If I try to draw a grid in Inkscape, there are two different options:

  1. Extensions -> Render -> Grid
  2. Extensions -> Render -> Kartesian Grid

But both of them use pixel-metric(?).

Is it possible to use other metrics (e.g. millimeter).

As a workaround, I converted pixel->millimeter, but it didn't work. There is always an odd scale factor in the conversion :-(.

Do you have any solution?

  • What Inkscape version are you using? I have Inkscape 0.48.4 r9939 (Jan 5 2014) and I don't find any "Extra" menu... However you're right, there's no option to set such metrics in those extensions. I would suggest to do your grid by hand...
    – acidrums4
    Feb 23, 2014 at 12:31

3 Answers 3


Sadly, menu Extensions -> Render -> Grids > Grid... does only take pixels as the measurement.

So I am pretty sure conversion is the way to do it. I find the easiest, most accurate way to do conversion calculations for Inkscape is to do it in Inkscape.

Use the rectangle tool to draw a rectangle on the canvas, then in the tools control bar for the rectangle tool, change the units to mm, and set the rectangle to the value you need (in the picture below, I set it to 5 mm square).

Enter image description here

Now, simply change the units back to px, and the width and height should have been converted to the pixel value:

Enter image description here


I prefer to use Inkscape's built-in document grid option.

Press Shift+Ctrl+D or navigate to FileDocument PropertiesGrids

Select Rectangular Grid and hit the New button.

You can then edit the properties (and units) of the created grid in the same dialog.

enter image description here

  • 6
    I actually want to have a rendered grid which can be used for further drawings or in in the print out. This grid is only a visual reference. Of course one can use this to create a cm-wise grid, but that's alot of work :).
    – Tik0
    Aug 25, 2015 at 11:29
  • @Tik0 You can always just manually convert mm to px - thus render the grid using the existing extension in pixels at 3.78px per mm (when printing @96dpi)
    – Werner
    Nov 16, 2021 at 12:53

I don't know if the answer is to specific, but since their is no general solution to this problem, I cloned Inkscape and patched the grid functionality.

I'll try to improve my patch, so it will be maybe in a release version one day (so please don't down-vote instantly). Until then, one has to clone my repository and build it.

My solution is as follows:

Extra -> Render -> Grids -> Grid -> Divide Selection by Spacing FA

By using this option, one can use the factor given in "Horizontal/Vertical Spacing" as subdivision factor for the selection.

  1. Parameterize the selection in pt/cm/m/in/.. (or whatever) enter image description here
  2. Create a grid by Extra -> Render -> Grids -> Grid
  3. Set a tip at Divide Selection by Spacing FA
  4. Select how many subdivisions of you selection you want to have enter image description here
  5. Et voilà, a grid with 50mm/10=5mm vertical spacing and 50mm/20=2.5mm horizontal spacing

enter image description here

  1. It is also possible, to have an offset in the scale of a subdivision enter image description here
  2. The grid is now shifted in x and y direction respectively enter image description here

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