Designing Celtic knots with Knotter

Slashdot it! Delicious Share on Facebook Tweet! Digg!
Oleg Zhukov,

Oleg Zhukov,

Tying the Knot

Would you like to adorn your letterhead with an attractive Celtic knot? Drawing one by hand is a laborious task, but Knotter provides a variety of functions to get the job done in a matter of minutes.

When Linux users think of vector graphics, Inkscape usually comes to mind. Knotter [1] is different: It was created especially to create Celtic knots (Figure 1). The application puts no limits on your creativity and is ready with various knot concepts to help you create a variety of patterns.

Figure 1: With a little practice, you can design complex, braided knot patterns with Knotter.


Knotter is downloadable as version 0.9.6b. Despite its beta status, the software proved to be fully functioning and stable in my test. Installation packages in DEB format for distributions such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint are available from SourceForge. Double-clicking on the package installs it.

If a suitable package doesn't exist for your particular distribution, you can compile it from the sources. Download them and unpack the tarball. Open a console in the newly created directory and enter ./ && make . Then, install the software with root privileges using make install .

First Steps

After startup, you can use Edit | Preferences to configure the program settings. On some systems, Knotter's interface might seem a bit dated. You can change this by clicking the Interface button at the bottom and changing the Widget Style selection to, for example, Clearlooks . Although localization is possible in Language , some languages are not available, so the program interface is mainly in English.

In my test on Ubuntu 14.04, the tooltips weren't working. However, clicking Toolbars | Toolbar Button Style | Text Beside Icon made things understandable.

You can start your first knot pattern with the Edge Chain tool that you can find in the tool palette on the left. To begin, position single points on the working surface clicking with your mouse to create a pattern. After setting a few points, the software automatically creates the first knot pattern and lines (Figure 2). To change the pattern, you can add another point on the line between two others.

Figure 2: All you need are two points on the work surface to create a simple line pattern.

The resulting pattern can then be manipulated using other tools. With Toggle Edges , you can remove the edges between two points without losing associated nodes. With the Undo (Ctrl+Z) function, you can undo work steps.

If you want to connect two previously unconnected nodes, highlight them with the select function and click Connect . Alternatively, reduce multiple points to one with Merge or erase selected points with Erase .

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF

Pages: 3

Price $0.99
(incl. VAT)

Buy Ubuntu User

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • Adding new functions with GIMP plugins

    GIMP by itself can already do a lot. With plugins, you can extend the free image editor with complex functions, most of which allow you to see the final results before you apply them.

  • Tau Meta Tau Physica: Bringing Open Source to Fashion

    In this exclusive interview, Susan Spencer Conklin tells Linux Pro Magazine how she re-entered the open source world with a project that combines her programming skills with her interest in fashion. Susan explains how her vision for an open source fashion tool has expanded since she first introduced the Tau Meta Tau Physica application at the Libre Graphics Meeting in Brussels last fall.

  • Creative Inkscape effects in practice

    The Inkscape vector graphics program not only lets you work with pencil and ink lines, it can help you mimic the elegant brushstrokes of an oil painting. Our three easy-to-follow examples show you how.

  • Working with SQLiteStudio

    SQLiteStudio, a compact graphical tool, lets you complete everyday tasks relating to SQLite databases quickly and easily.

  • SpaceFM universal file manager

    SpaceFM provides a solid file manager. With additional plugins, you can expand it into an optimized tool for all your daily tasks.