What is vpype?

In a nutshell, vpype is an extensible CLI pipeline utility which aims to be the Swiss Army knife for creating, modifying and/or optimizing plotter-ready vector graphics. Let’s break this down:

  • CLI: vpype is a command-line utility, so it is operated from a terminal

  • Pipeline: vpype operates by assembling ‘commands’ in sequences in which each command generates or process geometries before passing them on to the next command. Here is an example:

    vpype read input.svg scale 2 2 linesort write output.svg

    Here the geometries are loaded from a file (read input.svg), their size is doubled in both directions (scale 2 2), paths are reordered to minimize plotting time (linesort), and an SVG file is created with the result (write output.svg).

  • Extensible: new commands can easily be added to vpype with plug-ins. This allows anyone to extend vpype with new commands or to write their own generative algorithm.

  • Plotter vector graphics: vpype focuses on the niche of vector graphics for plotters (such as the Axidraw) rather than being a general purpose vector processing utility.

  • Swiss Army knife: vpype is flexible, contains many tools and its author is Swiss.

Using this documentation

Start with installation instructions to get up and running with your installation of vpype.

For the straight-to-action type, the list of available commands is available in the reference section. You may also jump to the cookbook section to find a recipe that matches your need.

For a deep understanding of vpype, take a dive in the section on fundamentals.

Developers can learn more about extending vpype in the Creating plug-ins section and the API reference.

Miscellaneous Pages