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The Book of Inkscape by Dmitry Kirsanov

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Chapter 11. Shapes

The freedom to do anything, any time, the way you like is one thing that a good vector editor prides itself on. With a small vocabulary of generic object types and generic tools for manipulating them, you can render, or at least approximate, any graphic imaginable.

However, absolute freedom is not always a good thing. For example, a path (Chapter 12) can represent any possible two-dimensional shape. But often, what you need is not “any” shape but some very simple and well-defined geometric entity, such as a rectangle. Of course, a four-node path will give you a perfect rectangle—but isn’t there a faster and more convenient way to do that, specifically for rectangles?

To respond to this need, Inkscape has several object types for ...

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