Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editor that supports the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format to create and manipulate vector graphics
Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editor, compliant with SVG, XML and CSS standards. You can use Inkscape to create and manipulate vector graphics with tools that are analogous to commercial vector graphics applications. Inkscape supports export to bitmap graphics.
Object creation & manipulation
Inkscape includes a variety of tools to help you create the perfect vector graphic. Drawing tools include the pencil tool for freehand drawing while the caligraphy tool allows you to draw freehand using filled paths. Manipulation tools include standard cut and paste, layers and alignment tools.
Inkscape can use any font that is currently installed on your machine to create fully editable, multi-line text in your graphic, including line and letter spacing. You can create text on path, with both elements remaining editable.
Though Inkscape is a vector graphics editor, you can easily export your work to a bitmap PNG file. You can choose to export the entire page, drawing, selection or custom portion of the page.
Tips for New Users
Beginners without previous vector graphics experience may find the Inkscape interface a little overwhelming. If you are unfamiliar with vector graphics, take the time to visit the tutorials included with your Inkscape by going to “Help” and selecting Tutorials to walk you through the basics of creating vector graphics.
Define your preferences by going to “File” and selecting “Inkscape Preferences”. This menu allows you to fine-tune your Inkscape experience. For example, you can set your various tools (Shape, 3D box, etc.) to use the last settings or to use default settings when creating a new object.
Areas for Improvement
Though tutorials are included with Inkscape, the tutorials are presented as SVG graphics within the application. Having the tutorials open in a web browser or in a help menu environment may be more user friendly.
Inkscape is a full featured vector graphics application. Complete novices to vector graphics may crave a simpler interface while users with experience in other popular commercial editors will feel right at home. The application’s support of the SVG file format, and its export capabilities, make it a valuable application for both novices and professionals wanting an alternative to commercial software.
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