Importing palettes into Inkscape is super easy. This is mostly thanks to the fact that Inkscape supports GPL, or GIMP Palette, files. So, if you’ve ever created a palette in GIMP, you can take that .GPL file and bring it into Inkscape.
If you aren’t sure how to create your own custom palettes in GIMP and export them, I recommend checking out two tutorials I have on the subject. One tutorial shows you how to create custom palettes (it is a video tutorial), and the other is a GIMP Help article that shows you how to export your palettes to a palette file (which you can then use in Inkscape). I recommend checking out both to get familiar with producing palettes and GPL files.
Otherwise, if you already have your GPL file, here is how to import that file into Inkscape.
Step 1: Locate Your Palette Folder in Inkscape
To start, you’ll want to figure out where all of your palette files are located in Inkscape. This folder will be within your main Inkscape folder, which will be found on the main drive of your computer where you original installed Inkscape. On a Windows computer, for example, most people install Inkscape on their C: drive. In my case, though, I installed Inkscape on my D: drive. So, I’ll click on my D: drive in my File Explorer, and will then double-click “Inkscape” (it is also common for your Inkscape folder to be under one of your Program Files folders, so if it you don’t see it in your C: or D: drive, check those folders as well).
Once inside your main Inkscape folder, you will want to double-click the “Share” folder.
Then, double-click on the “Palettes” folder.
Voila. Here is where all of your palette files are located within Inkscape. The actual folder location may vary depending on what operating system you used and where you installed Inkscape on your computer.
Step 2: Locate Your Palette File
Now that you know where you want to import your palette to, you need to find the palette file you would like to use. Again, Inkscape uses .GPL palette files, which can be produced in GIMP. If you already have a .GPL file and are not getting it from GIMP, you can skip to the bottom of this section.
This means you can drag and drop palette files from GIMP’s palette folders right into Inkscape. If you want to do this, simply locate where your GIMP palette files are by opening GIMP, then going to Edit>Preferences.
Scroll down to the “Folders” dropdown (denoted by the red arrow in the photo above), and click on the dropdown to expand it. Click on the “Palettes” folder (green arrow). Here, you will see the exact file location on your computer where your GIMP palettes are being stored (there will be an “X” next to the active locations of your palettes). Click on the file location (denoted by the blue arrow), then copy the location as it populates in the field next to the green circle. Hit cancel to close out the Preferences dialogue once you have copied the folder destination.
Open up a new File Explorer or Finder window on your computer (depending on what operating system you are on).
Then, paste the file location in the folder directory (denoted by the red arrow above) and hit the enter key. This will take you directly to the Palette file within GIMP where all of your custom palettes were created.
Now, click and drag whatever Palette file you would like to use in Inkscape from the GIMP Palette folder (or whatever file location your .GPL file is located in) to the Inkscape Palette folder.
Step 3: Close and Reopen Inkscape
If you currently have Inkscape opened, you will need to close it down and reopen it.
Once you’ve reopened Inkscape, click the arrow in the bottom right corner just above the Swatches panel (denoted by the red arrow in the image above). You should now see your palette available here.
Click on the palette name to activate it.
Your custom palette should now display in your Swatches panel!
That’s it for this tutorial. If you enjoyed it, you can check out all of my Inkscape Help Articles on my website, or watch any of my Inkscape Video Tutorials.