Inkscape: How to Change the Background Colour of Something

Seems easy but it kind of isn’t if you aren’t skilled like me. So if you are un-skilled, half-skilled, and/or just want to change some background colours in Inkscape – boom! This blog’s for you…

Option 1 – Make things Opaque Instead of Transparent

The main thing to understand first is that Inkscape has a default alpha (transparency) property and it’s set to 0 (fully transparent) by default.

So, in my case, I can often get background stuff figured out by simply moving the alpha slider to 100% or change the RGB settings from fffff00 to fffffff (all fs), especially if the background is supposed to be a simple white background.

Here’s how you do that:

  1. Go to “File”
  2. Go to “Document properties”
  3. At the bottom right you should see ‘Background’ with a ‘background colour’ square colour picker thing. If it looks like a checkerboard, your background is set to ‘fully transparent’ and you’ll be exporting a checkerboard PNG file when you export.
  4. Click the rectangle colour box
  5. change ffffff00 (which is ‘white plus full transparency) to ffffffff (which is ‘white plus zero transparency’)
  6. Close the box

Now you should see a ‘white’ colour-picker-thing where the checkboard was.

If you want a different colour, change it there and you shoud have success.

Option 2 – Change the Colour from Colour A to B With the “Fill Background” Filter

You can also try out the ‘fill background’ feature as it sometimes does the trick in a nice and easy way…

  1. Select your ‘thing’ on your document
  2. Go to “Filters”
  3. Go to ‘Fill and transparency’
  4. select ‘fill background’

What do you notice? Is it maybe the wrong colour? That’s because this part is super non-intuitive, ha!
Not going to lie, I tricked you so you realize in a painful way this workflow is not intuitive. Do a Control+z and undo the colour fill and follow this workflow instead:

  1. Go to “Filters”
  2. go to ‘Filter editor” which opens up a kind ofpane zone on the right
  3. Now repeat the intuitive steps above where I tricked you which are, to review:
  • Select your ‘thing’ on your document
  • Go to “Filters”
  • Go to ‘Fill and transparency’
  • Select ‘fill background’ – still wrong colour? Don’t worry, I’m not tricking you this time: Now you can see the colour control tool in the right pane zone thing 🙂
  • Change your colour to what you want
  • Export to PNG
  • Rejoice!

Hope this helps.

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