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10. April 2014

Inkscape: Change Arrowhead color

Filed under: Linux,Uncategorized,Windows — Tags: , , , , , — Christopher Kramer @ 18:55

In Inkscape, a great open source vector graphics program, when you change the stroke color of a path, the arrow heads still remain black. But there is a way to change their color, although quite unintuitive.

This is how it looks like:

Inkscape: arrows with same arrowhead color as the path

Inkscape: arrows can have the same arrowhead color as the path

And this is how its done:

  1. Mark the Path you want to change the color of the arrowhead
  2. “Extensions”
  3. “Modify Path”
  4. “Color Markers to Match Stroke”

That’s it!


Update: Inkscape 0.91

In Inkscape 0.91, this problem is “fixed”: The arrowhead automatically gets the Stroke-color assigned and the extension mentioned above is gone. But:

Sometimes when I change the stroke color, the arrowhead does not get updated. In this case, you can adjust the arrowhead color like this:

Select the arrow, double click the color next to “Stroke:” on the lower left of the screen, it opens the window to adjust the stroke color and without doing anything in this window, it magically adjusts the color of the arrowhead.

Update: Inkscape 0.92

Unfortunately, I still have issues with the arrowhead color in Inkscape 0.92 and the workarounds above do not seem to work anymore. However, these problems only occur in old documents that I try to edit. In new documents, the arrowhead color works as expected. My current workaround is to create a new document, create the arrow I want there and then copy it into the old document. This way, I get arrows where I can edit the arrowhead color by editing the stroke color as expected.


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  1. Inkscape 0.91 doesn’t need the trick anymore. It finally performs it internally as you choose an arrowhead style. They needed some three years to realize the necessity of it.

    Comment by Anton — 19. October 2016 @ 10:56

  2. Anton, I see quite the opposite.
    In Inkscape 0.91 they removed “Color Markers to Match Stroke” menu item — but the arrow heads DO NOT change their color to match stroke style automatically.
    So, it seems to be no way to do it since 0.91 :(.

    Comment by Sasha — 3. February 2017 @ 22:18

  3. @ Sasha: For me, it works in 0.91 as Anton said.
    This is how it works in 0.91:
    The arrowhead has the color of the _filling_, whereas the line has the color of the _border_. So to change the color of the arrowhead, just click some color in the color bar, whereas to change the color of the line, press SHIFT and click the color.

    Comment by Christopher Kramer — 16. February 2017 @ 18:13

  4. I observe the follwoing behaviour in 0.91:
    the menu item is gone
    clicking/double clicking/shift clicking will not do anything to the color of the arrowhead once created.

    Comment by Michael — 4. May 2017 @ 18:36

  5. update:
    even creating an arrowhead on a line with a specified stroke color (e.g. red) and fill color (e.g. red) will create a black arrow head….

    Comment by Michael — 4. May 2017 @ 18:38

  6. I have the same issue as Michael. Tried all the above solutions but in 0.91 I cannot anymore change the color of the arrowhead. (btw, using the fill color for the color of the arrow head does not make much sense, since this would force curves to have a fill which is not the wanted effect)

    Comment by Joakim — 31. May 2017 @ 11:16

  7. I had similar issues to the comments above in Inkscape 0.91 on Ubuntu. My solution was to: look for the object ID of the path in Inkscape; close the application, having saved it as SVG; search for the object ID in the SVG file; it will be a with style info containing something like: marker-end:url(#Arrow1Mend); search for the with that ID; change the color info in the to that in the .

    Note that part of the problem seemed to be that Inkscape was reusing a marker for the arrowhead from a previous path, from which the current one was copied (which had a different color). You may need to check and if necessary add a new for the new path.

    Comment by Patrick — 23. August 2017 @ 13:42

  8. thank you so much

    Comment by Peter Christ — 8. March 2018 @ 12:39

  9. For those of you for whom it does not work, try this:
    1. draw a line
    2. change its color, say red
    3. only then change stroke style marker (i.e. add an arrow head)

    That worked for me –

    Comment by Hbar — 9. May 2018 @ 09:35

  10. This is still broken in Inkscape 1.1.1, even with newly-created arrows. When I save as PDF, the arrowheads have the wrong color.

    Comment by Guest — 4. November 2021 @ 17:00

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