by gillescastel

gillescastel / inkscape-figures

Inkscape figure manager

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Inkscape figure manager.

A script I use to manage figures for my LaTeX documents. More information in this blog post.


You need Python >= 3.7, as well as a picker. Current supported pickers are:


You can install it using pip:

pip3 install inkscape-figures

This package currently works on Linux and MacOS. If you're interested in porting it to Windows, feel free to make a pull request.


Add the following code to the preamble of your LateX document.


\newcommand{\incfig}[2][1]{% \def\svgwidth{#1\columnwidth} \import{./figures/}{#2.pdf_tex} }


This defines a command

which can be used to include Inkscape figures. By default,
make the figure as wide as the page, but it's also possible to change the width by providing an optional argument:

The settings above assume the following directory structure:



  • Watch for figures:
    inkscape-figures watch
  • Creating a figure:
    inkscape-figures create 'title'
    . This uses
    as a template.
  • Creating a figure in a specific directory:
    inkscape-figures create 'title' path/to/figures/
  • Select figure and edit it:
    inkscape-figures edit
  • Select figure in a specific directory and edit it:
    inkscape-figures edit path/to/figures/

Vim mappings

This assumes that you use VimTeX.

inoremap  : silent exec '.!inkscape-figures create "'.getline('.').'" "'.b:vimtex.root.'/figures/"':w
nnoremap  : silent exec '!inkscape-figures edit "'.b:vimtex.root.'/figures/" > /dev/null 2>&1 &':redraw!

First, run

inkscape-figures watch
in a terminal to setup the file watcher. Now, to add a figure, type the title on a new line, and press Ctrl+F in insert mode. This does the following:
  1. Find the directory where figures should be saved depending on which file you're editing and where the main LaTeX file is located, using
  2. Check if there exists a figure with the same name. If there exists one, do nothing; if not, go on.
  3. Copy the figure template to the directory containing the figures.
  4. In Vim: replace the current line – the line containing figure title – with the LaTeX code for including the figure.
  5. Open the newly created figure in Inkscape.
  6. Set up a file watcher such that whenever the figure is saved as an svg file by pressing Ctrl + S, it also gets saved as pdf+LaTeX.

To edit figures, press Ctrl+F in command mode, and a fuzzy search selection dialog will popup allowing you to select the figure you want to edit.


You can change the default LaTeX template by creating

and adding something along the lines of the following:
def latex_template(name, title):
    return '\n'.join((r"\begin{figure}[ht]",
                      r"    This is a custom LaTeX template!",
                      r"    \centering",
                      rf"    \incfig[1]{{{name}}}",
                      rf"    \caption{{{title}}}",
                      rf"    \label{{fig:{name}}}",

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