Skencil logo

Skencil / Features

Drawing Primitives

Skencil has the usual drawing primitives found in a vector drawing program:

  • Rectangles, optionally with rounded corners
  • Ellipses (full ellipses, pie slices, arcs and chords)
  • Bézier curves (single and multi path)
  • External images:
    • Raster images: JPEG, PNG,...
      (all types the Python Imaging Library can read)
    • Encapsulated PostScript (EPS)
  • Text (very simple at the moment)

All objects, including images and text, can be rotated, scaled, sheared, etc. (all affine transformations are possible)


Primitives can usually have fill and line properties:

Fill properties are patterns like solid colors, gradients, tiled images and hatching.

Line properties are currently a (solid) color, width, dashes, cap and join styles and arrow heads. Patterns instead of a single color are planned for the future.

Special Effects and Features

  • Rectangles, ellipses and bézier curves can be used as guides. Skencil has ordinary horizontal and vertical guide lines as well, of course.
  • Blend Groups: Automatically updated interpolations of arbitrary objects
  • Text can be converted to bézier curves. (This works only if Skencil has access to the PostScript Type 1 font files (pfa or pfb)).
  • Text along a path:
    Rotated letters Skewed letters
    Text along a path can have either rotated letters (left) or skewed letters (right).


Skencil has plugin mechanisms for a variety of purposes:

Import Filters allow Skencil to read different file formats. Currently Skencil has import filters for XFig (.fig), Adobe Illustrator (.ai) files, Corel CMX, Windows 3.1 Metafiles, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) and for its own file format.

Export Filters allow Skencil to write the drawing to various file formats. Skencil has filters for its own format and for Adobe Illustrator, PDF and SVG files.

Plugin Objects provide a way to define new graphics objects.

Other Features

  • User scripts
  • Exports Encapsulated PostScript
  • Unlimited undo history