default window size is too small

Bug #830663 reported by hbons on 2011-08-21
This bug affects 14 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Jiabao Wu
inkscape (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

The default window size for Inkscape is too small. Attached is a screenshot showing how it starts for me every time. It would be nice if Inkscape started maximised or at least a whole lot bigger than it is now, so it can be useful immediately.

hbons (hylkebons) wrote :
Alvin Penner (apenner) wrote :

- try going to the menu item File->Inkscape Preferences->Windows, and click on the option 'Remember and use last window's geometry'
- if all goes well, then it should start up next time with the same window size as when you closed it

hbons (hylkebons) wrote :

That works, thanks, but why doesn't this happen by default?

Alvin Penner (apenner) wrote :

not quite sure how to answer that, except to say that not everyone has the same preferences..

hbons (hylkebons) wrote :

I agree with you, but I'm pretty sure that nobody prefers a window size that is unworkable by default. Not saying that that particular preference should be default, but if there's no prefered size it should at least be big. Don't you think?

su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

With default preferences, the size and position of the currently opened document is stored within the SVG file, and used when opening the file again (that's with the default settings 'Inkscape Preferences > Windows > [x] Save and restore window geometry for each document'). The initial window size of new documents (one is opened when you launch Inkscape by itself) is thus based on the values stored in the used template for new files, or - if those are not defined - appears to fall back to a hard-coded min size of the document window (at least the width is determined by the length of the menu bar - not sure about the height).

You can alternatively change the window size in the default template or create a new custom default template with your desired sizes: for details working with templates, see Alexandre's article:

> That works, thanks, but why doesn't this happen by default?

With default settings it does happen with every file you reopen after saving - you just happen to not like the minimal size used with new files based on the shared default template ;) - changing the preference as described in comment #2 does instead limit the options (all files now open with the same prior size, whereas with default settings you can have each file open with a default custom size and position).

I don't know the original arguments why the default template does not 'hard-code' the height and width of the document window (others - like the one for the fontforge glyph - do propose an initial window width and height), but it can be adjusted for the local system in the shared default template or overridden per user by a custom default template or by the mentioned preferences setting (keep in mind that your preferred workflow/window size might differ from other users, maybe more so by those on other platforms without the new Gnome or Unity paradigms - personally for example I'm glad Inkscape doesn't force full-screen or a maximized window on me each time I launch the application or open a document, OTOH I do make use of the 'templates' feature and added several custom templates in '~/.config/inkscape/templates', including a custom default one).

su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

> but if there's no prefered size it should at least be big. Don't you think?

Personally, no ( I'm using a laptop (small screen), and still dislike working in full-screen mode or being forced to use maximized windows... ;) ) - but it might be discussed on one of the inkscape mailing lists (a user survey might be a helpful tool to determine new defaults which will satisfy a larger portion of Inkscape's user base).

tags: added: ui
su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

Setting to 'Op

Changed in inkscape:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

> Setting to 'Op

Sorry for the incomplete comment - I pressed 'Save changes' hastily after pondering on whether to change the bug status to 'Opinion' - I'll leave it to others to confirm the request (I know I'm biased with regard to maximized windows ;) )

hbons (hylkebons) wrote :

Thanks for the lengthy ellaboration.
Let me be clear I don't want to force settings/preferences on anyone, nor that the window size should be maximised by default.

I thinkk what benefits everyone using inkscape for the first time, is to have a workable window size. Not one that has most toolbar options hidden, and is just too small to draw anything. It doesn't matter whether you're working on a netbook or a TV screen, Inkscape should do its best to be helpful. For example, it can have choose to maximise on a netbook, and scale to a max width/height on screens that are larger.

No matter the implementation or default setting, inkscape has to choose a sensible value on first start, why can't this be one that is workable?

Daniel Fore (danrabbit) wrote :

I have to agree that this is highly annoying. I also understand the annoyance of having a window appear that is larger than your screen, but I think it would be generally safe to assume that setting "remember window geometry" is a sane default that doesn't force a certain size on anyone, but rather enables me to set my own preferred size.

su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

Changing status to 'Confirmed' based on
> inkscape has to choose a sensible value on first start

Maybe this could be part of the "Adaptive UI" (WIP):

Changed in inkscape:
status: New → Confirmed
Alvin Penner (apenner) wrote :

yes, I think the point is well-taken. I just ran an experiment on three machines with different screen resolution.
- the three screen resolutions were : 1280x800 , 1440x900 , 800x600
- in all three cases I had default document size = A4
- Inkscape preferences set to "Save and Restore window geometry"
- start Inkscape with no file
- initial zoom level = 35% in each case.
- in each case the startup window was essentially square, Inkscape width roughly 480-485 pixels, height roughly 485-490 pixels. It was hard to tell precisely because of fuzzy edges.

For the low-res screen this was perfectly appropriate, but for the high-res screen this was noticeably too small. It would probably be better to scale the initial window size according to the screen height instead of keeping it constant.

Garrett (garrettl) wrote :

I agree with Hylke. I have the same annoying problem all the time, and even encountered this frustration today.

I love Inkscape, but every time I start using it, my workflow is pretty much exactly this: maximize window, fix zoom be centered & 1:1 sized, go into document properties and turn off the stupid dropshadow, fix the borders to be translucent, etc., etc., etc.

If we could have a lot of these little annoyances that irk us all fixed, it would make a much better, more refined product overall.

(Yeah, I know one can change the default window size to be application based instead of document based, but this is on a fresh install. Yes, I also know that one can hand-edit the templates to fix the stupid dropshadow and border issues, but they get clobbered on each update/install of Inkscape. Etc., etc.. Inkscape needs better defaults, especially ones that all of us designers have to constantly fix locally. Yes, this isn't the place to really complain about it (it should go in another bug... again).)

Daniel Fore (danrabbit) wrote :

haha, if I could like Garrett's comment I would xD This is basically my exact workflow for Inkscape as well.

cldx (cldx3000) wrote :

Count me in to the Workflow Party...

hbons (hylkebons) wrote :

Mine too. :)
Having good defaults is extremely important.
Although the drop shadow thing is not killing productivity, everyone I talk to using Inkscape changes this as well.


Two questions:

1. "Fix zoom to be centered". What does it mean?
2. "Translucient borders". Same question.

I'm pretty sure we can analyze demands for sane defaults for 0.49 and come up with something meaningful.

I can confirm this bug.

Changed in inkscape (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed

Affects Distribution Ubuntu and Inkscape.

tags: added: precise quantal raring
Jiabao Wu (jiabaowu) wrote :

This patch contains a minor modification to "sp-namedview". On the default configuration that loads the window size with the document, if no size is available (like with a new document) it defaults to maximized. This behavior matches illustrator. Please review (I'm not a member of the development team yet). ^_^

The attachment "fix-bug-830663.patch" seems to be a patch. If it isn't, please remove the "patch" flag from the attachment, remove the "patch" tag, and if you are a member of the ~ubuntu-reviewers, unsubscribe the team.

[This is an automated message performed by a Launchpad user owned by ~brian-murray, for any issues please contact him.]

tags: added: patch
Adolfo Jayme (fitojb) on 2013-04-11
Changed in inkscape (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

Patch 'fix-bug-830663.patch' tested on OS X 10.7.5 with Inkscape 0.48+devel r12274:
- GTK+/X11 2.24.13, XQuartz 2.7.4 (xorg-server 1.13.0)
- GTK+/Quartz 2.24.17, (native Quartz backend)

Patch works as expected, though the results vary depending on GTK+ backend / Window manager / GTK+ version (I'm not sure which component is to blame): launching Inkscape with new (default) prefs and default template, any new empty document window is maximized immediately.

- With the X11-based build, the document window can be de-maximized using the buttons in the windows decoration, and it resizes to the minimal window size it originally has (i.e. without the patch).

- With the Quartz-based build, the maximized document window cannot be de-maximized at all: the document window is opened with window width&height set to max values, but without setting the 'inkscape:window-maximized' value to 1 in <namedview>. This is annoying since users who dislike 'maximized' view have to manually resize each new document window by grabbing & dragging one of the edges (OS X >= 10.7) or the bottom-right corner (Mac OS X <= 10.6.8) - requiring much more efforts than the current state without patch.

Likely the patch exposes an underlying issue in the interaction between Inkscape and certain window managers.

'Maximize' and 'De-maximize' of a maximized Inkscape document window on OS X - be it under X11 or with the native backend - has never worked reliably for me, which might have contributed to me being opposed to defaulting to open in a maximized state as default setting. Personally, I'm still opposed to such a default, but won't argue for my POV anymore, since based on the reaction to my earlier comments (outside the bug tracker), a majority of users seems to prefer this.

su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

@JazzyNico - any chance you could test the patch on Windows?

jazzynico (jazzynico) wrote :

Tested on Windows XP, Inkscape trunk revision 12276.
New empty documents show maximized, and de-maximizing resizes the window to the previous default size.

For testing purpose, I often need to open Inkscape and a command line in the same screen, and thus having it maximized is not very convenient for me. But my workflow is very specific (bug tracking and dev...).

@~suv - Is it worth a new preference setting (Start maximized, boolean with default to true)?

su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

On 2013-04-13 14:34 +0100, JazzyNico wrote:
> <opinion> For testing purpose, I often need to open Inkscape and a
> command line in the same screen, and thus having it maximized is not
> very convenient for me. But my workflow is very specific (bug
> tracking and dev...). </opinion>
> @~suv - Is it worth a new preference setting (Start maximized,
> boolean with default to true)?

Ok, I'll add another comment despite having promised otherwise ;)

@JazzyNico - personally, ofc I would highly appreciate it if this modified behavior could be optional: For bug triage and dev work, where one needs to work in multiple windows in parallel (inkscape, terminal, gvim, etc.) at the same time, defaulting to maximized is inconvenient. However, a global setting (off by default) is not an ideal solution either for this specific use case either, since one often has to revert to default new settings when developping or testing for bugs.

ISTM that there are two basic aspects to consider:

1) New users:
How does Inkscape want to present to new users? Enforce a maximized new document window for new users, always, as well as for those who never change the default settings or do not want to deal with maintaining a custom default template?
A possible side-effect might be that less tech-savvy new users might not easily discover Inkscape's other capabilities (e.g. that inkscape can display its document window in other sizes than maximized, too, and remember that size & position per document (e.g. useful with workflows which involve editing two (or more) documents displayed side-by-side on the same screen), and that inkscape has a full screen mode which is often better with regard to screen real estate than 'maximized').

2) Users with specific workflows, developers, bug triagers:
Should the option be 'hidden' (no GUI in the prefs dialog) to avoid overloading the preferences dialog?
Maybe a command line switch could be added, allowing to override the global setting for the current session (also affecting new document windows opened from within the current session)?

Jiabao Wu (jiabaowu) wrote :

I had a try of the other solution, give a bigger default window size. The attached file is my new patch. Could anyone please have a review and/or test to see if it works with a reasonable size? Thanks a lot.

jazzynico (jazzynico) on 2013-04-27
Changed in inkscape:
assignee: nobody → Jiabao Wu (jiabaowu)
status: Confirmed → In Progress
jazzynico (jazzynico) wrote :

For testing purpose, a new patch merging the ones from comments #12 and #28. It also adds a new preference option for the default window size (small [default], large or maximized) in the Interface>Window section.

Note that the current patch only works if "Save and restore geometry for each document" is set. IMHO, since it's a default preference, it should also work with "Don't save window geometry".

Jon A. Cruz (jon-joncruz) wrote :

Patch committed in revision #12315.

Changed in inkscape:
status: In Progress → Fix Committed
su_v (suv-lp) on 2013-05-01
Changed in inkscape:
milestone: none → 0.49
Ryan Lerch (ryanlerch) wrote :

Just tested this change out, and by default the window now shows up with a decent height, but seems to go to the maximum width of the screen. Attached is the screenshot of how the window was spawned on my system

I have the option of the default window size in the preferences set to "Large"

This is on fedora 18.

Jon A. Cruz (jon-joncruz) wrote :

Ryan, can you add some debug dump of the size the window is being set to? On OSX and Ubuntu I've tried it sets things as expected, so there might be some issue either with the width not being reported correctly to inkscape, or the size setting not being accepted by the window manager. It does seem like a separate issue.

su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

'Maximized' enforced as default new window size for all new users, and for all users who never changed the prior default setting ('Large'), in revision 13263 by Martin Owens.

Changed in inkscape (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Gary Palmer (gpalmerlv) wrote :

I just installed Inkscape on Mavericks on an iMac for the first time. The Inkscape window opens and it is easy to expand the page to full screen, but the apparent work page is a very small rectangle within a much larger work space. Is one supposed to work within the tiny window or ignore it, in which case it would be distracting? Or is it just badly sized for my screen,and if so, is there a fix? I have included a screen capture of the window shrunk to a small portion of the screen, but the size of the work page remains the same inadequate size. Ideally, the work page would take up most of the screen.

Also, why does the application label say X11 rather than Inkscape?

Changed in inkscape:
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
Changed in inkscape (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Fix Released

Thanks for fixing!

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