Providing advanced editing features, Inkscape is a serious competitor on the vector graphics sector and a viable alternative to more complex software suites, such as Illustrator or CorelDraw. The professional drawing tools allow you to create complex objects, while the set of filters helps you take graphic design to a whole new level. Designed with ease of use in mind, the interface is well organized and fairly intuitive, offering fast access to all the options. The program is compatible with multiple file types, including JPEG, PNG, TIFF, EPS and vector-based formats.
It comes with a powerful set of tools for drawing and editing graphic objects, including markers, gradients, shapes, paths, clones, alpha blending and more, but it also allows freehand drawing. With just a few clicks, you can move and scale objects, create object groups and edit multiple items.
Direct XML editing, document mapping, screen pixel manipulation, node editing, bitmap tracing are some of the features worth mentioning. It provides layer support and allows you to perform complex path operations, as well as apply and edit path effects. Additionally, the application comes with text editing tools, such as the SVG font editor, glyphs and multilingual spell checking.
One of its advantages is the wide range of available filters and extensions, which allows users to build more unusual graphics. From color filters, bluring, distort and different materials to morphology filters and non realistic 3D shaders, all are designed to help you enlarge the design possibilities and unleash your creativity.
Whether you want to create a simple icon for your desktop or plan on designing complex marketing materials, Inkscape includes all the instruments you need. It features similar capabilities to some of its well-known competitors, which makes it a great tool for every graphic designer out there.
Features of Inkscape:
- Drawing: pencil tool (freehand drawing with simple paths), pen tool (creating Bézier curves and straight lines), calligraphy tool (freehand drawing using filled paths representing calligraphic strokes)
- Shape tools: rectangles (may have rounded corners), ellipses (includes circles, arcs, segments), stars/polygons (can be rounded and/or randomized), spirals
- Text tool (multi-line text, full on-canvas editing)
- Embedded bitmaps (with a command to create and embed bitmaps of selected objects)
- Clones (“live” linked copies of objects), including a tool to create patterns and arrangements of clones
- Transformations (moving, scaling, rotating, skewing), both interactively and by specifying exact numeric values
- Z-order operations (raising and lowering)
- Grouping objects (“select in group” without ungrouping, or “enter the group” making it a temporary layer)
- Layers (lock and/or hide individual layers, rearrange them, etc; layers can form a hierarchical tree)
- Alignment and distribution commands
Fill and stroke
- Color selector (RGB, HSL, CMYK, color wheel, CMS)
- Color picker tool
- Copy/paste style
- A gradient editor capable of multi-stop gradients
- Pattern fills (bitmap/vectors)
- Dashed strokes, with many predefined dash patterns
- Path markers (ending, middle and/or beginning marks, e.g. arrowheads)
Operations on paths
- Node editing: moving nodes and Bezier handles, node alignment and distribution, etc.
- Converting to path (for text objects or shapes), including converting stroke to path
- Boolean operations
- Path simplification, with variable threshold
- Path insetting and outsetting, including dynamic and linked offset objects
- Bitmap tracing (both color and monochrome paths)
- Multi-line text
- Uses any installed outline fonts, including right-to-left scripts
- Kerning, letterspacing, linespacing adjustments
- Text on path (both text and path remain editable)
- Text in shape (fill shape following stroke)
- Fully anti-aliased display
- Alpha transparency support for display and PNG export
- Complete “as you drag” rendering of objects during interactive transformations
- Live watching and editing the document tree in the XML editor
- PNG, OpenDocument Drawing, DXF, sk1, PDF, EPS and PostScript export formats
- Command line options for export and conversions
- Perfectly compliant SVG format file generation and editing