I have made this sketch with MS Visio which looks like it is handdrawn with a pencil:

How can I achieve this with inkscape?

  • 1
    Do you mind telling us what you have tried?
    – user9447
    Feb 14, 2014 at 15:05
  • Curious, how was this done in Visio? Jan 11, 2017 at 0:23

2 Answers 2


Inkscape comes with a variety of effect filters we can apply to our drawings. Amongst the many there are some effects to simulate hand-drawings.

We can apply these filter with the menu Filters > Textures > Name of effect to all selected objects.

Below are some example effects:

enter image description here

  • 6
    Another way is apply Sketch effect to the path. Feb 16, 2014 at 22:11

In the context of wireframing, I don't know that there's a simple way to do this in Inkscape, as Inkscape doesn't have the concept of 'brushes' that something like Adobe Illustrator has (making this rather easy to do).

What I have done, however, is made my own 'sketchy' objects just for wireframing. The process was essentially drawing a few UI Primitives (boxes, buttons, etc.) then converting the outlines to shapes, adding extra nodes along each path, then tweaking the position and angle of the nodes to create the 'wiggles'.

Once created, I can then cut-and-paste and stretch and flip things pretty quickly to lay out things.

It ends up looking like this:

enter image description here

Another option, which is a bit more automated, would be to try and use some of the extensions. The image below was created (from top to bottom) as such:

  • Top image:
    • draw object (in this case a rounded box)
  • Middle image:
    • go to Path > Stroke to Path to turn the path into an object
    • go to Extensions > Modify Path > Add Nodes
  • bottom image:
    • go to Extensions > Modify Path > Jitter Nodes

Play with the settings of the Extensions to tweak the 'scribble-ness' of the images to your liking.

enter image description here

  • Out of curiosity: have you noticed any CPU limitations on complexity using so many nodes per object? (i.e. will redraw slow to a crawl or cause export/reuse problems)
    – horatio
    Feb 14, 2014 at 17:31
  • 1
    In the former example, no, as I am actually using very few nodes on those (for example, for a box, I'll just add one extra node per side). In the latter example, quite possibly. For that, I'd suggest doing that as an 'end of day' task before final printing rather than keeping your editable file with that many nodes.
    – DA01
    Feb 14, 2014 at 18:17
  • 1
    This is a great technique which doesn't rely on raster filters. Changing the parameters on the Jitter gives you a wide range of attractive outputs. Also, performing a Path->Simplify afterwards reduced the nodes to a workable level for me. Jul 25, 2020 at 15:55

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