I am a beginner in everything but especially GIMP. I used Inskcape to create a cover for my coloring book. It has multiple layers and transparencies. I know I have to flatten the transparencies. So to do this, I opened the svg cover I created in GIMP but it is just showing one layer in the layers panel. How do I upload my svg file in gimp and flatten the entire image to make sure when it prints I don't have trouble? I will need very beginner instructions with this very detailed (as detailed for each step as you possibly can since I don't know much about GIMP).

P.S. I would just flatten in Inkcape but I hear putting everything in one layer in inkscape doesn't really correlate to flattening all transparencies (something to do with alpha might still be there).


Billy - I just saw you asked what the requirements are. The following are the requirements to upload my Paperback cover to Kindle Direct Publishing. I made a cover in Inkscape but don't know how to flatten the transparencies. I'll eventually probably be asking how to embed the fonts but for now I don't know how to flatten all transparencies. :)

*Save as a PDF. Your cover must be a single PDF that includes the back cover, spine, and front cover as one image.

*Flatten all transparencies. These can cause the file to print with missing or distorted content. Consult your software's documentation to learn how.

*Embed your fonts. Consult your software's documentation to learn how.

*Remove crop marks, color bars, template text. Crop marks are lines showing where pages should be trimmed. Color bars are strips with a series of patches used to ensure color balance during printing. Also, remove any template text, PDF creation guides, or software references.


2 Answers 2


If the page background is white, you can just put a white rectangle below the rest of your drawing and export as PNG. This will definitely flatten all transparencies. It will also completely rasterize the image, so make sure to use a high enough resolution on export.

If you want to have completely opaque vector objects instead, you need to make sure that you cut your shapes in the places where their color changes.

The easiest way to do that (automatically) is to rasterize (i.e. either Edit > Make a bitmap copy, or File > Export PNG image), then to vectorize your drawing again, with the correct number of colors (Path > Trace Bitmap: Multiple Scans : Colors). This will break any gradients, though, and replace them by lots of single-color objects.

The hard way is to do that manually, by cutting up all objects on their internal color boundaries with Boolean operations (use a copy for this process), and then using the dropper tool to pick up and apply the correct color (deactivate the 'pick opacity' option) for each object separately.

  • Thank you Moni!! My background is red. It wouldn't let me comment on your post so I have to create an answer as my follow on question. I just made the bitmap copy in Inkscape and I think that worked since I can't click on the individual photo boxes I made anymore. So I noticed that it made the copy over the original which makes sense. So then do I just delete the original underneath or would it be fine to leave it there? The instructions to upload say I have to flatten all transparencies before uploading as a pdf so that is the main goal here. Sorry, I know this is probably a very simple quest Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 18:25

If you want to print something you made in Inkscape, it's probably better to export as a PDF. That way, everything will remain as vector.

GIMP can open SVGs. Do File > Open, navigate to the SVG file, select it, and hit Open. However that will rasterize everything in the SVG.

  • Thank you!! I'm going to upload my coloring book to sell on Amazon as a pdf (both the coloring book and cover separately) but the requirements say I have to flatten all transparencies first on the cover (they will be doing all of the printing). I only know how to export from Inskcape to a PNG image. Then I could use Mircrosoft Print to PDF to turn it into a pdf. Would that definitely flatten all transparencies? Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 22:44
  • @KimberlyPillsbury Do File > Save As, then choose Portable Document Format (PDF) as the file type. What requirements are you talking about? Requirements from where or for what? How is it being printed?
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 1:59

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