.

Edit node handles Inkscape

Step 3 - Add nodes to the path

Adding nodescreates moreline segments.This gives extra flexibility when editing a line or curve.Be sure to click the line and activate the Edit path by nodes option on the left side panel. Position the mouse over an area of the line and double click. A new node is placed. Repeat this when adding a new node.

Insert additional nodes Inkscape

The nodes and handlescan be adjusted independently. Click + drag a node then click + drag the handles to change the shape of the line segment.

Adjust nodes and handles Inkscape

To delete a nodeclick on one to select it. Press Delete to remove the node. To delete multiple nodes, click and drag a selection box around the nodes and press Delete.

Step 4 - Create curves while drawing

Curves can be created in a quicker way. With the Bezier Tool selected, click on the canvas to place the first node. Drag the mouse to draw out a line then click + drag to make a curve. Continue to click and drag for each new curve.

To see where the nodes are placed, click on Edit path by nodes. Adjust nodes and handles as needed.

Click and drag curve Inkscape

Step 5 - Create a closed path

A closed path has no beginning or end point like an open path does. The first and last nodes are joined to make a complete object. This allows for a fill to be applied.

Select the Bezier Tool, click to place the first node. You can carry on to click and place nodes or click + drag to create curves. Draw out your shape and place the last node over the first one. The nodes will highlight, click to place the last node and close the path.

Close the path nodes Inkscape

Adjust the nodes of the heart shape to create smoother curves.

Step 6 - Edit fill and stroke

A fill and strokecan be added to a closed path or completed object. Click on the object to select. At the top of the screen click on Object and then Fill and Stroke to open the menu.

Click on Fill, change the color option to Wheel and choose a color. Next, click on Stroke paint and change the color. Finally, click on Stroke Style and change the width.

Add fill to closed object

A stroke can be added to a line. A fill will give strange results due to the path being open. The program will try to fill the gaps the best it can.For the best results, only add a stroke to an open path.

Click on the line/open path to select. Under the Fill and Stroke panel, click Stroke Paint and change the color. Click on Stroke Style to change the thickness of the stroke.

Fill added to open path Inkscape

Step 7 - Bezier Tool shape options

The Bezier Tool comes with five Shape options. In the tutorial so far the Shape was set to None. In this step we will give a quick overview of the other shape options.

None -

The path drawn is of consistent width. A straight or curved path with remain the same thickness throughout the design.

Triangle In -

The line resembles a triangle with a stroke but no fill.The wider end starts with the first node and tapers out to the last node. A pink node is found at the bottom of the wider end.This allows you to make thestroke wider or narrower.

Triangle Out -

Like Triangle In but the tapered end starts with the first node and widens with the last node. A pink node is also present at the wider end.

Ellipse -

The line is drawn with an elliptical shape. A node at the corner of the selection box changes the width of the path.

Bezier shapes selection Inkscape

Adjust stroke width Bezier Tool

From Clipboard -

The shape of an object or grouped objects is copied to the clipboard. Once a path is drawn out, the copied shape is then applied to the path.

From Clipboard Bezier tool

Bend from Clipboard -

The object copied, which must be a path, is shaped to the path that you draw.Colors in the copied object are also transferred to the path.

Bend from Clipboard Bezier tool

Last applied -

The last shape optionused with the Bezier Tool will be applied. This is very useful asa quick shortcut.

Step 8 - Keep stroke width consistent

When resizing a path the width increases or decrease. This can be a problem if you want to keep the width the same no matter the size. At the top right of the screen click on the button description. When scaling objects, scale the stroke width by the same proportion.

Click on the path.The resize arrows will appear on the corners. Click and drag one arrow to resize the path. It may appear like nothing is happening until you release the mouse button. The width remains the same.

Keep path width consistent Inkscape

Creating and editing designs is far more accurate with the Bezier Tool.By using the bezier tool you could make neon text in Inkscape.


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