Inkscape 0.42 is the most feature-filled release to date, with an exceptional number of major and minor new features, usability improvements, and bug fixes. While some of the new features simply fill long-standing functionality gaps, others are truly revolutionary. Inkscape 0.42 is one step closer to full SVG compliance. This release adds:
* Flowed Text: Text objects that automatically re-flow to any shape (and not just a rectangle).
* Text Selection: One can now select part of a text and apply any style to the selection, just like in a word processing application.
* Gradient Tool: A completely redesigned and much easier to use on-canvas gradient interface with handles displayed directly in the drawing.
* Effects: These are now usable from within Inkscape on all platforms. This versión ships with a collection of effects including path interpolation, randomization, and various fractal algorithms.
* Color Swatches: This standard facility of most graphics software is now a part of Inkscape.
* Colored Clones: Clones may now be painted differently from their original.
* Tile Tracing: The Tile Clones dialog can trace an existing image with tiling, producing a multitude of exciting effects.
* Grid Arrange, Baseline Align, Unclumping: There are new, powerful ways to arrange objects.
* Better PS/EPS Export: PostScript level 3 gradient support, better text handling, and a command line option for batch export are in this release.
* Command Line SVG Analysis: Inkscape may now be used from the command line to query coordinates and dimensions of objects in an SVG file.
* Better SVG/CSS Compliance: Notably, internal CSS stylesheets are now supported (read-only).
* Mac OS X Support: In addition to Linux and Windows, Inkscape 0.42 is now available as a fully self-contained dmg package for Mac OS X.
There are alos dozens of smaller features and usability enhancements (especially in the Fill & Stroke dialog, Node tool, and drawing tools). In this versión the development community closed 404 bugs, some quite serious, and 165 feature requests. Overall, the Inkscape developers are very excited about this release and heartily recommend upgrading.