Frequently asked questions

Where can I get support for Ipe?

You are already looking at the FAQ - good!

Have you looked at the manual?

If you need help compiling or using Ipe, please post on the Ipe discussion list.

If you have found a bug in Ipe, please go to Ipe issues. Verify that the bug has not been reported before, and file a bug report. (If the bug has been reported before but is not fixed yet, you can add additional information to the existing bug report that would help solve the problem.)

If you want to say how much you love Ipe, you can send email to the author. But please note that he hardly ever replies directly to Email about Ipe (he has a day job).

MacOS says “the developer cannot be verified”

This is the normal behaviour of macOS when you install an app by a developer who is not a registered Apple developer. Apple shamelessly asks for $99 per year just so you can sign your application, and this is simply not realistic for an open-source application that is distributed for free.

Apple explains how to start an application anyway at

The other alternative is to compile Ipe yourself.

I want more/other choices for colors!

The colors available in the drop-down box are taken from your document’s stylesheets (like any other symbolic attribute).

To have more colors available, you can either add a new stylesheet, or modify the basic stylesheet added to new documents by Ipe.

Attributes do not update

When you click on a line, the line attributes (thickness, arrow head etc.) don’t update in the Properties - they remain as they were set.

In Microsoft software like Word the user interface automatically picks up the settings from the current spot in the document. I don’t like this behavior, and Ipe won’t adopt this. It would cause users to inadvertently reuse the properties of objects they had previously selected, instead of the standard settings they started with (and wanted).

Note that this is not a problem in, say, Microsoft Word: When you click somewhere to start typing text, the toolbar will revert to the settings active at this spot of the document. This ‘reverting’ wouldn’t be possible in Ipe.

You can, however, copy object properties from an object to the user interface and from there to other objects with the operations Edit ‣ Pick properties and Edit ‣ Apply properties.

How do I use Ipe figures in beamer?

If you make an animated figure in Ipe (that is, an Ipe page with several views), you can use it in beamer like this:


You may also like Suresh’s tip on this topic.

When Ipe refuses to open a PDF file you created with Ipe

This usually happens because you have been previewing the PDF document, and the previewer took the liberty to overwrite the original file.

Ipe PDF files contain Ipe markup hidden inside the PDF structure. When the file is modified by any other tool, this markup is lost, and Ipe will no longer be able to read it.

So please be careful with PDF viewers that have the capability to overwrite the file being viewed, in particular the on recent version of MacOS.

Fortunately, the has inbuilt versioning. So from within, try File ‣ Revert To ‣ Browse All Versions, select the earliest available version, hit “Restore” and close the document. And voila, Ipe should be able to open the file again.

Online Latex-compilation does not work

If you get authentication errors for the online Latex compilation service, try using the HTTP protocol instead of HTTPS. You would need change the preference

prefs.latex_service_url = ""

(So change https to http - see customizing Ipe.)

You will need to disable and again enable online compilation from the Help menu for the change to take effect.)