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Start with Inkscape

The Tweak Tool

This is the ideal tool for illustrators who first draw their designs on paper, then scan and vectorize their work. It allows you to modify paths on the canvas by making use of its numerous options, without ever switching tools.

Icon for Tweak Tool [Shift]+[F2] or [w]

To use it, select the path or the part of the path that you would like to modify with the Node tool. Then switch to the Tweak tool and click on the area that you wish to edit.

First, let's have a look at its parameters:

  • Width. Determines the size of the tool. If you only want to edit a small region on the canvas, make the circle smaller, else, make it bigger.
  • Force. Determines how strong the effect of the tool will be.
  • Icon for activating pressure sensitivityThe Pressure sensivity icon should be activated when your graphics tablet has support for pressure. However, the tool can be used well without a graphics tablet.

Now let's look at the heart of the tool, its different modes:

  • Icon for pushing objects with Tweak Tool Icon for attracting objects with Tweak Tool Icon for moving objects randomly with Tweak Tool Move objects. The first three icons move the selected objects in various directions. Read the hint in the status bar to learn about additional key presses that change how the tool works
  • Icon for shrinking objects with Tweak Tool Shrink/Grow objects. Reduces the size of the paths, or, when you hold down the Shift key, enlarges the paths.
  • Icon for rotating objects with Tweak Tool Rotate. Rotates the paths. 
  • Icon for duplicating objects with Tweak Tool Duplicate. Creates duplicates of the selected paths. These will be placed directly above the originals, so remember to move them, if you want to see the effect.
  • Icon for pushing path parts with Tweak Tool Push path parts. Deforms the paths by pushing the nodes like a snow shovel.
  • Icon for shrinking parts of paths with Tweak Tool Shrink/ Icon for growing parts of paths with Tweak Tool Grow path parts. The borders of a part of a path will be moved closer to each other, with Shift, they will be moved farther away from each other.
  • Icon for roughening paths with Tweak Tool Roughen path parts. Roughens the contours of a path.
  • Icon for painting objects with Tweak Tool Paint color and Icon for randomizing colors of objects with Tweak Tool Jitter colors modify the color of the paths.
  • Icon for blurring objects with Tweak Tool Blur objects. Adds blur to the paths.


Chameleon image to be tweaked

This drawing will serve as an example. The chameleon was drawn with a pencil, and afterwards it has been vectorized with Inkscape.

Chameleon tail editing with tweak tool

The tail needs to be edited, so it will gradually become thinner. Here, the effect has been exaggerated for demonstration purposes.

The chameleon's tongue is being roughened with Tweak Tool Some roughening has been added to the tongue, to emphasize the beast's dangerous side.

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