the Scale setting and Display units

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the Scale setting and Display units

Brynn
Hi Friends,
        Sending up a signal flare from the not-so-technially-inclined user
community.  Please either explain the Scale setting and how users can easily
change the Display units; or fix the UX so we can use it.

Thank you so very much,
brynn



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Re: the Scale setting and Display units

Martin Owens-2
You should make sure this flare goes to the devel mailing list too.


On Thu, 2017-09-14 at 15:11 -0600, brynn wrote:

> Hi Friends,
>         Sending up a signal flare from the not-so-technially-inclined
> user 
> community.  Please either explain the Scale setting and how users can
> easily 
> change the Display units; or fix the UX so we can use it.
>
> Thank you so very much,
> brynn
>
>
>
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Re: the Scale setting and Display units

Maren Hachmann
In reply to this post by Brynn
Suggested reading:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/units-part-i-13563546

https://www.patreon.com/posts/units-part-ii-13566508

https://www.patreon.com/posts/units-part-iii-13741251

https://www.patreon.com/posts/units-part-iv-13993147

(Articles written by Marc Jeanmougin, for his patrons on Patreon and for
the whole Inkscape community)

Maren

Am 14.09.2017 um 23:11 schrieb brynn:

> Hi Friends,
>        Sending up a signal flare from the not-so-technially-inclined
> user community.  Please either explain the Scale setting and how users
> can easily change the Display units; or fix the UX so we can use it.
>
> Thank you so very much,
> brynn
>
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Check out the vibrant tech community on one of the world's most
> engaging tech sites, Slashdot.org! http://sdm.link/slashdot
> _______________________________________________
> Inkscape-user mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/inkscape-user
>


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Re: the Scale setting and Display units

Marc Jeanmougin
Hi Brynn, hi all,

> Thanks, Maren.  I will try to find some time to read those.  But I was
> really hoping for a shorter answer.
Only the third one (SVG) is really useful for this matter :)

> How to change the display units, so that the file is using those units,
> and so that the drawing is as close to the real life units as the user's
> screen resolution permits (like for printing or cutting).
> In this case, I mean for a new drawing in the current version of
> Inkscape (not opening a file which was started in an earlier version).

There are a few settings pertaining to units in the doc properties :
Display units, custom size (which should probably be just "size") and
"scale".

(1) The most important setting is the "(Custom) Size", which will
determine what final size your document will be. If you aim for
real-world use (like printing/cutting), it will have to be in a
realworld unit (mm) to avoid any problem.

(2) The "Display Unit" is just a convenience. It will allow you to
always see the rulers and size of stuff labeled in that unit, in the
*outside* coordinate system (real world size). Whether you plan to use
units in the file xml code or not will not affect the values shown and I
would recommend setting it to the unit you make your measurements in.

(3)The "Scale" is to tell Inkscape what should a user unit be worth in
the outside coordinate system. If "the file is using those units" means
that you do want to use mm or in or cm IN THE XML CODE[1] (which
Inkscape can do, but does not do by default I think), you HAVE TO set it
to 1user unit per PIXEL (temporarily set display unit to px, set scale
to 1, put display unit back to whatever you need), otherwise a
centimeter in the xml code will NOT be worth a centimeter (because…
reasons, the details about that are in my article). If you only measure
your stuff with the display units (and do not use units in the code, it
should not matter (tools "should" take the scale into account, and if
some do not it's an bug))

(Also, the "zoom correction factor" in the prefs→ Interface only control
the behavior of View→Zoom→1:1 1:2 2:1 so that going to "Zoom 1:1" will
show you on screen something worth 1cm at 1cm if you have set it
correctly, but does not impact the file in any way.)

I hope it's not toooo confusing,

--
Marc

[1] Like with <rect x="0cm" y="0cm" width="5cm"height="5cm"> vs the
"normal" <rect x="0" y="0" width="5"height="5">


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Re: the Scale setting and Display units

Brynn
Thanks Marc.

All good until I get to this part:

> The "Scale" is to tell Inkscape what should a user unit be worth in
the outside coordinate system.

What is a "user unit" and what do you mean by "outside coordinate system"?
Please don't explain anything below that  unless you can't explain "user unit"
and "outside coordinate system" otherwise.  Hopefully once I understand those 2
things, the rest will make sense.  But I need to go one step at a time.

Thanks :-)


-----Original Message-----
From: Marc Jeanmougin
Sent: Thursday, September 14, 2017 7:06 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Inkscape-user] the Scale setting and Display units

Hi Brynn, hi all,

> Thanks, Maren.  I will try to find some time to read those.  But I was
> really hoping for a shorter answer.
Only the third one (SVG) is really useful for this matter :)

> How to change the display units, so that the file is using those units,
> and so that the drawing is as close to the real life units as the user's
> screen resolution permits (like for printing or cutting).
> In this case, I mean for a new drawing in the current version of
> Inkscape (not opening a file which was started in an earlier version).

There are a few settings pertaining to units in the doc properties :
Display units, custom size (which should probably be just "size") and
"scale".

(1) The most important setting is the "(Custom) Size", which will
determine what final size your document will be. If you aim for
real-world use (like printing/cutting), it will have to be in a
realworld unit (mm) to avoid any problem.

(2) The "Display Unit" is just a convenience. It will allow you to
always see the rulers and size of stuff labeled in that unit, in the
*outside* coordinate system (real world size). Whether you plan to use
units in the file xml code or not will not affect the values shown and I
would recommend setting it to the unit you make your measurements in.

(3)The "Scale" is to tell Inkscape what should a user unit be worth in
the outside coordinate system. If "the file is using those units" means
that you do want to use mm or in or cm IN THE XML CODE[1] (which
Inkscape can do, but does not do by default I think), you HAVE TO set it
to 1user unit per PIXEL (temporarily set display unit to px, set scale
to 1, put display unit back to whatever you need), otherwise a
centimeter in the xml code will NOT be worth a centimeter (because…
reasons, the details about that are in my article). If you only measure
your stuff with the display units (and do not use units in the code, it
should not matter (tools "should" take the scale into account, and if
some do not it's an bug))

(Also, the "zoom correction factor" in the prefs→ Interface only control
the behavior of View→Zoom→1:1 1:2 2:1 so that going to "Zoom 1:1" will
show you on screen something worth 1cm at 1cm if you have set it
correctly, but does not impact the file in any way.)

I hope it's not toooo confusing,

--
Marc

[1] Like with <rect x="0cm" y="0cm" width="5cm"height="5cm"> vs the
"normal" <rect x="0" y="0" width="5"height="5">







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Re: the Scale setting and Display units

Marc Jeanmougin
On 09/15/2017 10:00 AM, brynn wrote:
> What is a "user unit" and what do you mean by "outside coordinate
> system"? Please don't explain anything below that  unless you can't
> explain "user unit" and "outside coordinate system" otherwise. 
> Hopefully once I understand those 2 things, the rest will make sense. 
> But I need to go one step at a time.

The "outside coordinate system" is just the length of things upon
displaying the file, assuming one respects the given "Size" of the document.

"Inside" the file, everything is measured with the "inside" coordinate
system. This system's unit is the abstract "user unit": your document
may have a rectangle measuring 2 user unit wide and 5 user units tall,
and you can tell (in the viewBox) that your complete document is the
area between the point of coord (0,0) and the point of coord (20,50), in
user units.

They're abstract units, like when you do basic geometry in mathematics,
without units; only meaning here that 2 user units wide is 10% of the
document's width and 5user unit tall is 10% of the document's height.
Only the additional data of the "Size" can tell you what the total
height is in the "outside world", hence what 10% of it (== my 5uu of
height) are worth.

Now, the units *inside* the file (like the "cm" in my post-scriptum) are
only shortcuts for given, fixed, multiples of the user unit (by
definition, "px" is the name of that user unit and "in" is the name
given to 96 user units), but if you do not set "1 user unit is one
outside-world-pixel", they're not worth what they seem.

--
Mc


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Re: the Scale setting and Display units

Martin Owens-2

> Now, the units *inside* the file (like the "cm" in my post-scriptum)
> are
> only shortcuts for given, fixed, multiples of the user unit (by
> definition, "px" is the name of that user unit and "in" is the name
> given to 96 user units), but if you do not set "1 user unit is one
> outside-world-pixel", they're not worth what they seem.

Marc means: The screen acts like a magnifying glass over the document.
If it's 1:1, then it's like a clear piece of glass and the size is the
same. Otherwise the document can be bigger or smaller when viewed
through the "magnifying glass" of the software and the cm or inch you
use in the document may not be an inch or cm any more.

Martin,

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Re: the Scale setting and Display units

Marc Jeanmougin
In reply to this post by Marc Jeanmougin
Hi,

On 09/18/2017 03:19 AM, brynn wrote:
> So when someone needs to change the Display units, so that their drawing
> is as close to real world size as possible, do this:
>
> 1 -- set the desired Page Size and units  (this sets the viewBox, right?)
> 2 -- temporarily change Display units to px
> 3 -- change the Scale to 1
> 4 -- change the Display units to the desired unit
> 5 -- the Scale will automatically change to the appropriate value
> 6 -- leave everything else alone

Yes

>
> If that's correct then
>
> 1 -- I'll make a new FAQ item for it (if no objections) - perhaps link
> to Marc's article about it - or is there a wiki page for it?
> 2 -- I'm really thinking Inkscape needs to do all that internally.  I
> think users should be able to simply select the unit they want, the page
> size they want, and Inkscape does the rest.  May I make the bug/feature
> report, or is it already planned or requested?
>
> If that's not correct, please tell me where I'm going wrong.
We also can control the "scale" because, whether it is practical or not,
the current behavior of the "default mm" template is that a unitless
value in the document (like width="5"), like inkscape sets by default,
is in millimeters to be able to "see" it in the xml. (Which also means
that width="5mm" will NOT be 5mm)

> Oh, one last question.
>
>> If you only measure
> your stuff with the display units (and do not use units in the code, it
> should not matter (tools "should" take the scale into account, and if
> some do not it's an bug
>
> Do you mean to say that it's possible some tools are not respecting the
> Scale? Or is that more of a theory.

Technically possible, especially with extensions.


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Re: the Scale setting and Display units

TylerDurden
In reply to this post by Brynn
Greetings.

A suggestion from the peanut gallery...

1) All future releases have default.svg with the display units set for px, scale= 1uu/px

2) Move the scale controls to another tab in the Document Properties panel, with language to describe function.

3) Expose the "Set page to drawing or selection" toolset (which is often overlooked by new and veteran users) on the Page tab of the Document properties panel.


Mockup of modified Document properties panel:
(also attached in case this board allows)


The above changes should alleviate most of the confusion and retain the controls for scale. Typical users needn't be concerned with scale and its complicated workings.


Thank you for your time and consideration,
TD



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Re: the Scale setting and Display units

Brynn
In reply to this post by Marc Jeanmougin
Oh, I'm so excited!  I don't completely understand everything.  But I understand
a lot more than before.  And what's best is that now I know how to tell other
users to set their units.

> We also can control the "scale" because, whether it is practical or not,
the current behavior of the "default mm" template is that a unitless
value in the document (like width="5"), like inkscape sets by default,
is in millimeters to be able to "see" it in the xml. (Which also means
that width="5mm" will NOT be 5mm)

But we could see the unitless "px" in the XML in previous versions.  Why can't
we see them now?  Well, if it can be explained in a very simple way.  What is
the basis for the change to mm for native/default units?  I have a feeling it
was something about SVG standards, but not sure.

Thank you very, very much!

-----Original Message-----
From: Marc Jeanmougin
Sent: Monday, September 18, 2017 2:52 AM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Inkscape-user] the Scale setting and Display units

Hi,

On 09/18/2017 03:19 AM, brynn wrote:
> So when someone needs to change the Display units, so that their drawing
> is as close to real world size as possible, do this:
>
> 1 -- set the desired Page Size and units  (this sets the viewBox, right?)
> 2 -- temporarily change Display units to px
> 3 -- change the Scale to 1
> 4 -- change the Display units to the desired unit
> 5 -- the Scale will automatically change to the appropriate value
> 6 -- leave everything else alone

Yes

>
> If that's correct then
>
> 1 -- I'll make a new FAQ item for it (if no objections) - perhaps link
> to Marc's article about it - or is there a wiki page for it?
> 2 -- I'm really thinking Inkscape needs to do all that internally.  I
> think users should be able to simply select the unit they want, the page
> size they want, and Inkscape does the rest.  May I make the bug/feature
> report, or is it already planned or requested?
>
> If that's not correct, please tell me where I'm going wrong.

We also can control the "scale" because, whether it is practical or not,
the current behavior of the "default mm" template is that a unitless
value in the document (like width="5"), like inkscape sets by default,
is in millimeters to be able to "see" it in the xml. (Which also means
that width="5mm" will NOT be 5mm)

> Oh, one last question.
>
>> If you only measure
> your stuff with the display units (and do not use units in the code, it
> should not matter (tools "should" take the scale into account, and if
> some do not it's an bug
>
> Do you mean to say that it's possible some tools are not respecting the
> Scale? Or is that more of a theory.

Technically possible, especially with extensions.







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Re: the Scale setting and Display units

Brynn
In reply to this post by TylerDurden
Welcome to the list TD! (at least this is the first time I've seen you here).

1 -- I would also like to see the display unit set for px by default.  But as
far as I understand, Inkscape is now recognizing mm as the default unit.  I'm
not sure why, but I wouldn't be surprised if it had something to do with SVG
standards.

2 -- FYI, there are some current efforts to improve the whole Document
Properties UX.  You'd be welcome to get involved.  I'm not sure if there's a
formal place where discussions happen -- I just see them from time to time on
the development list.  Might be a wiki page?

I know there's a UX designer team....oops, I lied....could have sworn I saw one
once....  I wonder why there isn't one?  (other teams:
https://inkscape.org/en/teams/)

(You could optionally upload your mockups to the website (there's a Mockups
category).  https://inkscape.org/en/gallery/=ui-mockup/?order=-edited

3 -- Yes, I like that idea too.  As far as I recall from the previous
discussions I've seen, there are yet more controls to be added to Doc Props.  So
expanding the section might not be possible.  But to me, the more people who are
involved, the better Inkscape will be.

All best,
brynn


-----Original Message-----
From: Tyler Durden
Sent: Monday, September 18, 2017 7:28 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Inkscape-user] the Scale setting and Display units


Greetings.

A suggestion from the peanut gallery...

1) All future releases have default.svg with the display units set for px,
scale= 1uu/px

2) Move the scale controls to another tab in the Document Properties panel, with
language to describe function.

3) Expose the "Set page to drawing or selection" toolset (which is often
overlooked by new and veteran users) on the Page tab of the Document properties
panel.


Mockup of modified Document properties panel:
https://dl.dropbox.com/s/zfz9yetclfy1m21/mockup1.png
(also attached in case this board allows)


The above changes should alleviate most of the confusion and retain the controls
for scale. Typical users needn't be concerned with scale and its complicated
workings.


Thank you for your time and consideration,
TD







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Re: the Scale setting and Display units

Marc Jeanmougin

On 09/20/2017 05:22 AM, brynn wrote:
> 1 -- I would also like to see the display unit set for px by default. 
> But as far as I understand, Inkscape is now recognizing mm as the
> default unit.  I'm not sure why, but I wouldn't be surprised if it had
> something to do with SVG standards.

Nothing. I think it's because the default template is A4 so it sort of
made sense to use millimeters since A4 is defined as 210x297 mm²

--
Mc


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Re: the Scale setting and Display units

alvinpenner
It may be worth mentioning that you can choose the document units that you
prefer when you start up Inkscape. If you use the startup template file
C:\Program Files (x86)\Inkscape\share\templates\default.svg (which is the
default), then you will find that the document units are mm. You can confirm
this by drawing a rectangle that has the width of the full page and then
using the XML editor to confirm that the width has been expressed in mm. A
typical example would be

  <rect
     style="..."
     id="rect10"
     width="210.91072" (should be 210, my hand was shaky)
     height="88.446426"
     x="0"
     y="0.66666663" />

If you prefer to use px as the document units, then use the template file
C:\Program Files (x86)\Inkscape\share\templates\default_px.svg. In this case
if you draw a rectangle that has the full width of an A4 page you will get:

    <rect
       style="..."
       id="rect18"
       width="797.14288" (should be 793.7007, which is 210mm expressed in
px)
       height="357.14285"
       x="0"
       y="2.519685" />

If you prefer to use pt as document units, then use the template file
default_pt.svg

If you want to permanently modify the startup units, then copy a file like
default_pt.svg to overwrite the file default.svg. (after first making a
backup, just in case.)

The one thing you cannot do, however, is modify the document units after
Inkscape has opened the startup file.

hth,
Alvin




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Re: the Scale setting and Display units

TylerDurden
I see no downside to having all releases/localizations use px as display units and scale=1. 

AFAICT, it breaks nothing, which cannot be said for other current defaults. Everything works and no gymnastics trying to explain units and scale to the non-technically inclined.

Even the newest users can understand how to set the document to their preferred display units. No need for typical users to change scale.

Simple rationale: svg is a web format, hence default.svg units = px. 


Thanks,
TD

On Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 9:47 AM, brynn <[hidden email]> wrote:
Oh, I didn't know about these templates!

However, I think it's better for users to know how to use the interface, rather than use a template which only sets up the units, and not the page size (unless you happen to want an A4 page).

I'm not clear what you mean by this:

The one thing you cannot do, however, is modify the document units after
Inkscape has opened the startup file.

If you know how to change the units (as I've just learned how to do it correctly) can't they be changed?  Or do you mean that the user would have to save a new template if they change the units?

I'm just writing the new FAQ item right now, so I'll include this info about the templates too.  But need to understand that last statement (above).

Thanks Alvin :-)

-----Original Message----- From: alvinpenner
Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:29 AM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Inkscape-user] the Scale setting and Display units

It may be worth mentioning that you can choose the document units that you
prefer when you start up Inkscape. If you use the startup template file
C:\Program Files (x86)\Inkscape\share\templates\default.svg (which is the
default), then you will find that the document units are mm. You can confirm
this by drawing a rectangle that has the width of the full page and then
using the XML editor to confirm that the width has been expressed in mm. A
typical example would be

 <rect
    style="..."
    id="rect10"
    width="210.91072" (should be 210, my hand was shaky)
    height="88.446426"
    x="0"
    y="0.66666663" />

If you prefer to use px as the document units, then use the template file
C:\Program Files (x86)\Inkscape\share\templates\default_px.svg. In this case
if you draw a rectangle that has the full width of an A4 page you will get:

   <rect
      style="..."
      id="rect18"
      width="797.14288" (should be 793.7007, which is 210mm expressed in
px)
      height="357.14285"
      x="0"
      y="2.519685" />

If you prefer to use pt as document units, then use the template file
default_pt.svg

If you want to permanently modify the startup units, then copy a file like
default_pt.svg to overwrite the file default.svg. (after first making a
backup, just in case.)

The one thing you cannot do, however, is modify the document units after
Inkscape has opened the startup file.

hth,
Alvin




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Re: the Scale setting and Display units

Jabier Arraiza
In reply to this post by Brynn
Hi.

The display unit in mm is a good option for printing and anybody can
change using a template or modifing the default one.

Maybe a prompt when change display units to retain current scale could
be a good option, I always need to change to previous scale (normaly
1.00) once change to display_units.

Also I add a option to resize to content, what I retain collapsed by
default, to make the same value in 4 inputs.

Regards, Jabier.
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SVG line is not consistent with exported image

Albert
In reply to this post by alvinpenner
Hello,

I noticed that in the new Inkscape version 0.92 the line width is not
consistent with exported image. Normally we have to introduce abnormally
much wider line in the original .svg file so that we can obtain
reasonable width in the exported .png file. Otherwise, the line in the
exported .png file is too thine to be viable. However, this problem is
not there in the old 0.48 version. I have attached two figures for this
issue. 1.jpg is the screenshot from .SVG file and 2.jpg is that of the
exported .png file.

I am just wondering how can we solve this problem?

thanks a lot.

Albert

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SVG line is not consistent with exported image

Albert
Hello,

I noticed that in the new Inkscape version 0.92 the line width is not
consistent with exported image. Normally we have to introduce abnormally
much wider line in the original .svg file so that we can obtain
reasonable width in the exported .png file. Otherwise, the line in the
exported .png file is too thine to be viable. However, this problem is
not there in the old 0.48 version.

I am just wondering how can we solve this problem?

thanks a lot.

Albert

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Re: the Scale setting and Display units

Will Godfrey
In reply to this post by TylerDurden
On Thu, 21 Sep 2017 08:39:26 +0100
C R <[hidden email]> wrote:

>I prefer A4 as a default with mm as the measurement (as it is). The reason
>is that I design stuff in Inkscape every day. I use its measurements in mm,
>and the default gives the user a real world size to compare too. There is
>no standard pixel size, so it does not make sense to me to have the default
>in pixels, or indeed to measure anything in pixels at all. Pixel widths are
>only good for exporting bitmaps, and you will be at the mercy of whatever
>the manufacturer of the device decided the pixel density should be.
>
>That's just my preference though. I will just reset the default template
>myself if everyone decides to go the other way.
>
>Keep in mind the criticisms we got from the artists and illustrators for
>the last release. It's clear to me from those that the uses for Inkscape go
>far beyond just SVG for web. There was a whole classroom full of students
>who randomly happen to be using Inkscape in the next room for CNC machines.
>Ask them what they would prefer, and they will probably say mm makes the
>most sense.
>
>If we choose px as the base unit for measurement the dpi (and thus
>conversion to mm and other physical measurements) will change again to some
>other completely arbitrary increment in the future. Whereas 1mm will always
>be 1mm.
>
>
>My 2p
>-C

Absolutely agree with this.

I know dozens of people who use Inkscape for design of material to be printed
(almost always on A4). Personally, I've used it for everything from PCB layouts
to kitchen design. I recently completed three that will be used as posters at a
musicians show. I know just one person who uses it for web art.

--
Will J Godfrey
http://www.musically.me.uk
Say you have a poem and I have a tune.
Exchange them and we can both have a poem, a tune, and a song.

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Re: the Scale setting and Display units

Eduard Braun
In reply to this post by TylerDurden
As it just came to me:
What if we implemented a selection when the user creates a new document
so they can actually choose what fits their needs best? (Possibly with a
checkbox "remember as default")

Pop up a window and ask "What content do you want to create?"
Two options:
- "digital art (pixel based)"
- "content for print (mm based)"
(I imagine a big button for each with one showing a computer display /
smartphone and the other showing a piece of paper).

Option one would create a pixel based document with a useful size (e.g.
800 x 600 px²).
Option two would create a scaled document (e.g. A4) with mm units (i.e.
the current default template)

Maybe we could even add a dropdown to the latter where the user can
select (mm, meter, inch, ... or even px)-based so most bases should be
covered. (An inch-based default template could even further be
specialized to be letter-sized)

I think that might solve a lot of confusion and frustration around the
whole "default" template as one default might just not be enough...

Thoughts? ;-)

Best Regards,
Eduard

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Re: SVG line is not consistent with exported image

alvinpenner
In reply to this post by Albert
@Albert - I would suggest you file a bug report at:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/inkscape/
and attach the original svg and png files.

thanks, Alvin



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