Table of Content

This is a three-parts article. There are few sections here.

Common Inkscape Trick
Common Config Trick
Special Trick


Goal: Reusable SVG, as a base for Openbox theme.

openbox Theme: matclue window preview

I will go straight to Inkscape’s SVG, and discuss about the style configuration later.

This guidance applied for any linux distribution.

Previous Article

Most Inkscape related article has been discussed in previous XFWM4 article.

Unified Graphic Material

This is the Inkscape Part.

Inkscape Document

SVG source is available at:

Get the SVG

You may make from scratch or get my matclue.svg from my dotfiles repository at github.


Before you begin this the slices that we want to achieve.

openbox Theme: matclue SVG slices


I utilize some more layers, we are going to build this step by step.

openbox Theme: matclue SVG layers

Button Size

We are using, only [W*H = 10px * 10px] button for this style. For each I give an imaginary narrow border of 1px wide, in border layer.

Building the XBM

This is also the Inkscape Part.

Since we are going to use XBM only.

Exporting Button

Hint: Use Inkscape’s Batch Export, to export all shapes at once.

Consider set these layers before export:

  • (You may) Hide: name, border, background

  • Locked: button

  • Unlocked: frame

Now the tricky part, for each border box parts. We must select the box first in frame layer, so we can have the export target filename such as shade-pressed.png.

openbox Theme: matclue SVG export

Unhide the frame layer, to select other box.


Openbox is using XBM, while Inkscape export to PNG. Hence, we should convert from PNG to XBM. We can utilize mogrify to do this task.

$ mogrify -format xbm *.png

openbox Theme: matclue mogrify *.xbm to *.png


This is still also the Inkscape Part.


  • Size: W*H = 10px * 10px. Each box button has this size.

  • Colors: Using Black and White only.

Design by Pixel

Due to tiny size of Openbox’s button, designed made per pixel. It is actually easy to do it in inkscape. Just use create rectangular or box shape, and then set the width/height size in pixel.

openbox Theme: matclue inkscape pixel

The rest for each box is self explanatory.

What’s Next

This is only the Inkscape Part, Consider continue reading [ Common Config Trick ]