Inkscape – Change the white background workspace to a transparent color

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If you want to change the default workspace color in Inkscape from white to another color – here’s how to do it:

  • Press Ctrl, Shift and D to open the Document Properties window
  • Click on the Background color


  • Change the RGBA value to 888888FF


Note: 888888 defines the color in hex – FF makes the color fully transparent.

Your workspace will now have a grey background.


8 thoughts on “Inkscape – Change the white background workspace to a transparent color

  1. Thank you for the tip! 🙂 The white background is just too much when working long hours at night. Hopefully they’ll make pro themes like Gimp in coming versions.

  2. This does not change Inkscape’s background. It changes the *image’s* background. It does not affect any default setting, only the file you are currently working on. If you export a png after this, the png’s background will be grey.

  3. When I’m working with PNGs I’m generally going to save with a transparent background anyway. But that is good to know. Hadn’t bothered to try it yet with a solid background.

  4. Setting the alpha channel to 100% will mean the colour is 100% opaque, not transparent. That’s made pretty apparent by the slider labelled A with a transparent checker board at 0%, and a fully opaque shade at 100%.

  5. I’ve changed the background on my project as mentioned at beginning of this thread. I’d like to know how to get the document to print with a grey background. Do I have to draw a rectangle around my entire page, and reorder objects to get this done? I was hoping this would be a 1 click option to set the background…

  6. The question is how to make the document’s background transparent.
    This would be extremely useful for interactively adding comments to
    a work-in-progress involving an application that displays information
    graphically (e.g. musical “blobs” in Melodyne) but does not allow the user
    to add comments. If one could convince Inkscape to accept and display
    a fully transparent canvas, then one could place an open Inkscape canvas
    on top of the Melodyne window, and alternately edit the blobs,
    switch to Inkscape, comment, and so on, back and forth,
    and eventually take a screenshot. On Mac OS X, a Terminal window
    can be made transparent, yet function normally, with opaque letters.
    Inkscape gives the option of defining a document’s background color,
    including alpha, but the alpha value is ignored.
    Is there a way to circumvent this, with the XML editor?

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