How to Feather Edges in Inkscape

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Many people use the freeware vector graphics application Inkscape to create the shapes and designs they need for their documents and web pages. Inkscape has many of the tools you might expect in an expensive commercial product. However, those who are coming to Inkscape from a raster application may be puzzled as to how to achieve certain effects. For example, if you would like to have a feathered or faded edge on an element in your design, the process is very different.

  • Open Inkscape. Select "File" from the menu and choose "Open." In the dialog, browse to and open a file containing an element like a shape or imported image to which you would like to apply a feathered edge.

  • Select the element you want to feather. Select "Edit" from the menu and click "Copy" and then "Paste in Place." Go to the bottom and change the "Fill" color to white.

  • Select "Filter" from the menu and choose "Blur." From the options, choose "Noisy Blur." Use the "Scale" function under "Transform" to make the copied object smaller than the original.

  • Select the bottom object, hold down the "Shift" key and select the top object."

  • Select "Object" from the menu and choose "Mask." From the options, choose "Set." Save your work.

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