How to Import a Color Palette into Inkscape

Create an import your own color palettes

How to Import a Color Palette into Inkscape

The free online application, Color Scheme Designer is a great way to quickly and easily produce harmonious color schemes. The application allows you to export your color schemes in several different formats, including the GPL format that is used by GIMP color palettes. However, GPL palettes can also be imported into Inkscape and used in your vector line documents.

This is a simple process and the following pages will show you how to import your own color schemes into Inkscape.

Export a GPL Color Palette

Before you go any further, you'll need to produce a color scheme in Paletton.

  1. Open your browser, and go to Paletton.

  2. Use the tools to put together your color palette.

  3. In the lower right corner of the main workspace, select Tables/Export.

    A screenshot of with the Tables/Export command highlighted
  4. Paletton will show you the breakdown of your color palette. To the far right, you'll find a list of export formats. Select Color Swatches.

    A screenshot of Table/Export in Paletton with the Color Swatches command highlighted
  5. The screen will shift and show you more options. Choose as GPL (Gimp).

    A screenshot of Paletton with the "as GPL" option highlighted
  6. Make sure that your window is active, and press Ctrl+A on your keyboard to highlight everything.

    GIMP palette generated on Paletton
  7. With the whole thing highlighted, press Ctrl+C on your keyboard to copy it.

  8. Open a text editor, like Notepad on Windows, TextEdit on Mac, or Gedit/whatever you want on Linux.

  9. Paste the your palette into the file with Ctrl+V.

    GIMP palette pasted in text editor
  10. Now, you can save your file with the .gpl extension. If you're using TextEdit on a Mac, press Cmd+Shift+T to convert the file to plain text before saving.

    In Notepad, you should go File > Save and name your file, ensuring that you end the name of the file with the '.gpl' extension. In the Save as type drop-down, set it to All Files and finally check the Encoding is set to ANSI. If using TextEdit, save your text file with Encoding set to Western (Windows Latin 1).

    On Linux, you can probably just specify the extension.

Import the Palette into Inkscape

Importing your palette is carried out using Explorer on Windows, Finder on Mac OS X, or your file browser, like Nautilus, on Linux. It all comes down to putting your new .gpl file in the right place for Inkscape to use.


  1. Open Windows Explorer.

    Windows 10 File Explorer
  2. From the root of your C: drive, open Program Files.

    A screenshot of Windows Explorer with the Program Files folder highlighted
  3. Locate a folder called Inkscape, and open it.

  4. Now, find the Palettes folder, and open that too.

  5. Copy your .gpl file, wherever you saved it, and paste it into the Palettes folder.

    Windows 10 palette pasted in Inkscape folder

Mac OS

  1. Open the Applications folder.

  2. Right click the Inkscape application.

  3. From the resulting menu, choose Show Package Contents.

  4. A new Finder window will open up. From there, select Contents.

  5. Next, locate and open the Resources folder.

  6. Finally, open the Palettes directory.

  7. Copy your .gpl file, and paste it into Palettes.


  1. Open your file browser. For GNOME, it's Nautilus.

  2. Under your Home directory, press Ctrl+h to reveal hidden files.

  3. Open the .config directory.

  4. Navigate to inkscape > palettes.

    Linux Inkscape palette in folder
  5. Copy your .gpl file into the palettes directory. When you return to your Home folder, press Ctrl+h again to hide the files again.

    If you'd prefer the command line, you can use:

    cp path/to/palette.gpl ~/.config/inkscape/palettes/

Using Your Color Palette in Inkscape

You can now use your new color palette in Inkscape.

If Inkscape was already open when you added your GPL file to the palettes folder, you may need to close all open Inkscape windows and open Inkscape again.

  1. Open Inkscape.

    Inkscape open on Linux
  2. Turn your attention to the bottom of the window. That rainbow of colors is the palette preview. Click the arrow icon to the far right of it.

    A screenshot of Inkscape with the arrow at the end of Palette Preview highlighted
  3. The available color palettes will appear.

    Inkscape palette list
  4. Find your color palette on the list, and choose it.

  5. The palette preview will change to show your new color palette. You're ready to start using your new color palette on Inkscape.

    Inkscape using imported palette
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