Cropping .svg files on the command line is simple: $ inkscape --verb=FitCanvasToDrawing --verb=FileSave --verb=FileClose *.svg

I need to do the opposite. I want to fit the drawing into a 64 x 64 points canvas (already set in all .svg files). Unfortunately Inkscape doesn't provide a FitDrawingToCanvas command. Moreover, the fitting should keep the aspect ratio of the drawing.

If it matters: I'm using Ubuntu raring.

  • 1
    Would resize after fitting the canvas to drawing do the job? See graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/6574/…
    – Takkat
    Oct 30, 2013 at 19:25
  • Two questions: (1) the canvas size is already set in each instance, but the drawings are larger than the canvas; or are you inserting an svg drawing into a different svg document?; (2) "keep aspect ratio": this is confusing in light of the 64pt square canvas mentioned in your questions, but do you have a proposed automated decision process for how to handle non-square material? e.g. the height should be 64pt in all cases...
    – horatio
    Oct 30, 2013 at 20:37
  • @Takkat: Thanks for the hint. The workflow works, but the aspect ratio gets destroyed. Will look for a solution for that... Oct 30, 2013 at 21:55
  • @horatio: (1) the drawing in smaller than the canvas and yes, both are in the same file. (2) I want to scale the drawing to the point that max(drawingWidth, drawingHeight) = 64pt. Oct 30, 2013 at 22:00
  • @Takkat: rsvg-convert has an argument --keep-aspect-ratio :) Oct 30, 2013 at 22:07

2 Answers 2


I found a way to do this in this question: Inkscape - Center Drawing to Page via Command Line/Terminal

With "foo.svg" as the image to edit:

inkscape --verb=EditSelectAll --verb=AlignHorizontalCenter --verb=AlignVerticalCenter --verb=FileSave --verb=FileQuit foo.svg

To edit all svg images in the current directory:

inkscape --verb=EditSelectAll --verb=AlignHorizontalCenter --verb=AlignVerticalCenter --verb=FileSave --verb=FileClose *.svg

But this second command opens a ton of windows, which will make your computer crash if you're editing too many images. For Linux only, this command will work better:

for img in $(ls *.svg) ; do inkscape --verb=EditSelectAll --verb=AlignHorizontalCenter --verb=AlignVerticalCenter --verb=FileSave --verb=FileQuit $img ; done

For the above command, if any of the files are symlinks, Inkscape will edit the target file that the symlink points to. If you don't want Inkscape to do this, you can filter out any symlinks with this command:

for img in $(ls *.svg) ; do if [[ $(readlink $img) == "" ]] ; then inkscape --verb=EditSelectAll --verb=AlignHorizontalCenter --verb=AlignVerticalCenter --verb=FileSave --verb=FileQuit $img ; fi ; done

While I'm at it, I might as well post the bash script I made for this:

# inkscape-center <file-or-directory>...

_analyse() {
    if [ -d "${1}" ] ; then
        _centerAll "${1}" ;
        _center "${1}" ;

_centerAll() {
    cd "${1}" ;
    for img in $(ls "*.svg") ; do
        _filterSyms "${img}" ;

_filterSyms() {
    if [[ $(readlink "${1}") == "" ]] ; then
        _center "${1}"

_center() {
    inkscape --verb=EditSelectAll --verb=AlignHorizontalCenter --verb=AlignVerticalCenter --verb=FileSave --verb=FileQuit "${1}"

for arg ; do
    _analyse "${arg}" ;

I called it inkscape-center and run it like this:

inkscape-center <file-or-directory>

It takes as many arguments as you want, so you can do something like this:

inkscape-center 1st.svg 2nd.svg 3rd.svg 4th.svg

Be careful- If you specify a directory instead of a file, it'll edit every svg file in that directory.


You could use viewBox to accomplish what you want. I don't know if there is a way to do this from within Inkscape, but since SVG is a standard format and there may be another tool that will do the job you want. A quick search for "svg command line tools" revealed some interesting results, including this one for creating CSS icons.

A second option would be to write your own tool in your language of choice to do this. The basic gist is to set the viewBox to the height of your document, then set the width and height of the document to want. Finally, set the preserveAspectRatio attribute.

Here's what the modifications described above look like on a document that was originally 744x1052.

   viewBox="0 0 744 1052"
    preserveAspectRatio="xMinYMin slice"

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