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Create Vector Graphics with Open Source Software

Create Vector Graphics with Open Source Software

Vector graphics consist of shapes, called objects, which are simple geometric primitives: points, lines, curves, circles, and polygons. The shapes are all based on mathematical equations, to represent images in computer graphics. It is possible to edit each object separately, for example, by changing the shape, colour, size and position. By combining paths that are straight or curved and various colors and shading very detailed illustrations can be created.

As vector-based images are not made up of a specific number of dots, they can be precisely scaled without any reduction in the image quality. Unlike vector graphics, bitmap images are resolution dependent. This means that it is difficult to alter the size of a bitmap without sacrificing a degree of image quality. Vector graphics also have simpler storage, and the option to convert a vector graphic to a bitmap if needed.

This article identifies the finest open source vector graphics editors. Vector editors are ideal for technical illustrations, diagramming, flowcharting, artistic illustrations, promotional posters, banners, signage, logos, typography, vehicle wraps and layout. Bitmap editors are more suitable for retouching, photo processing, photorealistic illustrations, collage, and illustrations drawn by hand with a pen tablet.

Now, let's explore the 8 vector graphics editors at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, a screenshot, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.

Vector Graphics Editors
Inkscape Vector-based drawing program
Xara Xtreme Heavyweight vector graphics, illustration and DTP program
SVG-edit Complete vector graphics editor in the browser (in JavaScript)
Skencil Interactive vector drawing program
LateXDraw Vector drawing program for LaTeX using PSTricks
Ipe Extensible drawing editor
LibreOffice Draw Vector graphics editor and diagramming tool
PrintDesign Successor to the sK1 illustration program

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Last Updated Sunday, August 17 2014 @ 08:30 AM EDT


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