How to Import a Color Palette into Inkscape

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How to Import a Color Palette into Inkscape

The free online application, Color Scheme Designer is a great way to quickly and easily produce harmonious color schemes. The application allows you to export your color schemes in several different formats, including the GPL format that is used by GIMP palettes. However, GPL palettes can also be imported into Inkscape and used in your vector line documents.

This is a simple process and the following pages will show you how to import your own color schemes into Inkscape.

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Export a GPL Color Palette

Before you go any further, you'll need to produce a color scheme in Color Scheme Designer. The process is explained in more detail in my tutorial for Color Scheme Designer.

Once you've created your color scheme, go to Export > GPL (GIMP palette) and a new window or tab should open with a list of the palette's color values. This probably won't make much sense, but don't let that worry you as you just need to copy and paste this into another blank file.

Click on the browser window and then click Ctrl+A (Cmd+A on a Mac) to select all the text, followed by Ctrl+C (Cmd+C) to copy it to the pasteboard.

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Save a GPL File

You can create your GPL file using Notepad on Windows or TextEdit on Mac OS X.
Open the editor that you're going to use and press Ctrl+V (Cmd+V on a Mac) to paste the text into a blank document. If you're using TextEdit on a Mac, press Ctrl+Shift+T to convert the file to plain text before saving.

In Notepad, you should go File > Save and name your file, ensuring that you end the name of the file with the '.gpl' extension. In the Save as type drop-down, set it to All Files and finally check the Encoding is set to ANSI. If using TextEdit, save your text file with Encoding set to Western (Windows Latin 1).

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Import the Palette into Inkscape

Importing your palette is carried out using Explorer on Windows or Finder on Mac OS X.

On Windows open your C drive and go to the Program Files folder. In there, you should find a folder named Inkscape. Open that folder and then the share folder and then the palettes folder. You can now move or copy the GPL file that you previously created into this folder.

If you're using OS X, open the Applications folder and right-click on the Inkscape application and select Show Package Contents. This should open a new Finder window and now you can open the Contents folder, then Resources and finally palettes. You can move or copy your GPL file into this final folder.

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Using Your Color Palette in Inkscape

You can now use your new color palette in Inkscape. Note that if Inkscape was already open when you added your GPL file to the palettes folder, you may need to close all open Inkscape windows and open Inkscape again.

To select your new palette, click on the small left-hand arrow icon to the right of the palette preview in the bottom bar of Inkscape – you can see it highlighted in the image. This opens a list of all of the installed palettes and you can select the one that you have just imported. You will then see the new colors displayed in the palette preview in the bottom bar, allowing you to apply these colors to your Inkscape document.