Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 14:49

Thanks to my student, I am now aware that Inkscape can use different icon theme and that user can switch its icon theme just by renaming files. I use 0.92.5 and I can easily switch between icon themes available built-in. I noted here how I do that on Ubuntu Focal Fossa. Enjoy!

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(Inkscape with original, colorful icon theme)


(Inkscape with Black Style icon theme, switched from the originally colorful one)

The Icon File

This is the default icon theme SVG file from Inkscape I have on my Ubuntu. Apparently, Inkscape works in a very simple way to display its icons, that is by reading an SVG file which is prepared with icons in it. It reads the file named exactly icons.svg either in /usr/share/inkscape/icons or ~/.config/inkscape/icons address.

How To Change Icon

To do so, we need the SVG file of a complete icon theme for Inkscape and they are preinstalled in /usr/share/inkscape/icons/ directory in three files named icons.svg, symbolic_icons.svg, and tango_icons.svg. What we need to do is renaming. How to do:
  • Copy the file symbolic_icons.svg.
  • Paste into a Home address ~/.config/inkscape/icons/ which originally is empty.
  • Now the destination folder has a file named symbolic_icons.svg.
  • Rename that file into icons.svg
  • Restart Inkscape. 
  • Now Inkscape icon theme changed into Black Style.
  • To switch to other icon theme, do same steps but delete first the icons.svg in the Home address.
(Left: file manager showing the source folder that contains preinstalled 3 SVG files selected on top | Right: file manager showing the destination folder which icons.svg file placed)

Detailed information

I use Ubuntu 20.04 GNU/Linux operating system, and Inkscape version number 0.92.5, DEB package from official repository. No command lines needed to do this theme switching.

That's all. Happy drawing!

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.