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Potrace logo.svg
Developer(s)Peter Selinger
Initial release2001
Stable release
1.16[1] / September 17, 2019; 2 years ago (2019-09-17)
Written inC
TypeRaster-to-vector conversion
LicenseGNU GPL and Potrace Professional

Potrace[needs IPA] is a cross-platform, open-source software which converts bitmapped images into vector graphics. It is written and maintained by Peter Selinger.


Various graphical frontends are available for the command-line application Potrace. Notably, it has been integrated with Inkscape, giving Inkscape its Trace Bitmap action.[2] FontForge can use Potrace to import a bitmap image into a font. Potrace is also used by the music engraving program LilyPond.

Potrace's input and output is black and white (colored images are greyscaled before processing). However, Inkscape is capable of producing color images by decomposing each channel into several black and white images and tracing them separately with Potrace. The commercial Total Vectorize program also uses Potrace as its core.

The program is dual-licensed as "Potrace" under the GPL and as "Potrace Professional" in a proprietary license by Selinger's company, Icosasoft Software, Inc.[3]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peter Selinger (2019-09-17). "ChangeLog". SourceForge project potrace. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
  2. ^ "Inkscape tutorial: Tracing". Inkscape. Retrieved 2019-02-06.
  3. ^ Dual licensing program for Potrace

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]