Import shapes from Inkscape

From version importing shapes from Inkscape is now possible. If you want to create shapes using boolean operations (add two shapes together, subtract one from another, etc) then Inkscape is quite good

Inkscape is now finally at version 1.0 (it reached this milestone after several years of development) You can download Inkscape for free from| It is a powerful vector editor. In future, we may provide more powerful Python scripts to be used inside Inkscape for more powerful connection with TAD.

  1. Once you start a new document at Inkscape; you should go to the Document Properties and ensure that the units is set to mm.
  2. Inkscape allows you to create compound shapes by using Boolean operations on the shapes. For e.g. You can create a rectangle; and overlay a circle that partially intersects that. Then select both the shapes together. Now from the Path menu, you can
  3. Once you create the shape you want, you need to ensure that the shape is a path (as TAD wont accept anything else) Any object can easily be converted into a path if you use the Path menu, 1st menu-item titled Object to path
  4. If you have curves in the shape; those curves also need to be represented as a set of small straight lines. Go to Extensions menu, and then select Modify path and from there select Flatten Beziers… You should play around with the Flatness parameter till you get the right smoothness (a smaller figure will give a more smoother shape to curves, but will be more data intensive)
  5. Now open the XML editor from the Edit menu. Hot key is usually Shift-Ctrl-X The XML editor usually starts in a small box on the top right of the application. But you can drag the title of that box to give yourself a bigger window – you can maximize it too.
  6. Now, locate the shape you created in that editor. Usually, Inkscape would show the selected object in the text displayed there. Click on that item. Then select the entire vertex data starting with “M” and copy it into the clipboard
  7. Paste the same into an open TAD model using TAD's edit menu

As you may have realized, TAD actually is converting an SVG path element's data thru the clipboard into a TAD shape. So you could do the same thing from other SVG editors too. But please note that it works correctly only when you have M and L instructions in the path-data of the shape being copied. i.e. You should flatten all the curves into line segments!

Note that SVG imports are assumed to be in mm, so all the sizes would be divided by 1000 to be used in TAD Designer Lite as the latter internally stores everything in meters.

An example SVG file is included in the installation. Go to the bin subfolder of your installation and search for ExampleTADShape.svg

The same Import Shapes from System Clipboard menu command in TAD Designer Lite can be used for another type of shapes that you get from the TAD Sketcher at too (The clipboard format of those shapes are actually different from SVG, even if somewhat similar)

Press F1 inside the application to read context-sensitive help directly in the application itself
Last modified: le 2023/04/22 20:59