Installing Inkscape on a Mac

The current version of Inkscape can be installed on computers running macOS version 10.11 or newer.

If you are on macOS 10.7 - 10.10, you need to install the older Inkscape 0.92.2 (from 2017) using the separate instructions below. Inkscape is also available for Mac users who prefer to work with the Homebrew and MacPorts environments.

Installing Inkscape on macOS 10.11 and newer

This is the recommended method for most Mac users to install Inkscape. It installs the current version of Inkscape and requires that your computer is running macOS version 10.11 or newer.

  1. Using a web browser, go to the Inkscape downloads page.

    _images/install_inkscape_download.png
  2. Click the box labelled macOS (10.11-10.15) to download the Inkscape disk image (DMG) file.

    _images/install_inkscape_download_mac.png
  3. Once the download has finished, open your Downloads folder in the Finder. You can open this folder by selecting Go ‣ Downloads from the menu bar in the Finder. Double-click the Inkscape DMG file to open it.

    _images/install_mac_downloads.png
  4. Click and drag the Inkscape icon to the Applications icon as instructed in this window. This will install Inkscape on your Mac.

    _images/install_mac_dmg.png
  5. Open Inkscape by double-clicking its icon in the Applications folder. You can open the Applications folder by selecting Go ‣ Applications from the menu bar in the Finder.

    _images/install_mac_applications.png

Installing Inkscape on OS X 10.7 - 10.10

If you have an older Mac running OS X version 10.7 - 10.10, you can still install an older version of Inkscape, v 0.92. As part of this process, you will first install a helper program called XQuartz and then Inkscape 0.92 itself.

Step 1: Install XQuartz

  1. Using a web browser, go to the XQuartz website and click the XQuartz DMG icon to download it.

    _images/install_xquartz_gotosite.png
  2. Once the download has finished, open your Downloads folder in the Finder. You can open this folder by selecting Go ‣ Downloads from the menu bar in the Finder. Double-click the XQuartz.dmg file to open it.

    _images/install_xquartz_open_xq_dmg.png
  3. A new window will appear. Double-click the XQuartz.pkg icon to launch the XQuartz installer. Follow the steps and instructions in installer to finish installing XQuartz.

    _images/install_xquartz_pkg.png
  4. Restart, shut down, or log out of your Mac before proceeding to the next step.

    _images/install_xquartz_shut_down.png

Step 2: Install Inkscape

  1. Using a web browser, go to the Inkscape 0.92.2 downloads page.

    _images/install_inkscape_092_download.png
  2. Click the box labelled Mac OS X 10.7 Installer (xquartz) to download the DMG file, which contains the installer.

  3. Once the download has finished, open your Downloads folder in the Finder. Once again, you can open this folder by selecting Go ‣ Downloads from the menu bar in the Finder. Double-click the Inkscape DMG file to open it.

    _images/install_inkscape_open_is_dmg.png
  4. Click and drag the Inkscape icon to the Applications icon as instructed in this window. This will install Inkscape on your Mac.

    _images/install_inkscape_092_mac_drag.png

Step 3: Setting Up Inkscape

  1. Open Inkscape by double-clicking its icon in the Applications folder. You can open the Applications folder by selecting Go ‣ Applications from the menu bar in the Finder.

    _images/set_up_inkscape_open_is.png
  2. Click OK in this window, which appears the first time Inkscape is opened. Wait for Inkscape to open. This might take a few minutes, since Inkscape is scanning all the font files in your system. The next time you open Inkscape, it will not take nearly as long to show up.

    _images/set_up_inkscape_fyi_click_ok.png
  3. Once Inkscape does open, its interface will appear inside XQuartz. When Inkscape is running, you will see the name “Inkscape” in the title bar of your window, but the menu bar will show the name “XQuartz” .

    _images/set_up_inkscape_is_interface.png
  4. With Inkscape open, select the XQuartz preferences by selecting XQuartz ‣ Preferences… from the menu bar.

    _images/set_up_inkscape_open_is_preferences.png
  5. Click the Input tab, and configure its settings as shown here.

    _images/set_up_inkscape_input_prefs.png
  6. Click the Pasteboard tab, and configure its settings as shown here.

    _images/set_up_inkscape_pasteboard_prefs.png
  7. Close Preferences. You are now ready to use Inkscape.

Note that when using Inkscape version 0.92 with XQuartz, its keyboard shortcuts use the control key, rather than the usual command key.

Homebrew and MacPorts

In addition to the preceding “standard” methods of installing Inkscape, you can also build Inkscape on your Mac using Homebrew or MacPorts. These methods are intended for users who prefer these environments; most users should use the recommended methods above. You will need to be familiar with the macOS terminal and you may need to install Xcode and its command line developer tools in order to use these methods. Depending on the type of Inkscape build, you may also need XQuartz.

Using Homebrew

  1. Install Homebrew, using the instructions at the main Homebrew site.
  2. See the Homebrew instructions for Inkscape 0.92.2 for the specific Homebrew formula to use.

Using MacPorts

  1. Install MacPorts. Read the guide on how to do so, since there are different methods and requirements depending on your operating system version.
  2. See the MacPorts instructions for Inkscape 0.92.2 for the specific MacPorts installation commands to use.