Inkscape User Manual

Un-official manual by Kevin Wixson

Table Of Contents

Part XI
Chapter 5: Ellipse Tool



The Ellipse tool is one of the special class of tools that create Live Shapes. Live Shapes are objects that have special properties that can be edited after the object has been drawn. With the Ellipse tool, the Inkscape artist can draw an ellipse, circle, or arc. As a Live Shape, the object created with the Eillpse tool can be converted from an ellipse to an arc, and can be transformed into any elliptical shape.

Live Shape Editing

[Screenshot: an ellipse, a open arc, a closed arc]

When the ellpise is first drawn with the Ellipse tool, there are three edit handles, top, left and right. The top and left handles control the horizontal and vertical dimensions of the shape. The right handle edits the arc of the shape. Dragging the right handle with the Ellipse tool in either direction, horizontal or vertical, will start an arc. When the tool is moved inside the bounds of the shape (the whole ellipse) the arc will be open. When the tool is dragging the arc and is moved outside the bounds of the shape, the arc will be closed. Holding the Ctrl key while dragging the arc control enables snapping at angles as specified in the Inkscape Preferences window.

Tool Control bar

The tool control bar for this tool has the following commands and options:

Tool Preferences

The tool behavior can be modified in the Inkscape Preferences window:



Additional Information

Related Topics


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This manual is my scratch pad and development site for the Inkscape documentation project. Documentation that appears here may eventually work its way into the official Inkscape documentation, and changes to the Inkscape documentation may work it's way into this draft. It is a work in progress, so please don't mind the mess. Anything that appears here is GPL'ed under the usual licenses for GPL documentation, yada, yada, yada, or has been dedicated to the public domain. For a list of those elements that have been placed in the public domain, please click here.

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