Post-processing output with inkscape Re: [GRASS-user] problems with outputs

Tom Russo russo at
Tue Aug 19 17:42:35 EDT 2008

On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 03:49:37PM +0200, we recorded a bogon-computron collision of the <tutey at> flavor, containing:
> Tom Russo pisze:
> > <hamish_b at> wrote:
[on alternatives to Adobe Illustrator for tweaking output]
> >> How about Inkscape or Scribus?
> >>
> >>
> > Both of these are cool programs, and if one could get's output into
> > them they'd be great choices for tweaking map presentation.  But neither is 
> > actually able to import a PDF (or even PostScript) map for editing.
> > 
> > 
> > Inkscape can do a great deal with the graphics if you can get the data 
> > imported.  But it can't read PDFs or postscript directly.  
> > 
> > Have you actually had success with either of these programs?
> Tom,
> I also had problem with Inkscape in past, but I just checked 0.46 stock
> Debian testing package and it rocks now. See my previous message in the
> thread.

Indeed!  This is greatly improved from last time I tried it.  Inkscape can't
read raw postscript, but can now import pdf better than it used to be 
able to do last time I tried it.  I was able to do a ps2pdf of a map I'd 
created previously from and import it into inkscape very nicely.  
Interestingly, it was better to do ps2pdf on the raw output of than it 
was to do a ps2ps first --- the "simplified" postscript from ps2ps turned all 
of my text into individual glyphs for each letter instead of turning them into 
text objects that could be edited in inkscape nicely.

There are some odd and annoying artifacts:
  1) All of my text imports oddly formatted, with inter-letter spacing all 
     messed up.  All it took to fix this was to ungroup everything until I 
     could select the individual text objects, then edit the text (adding a 
     space and deleting it was sufficient) and click "Apply" --- this fixed 
     all the spacing, but the net effect was that I'd told inkscape to make a 
     null change to the actual text.  Nothing else I tried forced it to 
     re-adjust the text spacing properly.  

  2) None of the grid lines I'd created with's "grid" function showed 
     up.  The were all hidden in there as paths with no fill.  I was able to 
     fix them by opening the "XML Editor" and clicking every path in the list 
     until I started seeing my invisible grid lines --- each path after that 
     was another piece of my grid, and I could set the fill on each one to 
     something useful.  But short of editing the XML I was unable to get 
     the grid lines selected through the drawing panel until they were filled.

Even with these annoyances, this still gave me something I could edit nicely 
--- my primary use for this kind of thing will be to fix up the hideous 
labeling that is capable of, since inkscape can allow me to "put text 
on path" for any arbitrarily shaped path better than v.label can do with it's 
"curve text to lines" feature.

In all, this was a very nice surprise, since I tried inkscape only a few
months ago and had found it impossible to import output then.
Thanks for the nudge.

Tom Russo    KM5VY   SAR502   DM64ux
Tijeras, NM  QRPL#1592 K2#398  SOC#236 AHTB#1
 "Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they're yours."  -- R. Bach

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