How To Save A Transparent PNG with Inkscape

How To Save A Transparent PNG with Inkscape 1024 602 Nick Saporito

In today’s tutorial I’ll be demonstrating how you can use Inkscape to generate a PNG file with a transparent background from a graphic you made.

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At first you may assume that the best way to do this is to go to File > Save As, and choose to save it as a Cairo PNG. However, that method does not work because it does not output the file with a transparent background.

Inkscape: Saving As Transparent PNG

Open up the Export menu by going to File > Export PNG Image (or press Shift + Control + E)

Export PNG Image

The Inkscape Export menu will open either in its own window or docked to the side of your screen. It will look something like this…

Inkscape Export Menu

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The first thing we have to do is define the export area. Inkscape gives us 4 options…

  • Page – This will export¬†all objects within the page borders. Everything outside of the page borders will be excluded.
  • Drawing – This exports the entire canvas — including objects both inside and outside of the page border.
  • Selection – Export whatever object you currently have selected with the Select tool (this is what I commonly use and recommend myself if you’re looking to save a transparent PNG file of a logo or some other individual graphic.)
  • Custom – Define your own export area using the X and Y coordinates of the document.

Next, we have to set the DPI. This should already be correct by default. If you’re using Inkscape version 0.92 or later, the default is 96 dpi. If you’re using an earlier version, the default is 90 dpi. You can double check this yourself though by checking the size of the graphic in the Export menu and making sure it matches the actual size of the graphic on your canvas.

Finally, choose a destination to save your transparent PNG to by clicking the Export As button, name your file whatever you’d like, then click Export.

Transparent PNG made with Inkscape

Your Transparent PNG file should now be ready to go! Check the folder where you saved it for confirmation.

A Brief Warning…

If you’re exporting your PNG based on the selection option, be forewarned that everything within the bounding box of the selection will be exported with it, so make sure your graphic is moved far enough away from all other objects.

Bounding box

Since the red circle is intersecting with the boudning box around the logo, that intersecting area will also be exported.

Video Tutorial

For a more in-depth explanation of how to save transparent PNG files with Inkscape, watch the video tutorial at the beginning of the post where I demonstrate exactly how to do it.

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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.

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Nick Saporito

Nick Saporito is a Philadelphia-based graphic designer who specializes in branding-specific design. A full portfolio and information regarding services offered can be found at

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