SubjectsSubjects(version: 850)
Course, academic year 2019/2020
   Login via CAS
Vector graphics: a tool for science - MB162S11
Title in English: Vector graphics: a tool for science
Czech title: Vektorová grafika jako nástroj pro vědu
Guaranteed by: Department of Ecology (31-162)
Faculty: Faculty of Science
Actual: from 2019
Semester: winter
E-Credits: 2
Examination process: winter s.:
Hours per week, examination: winter s.:0/3 C [days/semester]
Capacity: 15
Min. number of students: unlimited
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Guarantor: Mgr. Pavel Pipek, Ph.D.
Last update: RNDr. Veronika Sacherová, Ph.D. (10.05.2019)
This course will be focused on vectors graphics, the advantage of which, in contrast to raster images, is obvious:
once image is created, it can be easily re-used for many purposes, from small figures in the scientific papers,
through slides with clear infographics, to stand-out posters. Indeed, scale does not matter, vector image will
always be smooth and readable, the pdfs zoomable and posters without pixelated images. Vectors save a lot of
disk-space as well. Parts of different vector images can be easily combined into new context, saving time and
effort. Many programs, including R or GIS-software, allow to export the output to vector format (.eps, .svg), which
stays editable and can thus be polished-up in a vector editor.
During the course we will mainly work in Inkscape, which is the most powerful open-source software available at
the moment. Although it might seem a bit user-unfriendly at start, it has a steep learning curve.
The course will be tailored to the needs and skill-level of the students. At start we will refresh the basics, so that
everyone will understand the principles of vector graphics and will be familiar with the program environment and
with the essential tools. We will later focus on the use of advanced tools that make the life even easier, and how to
apply this knowledge to scientific outputs, maps, charts, trees etc.
Ideally, the student should enter the course with a particular project of his own (e.g. poster / slides for a
conference, or figure for a scientific paper / thesis) on which he or she will be able demonstrate the acquired

Preferably own laptop with either Windows, Mac, or Linux operating system, and Inkscape already installed.
Last update: Mgr. Pavel Pipek, Ph.D. (23.08.2019)

Requirements to the exam
Last update: Mgr. Pavel Pipek, Ph.D. (13.06.2019)

Several easier tasks during the progress of the course, final exam would consist of finalisation of an own or given project, followed by discussion with the lecturer.

Last update: RNDr. Veronika Sacherová, Ph.D. (10.05.2019)

The course will run in three subsequent one-day blocks.

1 The Basics

  • Inkscape working space and the most important basic tools and key shortcuts
  • Layout - how to align, distribute the objects
  • Paths (lines - polygons)
  • Text editing & custom fonts
  • Importing images

2 Advanced Tools

  • Transformation from images to vectors
  • Patterns, Distribution along lines
  • Filters
  • Multiple editing / selection
  • Clones

3 Scientific Outputs

  • Graphs
  • Maps
  • Trees
  • Assembling complex figures
  • Combining vector and raster images
  • Export to PDFs / Eps

Entry requirements
Last update: Mgr. Pavel Pipek, Ph.D. (13.06.2019)

None, but preferably own project (presentation / poster)

Charles University | Information system of Charles University |