How to Create a Grid in Inkscape


In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a grid in Inkscape. In Inkscape, it’s super easy to create grids of any size and also ones that are isometric.

To create a grid in Inkscape first go to the Document Properties ( Shift Ctrl D ). In this tab select the Grids subheading and under Creation select Retangular grid then hit the New button. You have now created a grid that covers the entire window in Inkscape.

Make sure the Visible box is checked so the grid is visible. Unchecking the box keeps the grid setup but makes it invisible.

It is advised to save often while using the grid in Inkscape. It’s common for Inkscape to crash and close, this is something I have experienced many times.

Drawing on the Grid

To draw on a grid make sure that “Snap to visible grid lines only” is checked. This will allow snapping to the individual grid points.

With snapping enabled you can use the Bezier Pen ( B ) and draw out any path you need. Just hovering around the gridline intersection points causes the node to snap to that point.

Using the Rectangles and Squares tool ( R ) or Circles, Ellipse, Arcs tool ( E ) will have the same behavior. Note that to draw a perfect circle or square you no longer need to hold Crtl while drawing out the shape. Just draw out the desired shape to a snap point.

Using the Bezier Pen works for both gird types but is the only way to create isometric shapes when using the Axonometric grid. The shape tools will not create shapes following the perspective lines.

The Text tool will not work in the Axonometric grid as well.

Changing the Grid

To change the grid size or line spacing go to the Spacing X and Spacing Y fields and enter the number you need. By default, the Grid units are set to pixels but that can be changed to your preferred measuring unit.

Changing just the X or just the Y-axis will create a rectangle shape throughout the grid.

You can also change when the Major gridline appears by simply adjusting the number in that field. By default, it’s set to every 5 lines.

If you find the gridlines to distracting you can change the lines to dots. Clicking the Show dots instead of the lines box accomplishes this. This is very much a bullet journal style that keeps things very clean but allows for the precision of a grid.

How to Create an Isometric Grid

To create an isometric grid first go to the Document Properties ( Shift Ctrl D ). In this tab select the Grids subheading and under Creation select Axonometric grid then hit the New button.

You can change the Angle Z and Angle X to whatever you please but I recommend leaving it on the default settings or close to them. This setting allows for the best angle to create isometric objects.

How to Draw in a Grid

Here is a guide on how to create a phone using the grid in Inkscape. By using the grid you can be assured of precise measurements and can make easy changes to the size of any component of the design. It’s a great way to keep proportions correct in your design.

Step 1 – Set up the Grid

Go to the Document Properties ( Shift Ctrl D ). In this tab select the Grids subheading and under Creation select Retangular grid then hit the New button.

Set the X spacing and Y spacing to 40 px.

Step 2 – Draw the Phone Shape

Using the Rectangle tool( R ) draw a rectangle that is 10 lines wide and 20 lines long.

Switch to the Edit Path by Nodes tool( N ) and slightly round the corners by dragging down the circle icon in the top right of the rectangle. Drag it down one line. Make sure to have Snapping to Nodes enabled with Snapping to Misc. Points toggled on.

Step 3 – Draw the Screen, Button, and Camera

First, draw out the speaker by using the Rectangle tool( R ). Make the rectangle one line high and 4 long. Using the Edit Paths by Nodes tool( N ) drag the top right corner icon down again one line.

1 line below the speaker and 1 line in on each side draw the screen of the phone. Continue 1 line below the phone’s third major grid line. The lines are slightly darker blue on the grid.

1 line below the screen now with the Circle tool( E ) draw a perfect circle that is 4 grid boxes big.

Step 4 – Remove Grid and Group Objects

Now simply delete the grid by clicking remove in the Grids subsection under Document Properties.

Finally, group all the objects together by hitting( Ctrl D ) on the keyboard.

How to Draw in an Isometric Grid

The only way to draw objects in the isometric grid in Inkscape is using the Bezier Pen. Taking the same dimensions from the phone designed above we will now draw the phone in the isometric grid.

Step 1 – Set up the Grid

To create a perspective grid in Inkscape, go to the Document Properties ( Shift Ctrl D ). In this tab select the Grids subheading and under Creation select Axonometric grid then hit the New button.

Set the Spacing Y to 40 px.

Step 2 – Draw the Phone Shape

Using the Bezier Pen tool( B ) draw out the shape of the phone making it 10 lines wide and 20 long. To achieve the rounded edge effect go to Path Effects( Ctrl & ) from the Path tab at the top. Type “corners” in the search field and select the Corners(Fillet/Chamfer) effect.

Same as last time rounding the corners, just go one by one and bring down the node 1 line.

Step 3 – Draw the Speaker and Screen

Draw the speaker one line down again and 4 lines long. It’s helpful to start in the middle using the major grid line and count 2 lines outward.

Starting 1 line down from the speaker draw the screen of the phone. It’s helpful here to start outside the phone shape and go 1 line over and start the screen shape.

Step 4 – Draw the Button

First setup up the Bezier Pen by selecting the Create Bspline Path option for the mode at the top.

Now draw a square shape that is 4 boxes big 1 line below the screen. Despite drawing a square the actual path is now a circle.

Step 5 – Round the Speaker

First Remove or hide the grid.

Select the speaker and add the path effect Corners(Fillet/Chamfer). Switch to the Edit Paths by Nodes tool( N ) and while holding down ( Shift ) click on a green node. Type in 6 for the Knot distance and make sure Fillet is selected. Repeat this for all the corners of the rectangle.

Step 6 – Add Width to the Phone

Select the phone shape only and hit ( Ctrl D ) to duplicate it. While holding ( Ctrl ) to lock the shape in place drag it down. Make sure to lower this shape below the first one by hitting the ( End ) button or using the ( Page Down ) key.

Step 7 – Connect the Phone Shapes

Using the Bezier Pen tool( B ) go to the left bottom corner of the top phone shape. Add an anchor point right on the edge of the phone and continue it down to the other. Now draw to the other corner and continue to the top right corner and draw a line straight up to the top phone shape and then to the beginning node to close off the path.

Lower this path below the top phone shape but above the other one.

Step 8 – Select Colors

Select the color #474747 for the top phone shape. To create a more realistic look to the design make the sides of the phone a little darker using the color #1b1b1b.




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