Inkscape Fill

Hello there! I am wanting to do some engraving with the attached file, a gingerbread man, and some similar designs. Something that has me stuck is that this file won’t let me change the fill color. It seems to change color based on the Fill and Stroke tab, but the actual picture stays black and white. I’ve checked opacity, display mode, and everything else that came up on google searches, but nothing has fixed it. Any help would be most appreciated!

Thank you!

Gingerbread man

Ok, the file even uploaded weird for the post. Here is a screenshot of the file on my computer. It’s the black part of the design that won’t change colors, and that is the part that didn’t upload correctly. I’m really stumped.

Screen Shot 2023-11-17 at 9.53.35 PM

If you’ve got a raster inside an .svg the forum software strips it out. If the image is a raster, then Inkscape can’t change its colour - so first question - is it a raster or a vector? The easiest way to tell is click on the Node tool. If it stays looking just like that, it’s a raster - if you suddenly see nodes all over it, it’s a vector. I know your screenshot is a raster - but I traced it so this is what they look like next to each other when the node tool is selected:

If it is a vector, then look under the View menu and see if you have greyscale selected (or click Alt 5) - that’ll make it be black no matter what colour it actually is set to be!


It can, but is a pain. That is why I start with Gimp, but as a raster you can set any engrave depth you wish.

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A quick run through Gimp and Inkscape (83.4 KB)


Gingerbread man v3

Cleaned up file


Thank you all for the info and help! This particular file I found online for free and I was going to manipulate it. For a simple image like this, tracing it by hand isn’t too hard. But for future reference on a more complex image, can you tell me what you did when you did a “quick run through gimp and Inkscape”? I’ve downloaded gimp but am very unfamiliar with it.


Inkscape is great for vectors but very limited when it comes to rasters. Gimp is great for rasters but cannot match Inkscape in vectors. Gimp vectors are called paths and it will do things along a path as well as turn a mask into a path or, as is normal with masking in any decent raster program, apply anything that you do with rasters only in the area open with the mask and not touch anything else, so if the buttons are the masked area a blur will only affect the buttons.

There is far more to learn but like Corel Paint and Corel Draw, Gimp and Inkscape are the same two sides of the image coin. The trickiest part of Gimp is that while it will save any mask as a path you have to right-click on the list of paths and far down on the list is to export one or all of the paths, and you have to name it and give the SVG at the end, then you export the raster inage and in Inkscape open the svg and drag in the exported raster image which should center on the vectors.

If you already know Corel Paint and Draw there are few new concepts. Paint uses masks the same as Gimp, and Draw, Inkscape, and Gimp use the same sort of nodes on vectors in the same basic way. It is only finding the same commands on Gimp or Inkscape that you already use in Draw and Paint.


Thank you for taking the time to explain! I’ll have to play around with Gimp when I come across these raster files.


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