How To Change The Canvas Size in Inkscape | 3-Step Tutorial

How To Change The Canvas Size in Inkscape | 3-Step Tutorial 800 470 Logos By Nick

This tutorial will be a demonstration of how to change the canvas size in Inkscape. In Inkscape, the canvas size can be changed via the Document Properties menu, which allows you to set the size of the canvas according to a predetermined numerical input. You can also fit the canvas to specific objects you have selected.

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Want to learn more about how Inkscape works? Check out the Inkscape Master Class - a comprehensive series of over 50 videos where I go over every tool, feature and function in Inkscape and explain what it is, how it works, and why it's useful.

If you’ve created a design in Inkscape and now you’re ready to save and finalize your work, then chance are you’ll need to change the canvas size to fit whatever it is you’ve designed. This is especially true for things like logo designs, where editable vector copies need to be finalized and delivered to their recipients.

Changing the canvas size is also useful when creating PDF documents. Although Inkscape will save objects outside of the page boundaries in SVG format, only the objects within the page border are saved when it comes to generating PDF files. Because of this, knowing how to change the page size of your document is important.

Change The Canvas Size in Inkscape

To change the canvas size in Inkscape, open the Document Properties menu by pressing Control + Shift + D on your keyboard. Under the Page tab, navigate to the “Custom Size” section and type in the size you’d like your canvas to be.

The following is a step-by-step tutorial for how to change the canvas size in Inkscape. There’s also a video demonstration at the top of the page, but this lesson is simple enough to be conveyed through text.

Changing the size of your canvas in Inkscape breaks down into a simple 3-step process.

Step 1: Open The Document Properties Menu

The first step is to open the Document Properties menu. The Document Properties menu allows you to change various properties of the document you’re currently working in, like the page size, the default unit of measurement, grid lines, the color of the canvas, and so on.

To open the Document Properties menu, navigate to File > Document Properties. Alternatively, you can also press Control + Shift + D on your keyboard.

Document Properties menu

The Document Properties menu allows you to change various attributes of the document you’re working on.

Step 2: Input Your Desired Size

Once you have the Document Properties menu opened, you should be on the Page tab by default, but if not then click on the tab to open that menu.

Page tab

The “Page” tab is where you’ll be able to define the size of the canvas.

Under the Page tab, navigate down to where it says “Custom Size”. This is where you will be able to input the desired size for your canvas.

Custom size selection

Use the custom size selection to input a desired numerical value for the width and height of your canvas.

You can manually type in whatever size you’d like for both the width and the height, and you can change the default units of measurements as well. The choices of measurement units are as follows…

  • Pixels
  • Centimeters (cm)
  • Millimeters (mm)
  • Inches (in)
  • Parsec (pc)
  • Points (pt)

Add A Bleed/Margin To Your Document

If you’re designing something for print, you can also add a bleed area to your canvas by expanding the menu that reads “Resize page to content…” From there you can manually type in your desired bleed size — or margin — for each edge.

Add a bleed or margin

Adding a margin to your document can be useful if you’re designing something for print and it requires a bleed.

Fit The Canvas To An Object

If you’re trying to make your canvas the same size as a specific object or design, simply select your object with the Select Tool and click the button labelled “Resize page to drawing or selection.

Resize page to selection

Use this feature to make your canvas fit an object of your choosing.

By default, the canvas size will be changed to the size of the object you have selected, and will be placed around it as well. If you don’t have anything selected, then it will change the canvas size to fit the entirety of everything you’ve created so far in the document.

Step 3: Finalize

Once you’ve defined your canvas size — whether it be by numerical input or fitting it to a specific object — the final step is to simply close out of the Document Properties menu and save your work. Then you are good to go!

Conclusion

That concludes today’s tutorial on changing the canvas size in Inkscape. Knowing how to change the canvas size will allow you to create vector documents based on the contents of your work rather than the page size Inkscape defaults to when launched.

If any part of these instructions were unclear, or if you have any other questions, simply leave a comment below. As always, thanks for visiting!

Become A Master of Inkscape!

Want to learn more about how Inkscape works? Check out the Inkscape Master Class – a comprehensive series of over 50 videos where I go over every tool, feature and function in Inkscape and explain what it is, how it works, and why it’s useful.

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Learn how to design logos like a pro! Check out my Logo Design Academy - an interactive 18-part video course where you will learn my entire creative process for brainstorming logo ideas and bringing them to life.


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Nick

Designer, content creator, and the founder of LogosByNick.com — an educational media platform for learning about graphic design.

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