Tabbed document interface for multiple documents (TDI/MDI)

Bug #170257 reported by Packetbell-users on 2004-05-25
This bug affects 15 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone

Bug Description

Don't know if SVG supports multi-page documents, but it
since Inkscape is already pretty useful for making nice
layouts, a multi-page and multi-document interface
would be nice: tabs for document, and a page navigator
widget (next to the zoom widget) in the status bar.

Kees Cook (kees) wrote :

I'm a tabs junkie too! :)

As for the pages, Inkscape is waiting for the multi-page
portion of the SVG spec to become finalized before we write
all that up. The layer work will probably be completed before
then, too.

Preacher-mg (preacher-mg) wrote :

I'm not sure...
Sometimes it is beneficial to place two or more windows side
by side, to compare colors, styles, etc. It's especially
important for Icon work.
The way Inkscape works now is fine by me - switching
between documents using the taskbar is IMO identical to
using tabs.

One should not exclude the other (look at Firefox).

Horkana-users (horkana-users) wrote :

Closed 992082 which was a duplicate, also asking for a
tabbed interface

Bug Importer (bug-importer) wrote :

Multipage should not force multiple documents. A single
document could have multiple pages. A seperate document
could be opened in a seperate window. For people that want
side-by-side pages of the same document, a seperate page
could be opened in a seperate window too (detach the tab
from the window and create its own window).

Probably not an easy thing. Thanks.

Bug Importer (bug-importer) wrote :

Inkscape needs to support multipage SVG documents, and
multipage documents would normally be done by providing tabs
at the bottom of the window for each sheet (see OpenOffice
Draw, Visio, etc)

Providing a Tabbed document interface (TDI)/Multiple
document interface (MDI) on top of that may be difficult to
do in a user friendly way.

Instead of a Tabbed interface there may be other better ways
to help users solve the underlying problems of managing many
documents or comparing documents side by side.

Kaalfa (kaalfa) wrote :

Originator: NO

C'mon guys, tabbed browsing in Inkscape should be a complete nobrainer. I
don't mean having multiple pages for each svg file (although that would be
pretty cool indeed, much like Freehand) but seriously opening different
documents in the same instance of Inkscape is like the thing that ebs the
software that much closer to being a pro package all around. Instead of
having 10 open docts they're all housed within one... I'm honestly
extremely surprised this hasn't been made a top priority as it's a simple
thing that would enhance most user's experience of the app.

Horkana-users (horkana-users) wrote :

Originator: NO

> Don't know if SVG supports multi-page documents

It was in the draft specification and then it wasn't. There is another
request open for that:
1009291 Multiple Pages Support - SVG 1.2 Compliance

>> C'mon guys,

Dont be like that. Inkscape is a project run entirely by unpaid
volunteers. developers choose to work on whatever takes their interest.
No one can be forced to implement anything but more importantly whoever
decides to implement multipage documents will have a whole lot of
discretion on how the user interface is implemented. You never know you
might actually get a tabbed interface.

> tabbed browsing in Inkscape should be a complete nobrainer.

Inkscape is not a browser, and a tabbed document interface (TDI) only
really makes sense if you have a very large collection of documents to view
and manage, as opposed to editing a handful of drawings. A tabbed
interface or collection manager for the Inkview component might make more
Asking for solutions to solve problems and giving the developers the
freedom to solve them in the way they think best is also far more
convincing than asking for a specific feature or implementation without a
task and ways to measure success or determine if things really are

Also inkscape will need to have an interface to display multipage
documents (ODG, PDF, and planned for SVG) and it is hard to see how that
might work if each document was adding a tab to the already busy interface.

it would certainly help if the original submitter could include
screenshots or mockups of how they think this might work.

this is a duplicate of the older request for tabs but given that the older
request has no named reporter and no details it makes more sense to leave
this open for now. this request is also covered by the request for
multipage documents, the outcome of which could be a tabbed interface or
make inkscape even more crowded and make a tabbed interface a worse idea.

despite that I'll leave this open at a low priority in the hope that
reporter might try to check for duplicates before filing a new request and
find this.

Kaalfa (kaalfa) wrote :

Originator: NO

horkana, it seems my comment was misunderstood, so I'll try and clarify.
When I said tabbed 'browsing' I didn't mean to go surf for other kinds of
documents. All I'm interested in (for this request, I have others) is that
when I open another inkscape file, it opens within the same inkscape
instance, within another tab. Currently you have to open multiple instances
of Inkscape and it becomes more cumbersome to handle. I would imagine this
is a but a small feature to integrate as the implmentation has been excuted
in 100s of apps out there ranging from text editors to web browsers. If I
need to start another thread explaining it more clearly I'm more than
willing to do so (I'll even include a mockup if that'll help things move

As for how Open Source works, seriously you don't need to tell about that.
As I know nill of programming the only thing I can contribute to the
conversation is feature requests, talking about it on my site and in the
future contributing tutorials. I am working on mockups for what these ideas
I'd like implemented to look like and will be posting it no doubt in the

Changed in inkscape:
importance: Low → Wishlist
status: New → Confirmed
Tom Davidson (tjd-mit) wrote :

Marked a couple dupes, including bug 171330, an anonymous commenter there echoed Horkana's comments above:

"Inkscape includes full SVG support as one of its core goals
SVG requires mutilpage documents.

Most likely each page/sheet will be displayed in a seperate
tab at the bottom of the window
(Microsoft Visio, OpenOffice Draw and the mutlipage
extension for Adobe illstrator all behave this way)

it seem like a firefox style Tabbed interface would be
incomptible with that."

duuso (duuso) wrote :

Is there any progress or ideas/comments on this topic? Is it do-able? I think yes, but does the maintainers too?

I like how illustrator handles tabs, but it's not that specific how inkscape should do it. Firefoxe's style is basicly same and really usable.

A tabbed interface would make my life a heck of a lot easier, especially without native OS X support, which makes window management just that much more difficult. I don't care either way on multipage documents, but multiple documents in the same window would be awesome to see in a future release.

How about a mockup? Also, some windows, mainly dockable windows shouldn't be added to the TDI/MDI. However, if the XML editor can be duplicated for each window that is open, it could appear in the TDI/MDI. But it would be better if it was subordinate to the document's tab or window.

indy (davide-ricci82) wrote :

It is ok that Inkscape waits for the multipage svg 1.2 standard... but with tabs it would be very easy to produce several "pages" as separate document, and then embed all in one pdf with a simple plugin like "save all as pdf".

I bet that this could be a very better alternative to Libreoffice Impress.

Moreover, tabs would be very confortable now that Unity groups all the inkscape windows under a launcher icon.

I also believe that having the hability to open multiple documents inside Inkscape would be amazing. Things would be simpler to use. If a second, third or fourth tab is too much for the CPU , if possible, a warning could be displayed telling the user that the PC is going to melt. hehehe. Just a thought.

Thanks for this amazing app!

elecman (bitbarrelmedia) wrote :

1+ for this. It could be an option so if you don't like it, just disable the feature.

grey tomorrow (gtomorrow) wrote :

Closing because INVALID.

Please see:

If you feel this issue has been unjustly closed, please feel free to open a new issue at . Thank you.

Closed by:

tags: added: bug-migration
Changed in inkscape:
status: Confirmed → Invalid
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