How do I draw a simple rectangle with no fill in Inkscape? To my knowledge, the "Stroke style" doesn't give me this option.

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4 Answers 4


You might be asking a simple question: How does one change a selected shape to have no fill and a black outline? The answers are simple.

  • Left-click [X] in the color palette. Right-click black in the color palette.
  • Access Object > Fill and Stroke... from the top menu.

You might be asking a harder question: How does one create shapes with any given style without having to make them first? The answer to that is convoluted, sadly.

You can make it so that shapes created take on the "last set color(s)"

  1. Access Inkscape's preferences via Edit > Preferences
  2. Open Tools > Shapes > Rectangle (I recommend you change all of them for consistency's sake)
  3. Set this preference: Create new objects with: Last used style

Now comes the annoying part. You must first create/select a shape and set its color. You can't just select it. After this, the full style is stored in Inkscape's buffer so the next thing you make (in your case, a rectangle) will take on that style.

  • does not work at all. V 1.2. Select rectangle. set fill to white, then set stroke to black hoping to have only the edge black, it now fills the rectangle with black. I tried many times.
    – Nasser
    Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 23:08
  • Nasser, it sounds like you are using left-click in the palette for both actions. It's not a sequence of actions. Left-click will always set the fill color. Right-click will always set the stroke color. Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 15:17
  • this answer is even more confusing!
    – bim
    Commented Jun 4, 2023 at 13:42

An approach — if you just want to 'get it done now' and don't have the time to learn Inkscape or searching for how to solve this — is to draw 4 thin rectangles. It will give you straight lines if you can correctly eyeball their width.


I also experienced that Stroke paint / Stroke style did not give an outline.

My problem was that I typed 00000000 to get black, but the last two zeros are the alpha channel, making my outline appear in glorious 'invisible black'.

000000FF worked better.


Click white from bottom swatches. And shift + click to select stroke color from swatches.

Or you can set fill and stroke color from the rightside color picker

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