Inkscape Help (Trace Bitmap)

Hi All,

I’m trying to use inkscape for the first time to create big scrabble tiles, and I am running into some issues.

First after I create the tile. I try to trace bitmap and nothing is created. So I save it as an image and open a need inkscape then trace to bitmap. In estlCAM when i open the svg I get the image below. The lines do not look straight are as crisp as I would like. Am I missing a step?



Part of that is just inkscape doing its best. You might be able to get better results by playing with the options in trace bitmap. I like the ones in the bottom pane for things like this, with fewer scans.
In practice, you’ll probably want to edit the svg when you’re done by selecting the node tool and removing everything that isn’t a corner.
It’s worth considering just finding a font you like and setting that up, then using object to path. It would certainly be faster.

Bitmap images are “noisy” and, as Tony said, Inkscape does its best. For something simple like this, you may get better results if you use the bitmap as a guide, and build the vector from scratch. The rounded square is easy to draw, and for the letters numbers, you can either draw their outline manually, or find a font you like and use that instead. Just remember to convert everything from objects to paths before you save the svg.

I gave it a shot and it was pretty easy to build it from scratch in Inkscape. The image shows the original bitmap I copied from your post above and pasted into Inkscape (black, right) and the version from scratch I drew over it (red, left). Then I just moved the bitmap to the side for this screenshot, but it could just be deleted.

I think that’s the problem here. A raster image will have anti-aliased edges, so inkscape has outlined the white and black areas, with the dithered grey area in between. It works better if you can start with a vector drawing, which you can create in inkscape.

Also, I find it’s usually worth manually editing the resulting path - there are often lots of nodes you can delete to clean up the line, and sometimes there are loops or overlaps that confuse Estlcam.

Thanks everyone for the advice. I was hoping to be a bit lazy, but I’ll spend some time outlining the letters in inkscape.



I poked around for a couple minutes and I think the key thing is you need to do brightness cutoff instead of edge detection.


When I use edge detection it produces a double-edge like yours.


Here is a cool program to make them. Made more for laser cutting.

Since you are new to Inkscape, I’ll demo how to make them so you don’t have to trace a bitmap. Then you can use a font more suited to the endmills you are using.

Make the square whatever size you want by dragging the rectangle tool. While selected, type in the dimensions in the width and height input fields up top.

Then click on the node tool which is the second tool under the selecting arrow tool. Then round out the corners by clicking on the corner nodes and dragging. (F2 function key activates it too.)

Then change the object to a path Object > Object to Path

Then put you letter in. Click on the text tool and choose font you want. Don’t resize it quite yet. Ariel rounded would be good for an endmill.

Object > Object to path

Lock the constraints for width and height and then type in the height you want your letter.

Then select the letter and the box and Object > Align and Distribute. Center vertical and horizontal.

repeat with the score number with text, object to path and resizing.

Then select both the letter and number and the object fill and stroke menu to remove the fill on both and leave a path defined.

Hope this helps. The key is to turn the text into a path by selecting the letter, and then Object to Path. Then remove the fill and define the stroke outline.

Scrabble (10.2 KB)


Wow. thank you for this. Much appreciated!


This was my thought too. Raster to vector is noisy, but it usually does a better job than that.

@scrounge79, above and beyond. This is awesome.

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I created a video about getting SVG from bitmap in Inkscape and using it in fusion 360. This may help you.

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