Sorry for this extremely basic question. I am wondering if my version of Inkscape is buggy or something...

I draw a line and want to change its colour. How?

This is what I have tried:

Open Fill and Stroke -> stroke tab -> selecting the solid colour square -> clicking a colour

Occasionally (that is why I wonder if it is a buggy release), but I don't see any pattern, the colour of my line has changed but typically it only change the fill of the line.

Edit: sorry, I was unclear. What happens when I change colour (as described above) is that, in the lower left corner, where you have a colour "legend" with two entries - stroke and fill - the fill entry changes colour, in spite of me working in the stroke tab in the Fill and Stroke panel. Unsurprisingly, the colour of the line doesn't change when this happens.

Here is a screenshot of what is going on:


  • You are only changing the fill colour. Use shift+click to choose the stroke colour. A fill won't show on a single straight line segment. This isn't a bug.
    – Billy Kerr
    Mar 26, 2020 at 10:35
  • @BillyKerr Aah, not a bug but questionable UI!
    – d-b
    Mar 26, 2020 at 13:12
  • No. It's just a shortcut.
    – Billy Kerr
    Mar 27, 2020 at 1:21
  • @BillyKerr Do you mean that there is there another, more intuitive, way to change the stroke colour than using a modifier key?
    – d-b
    Mar 27, 2020 at 9:01
  • No I didn't say that. Generally I've found that the more complex the software is, the less intuitive it is. Inkscape's UI may at first glance look simple, but in reality it's complex, not intuitive, but then so are most complex design tools. They all have a steep learning curve.
    – Billy Kerr
    Mar 27, 2020 at 9:14

3 Answers 3


If you have an object selected and you click a color in the bottom palette it will be the new fill color. Shift+Click picks a color and puts it to the stroke. It's written in the guidance text in the bottom.

I have version 0.92.4


I'd like to suggest you check out some basic tutorials on youtube. I think you would really benefit from following a few. Everyone has to start somewhere!

Anyway, this isn't a tutorial, but hopefully there's enough information below to get you started.

  1. Select an object

  2. Open the Fill and Stroke dialog Shift+Ctrl+F

  3. Select the Stroke Paint tab

  4. Choose the "Flat colour" square. This adds a stroke to the path.

  5. If nothing shows up, the stroke is probably just too thin to be seen. If so, click on the Stroke Style tab, and increase the stroke width

  6. In the Stroke Paint tab, choose a colour

Note: you can select lots of stroke styles in the Stroke Style tab, such as dashes, markers, caps, joins etc, etc.

Example showing changing the fill, stroke paint, and stroke style.

enter image description here

  • What software did you use to create the animation in your answer?
    – d-b
    Mar 27, 2020 at 0:28
  • @d-b screen capture software called ShareX
    – Billy Kerr
    Mar 27, 2020 at 1:22
  • Today I got a notification that this question has been viewed 10 000 times. Clearly it is not just me who bumped into this problem :-)
    – d-b
    Mar 30 at 18:08
  • @d-b - oh cool. Hopefully it helped some of them!
    – Billy Kerr
    Mar 30 at 19:13

After you choose Flat Color. There are 6 tabs to choose how you want to pick the color. RGB HSL HSV CMYK Wheel CMS If you are using 1.0beta, yes it is buggy. I found this video that my clear things up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o86MLSQHtMg

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