Open Source Vector Graphics Editor
Inkscape is an amazing vector graphics editor. It is free and open source and works on a variety of platforms, including Linux, Windows and OSX. Inkscape replaces Corel Draw and Adobe Illustrator and can read their files, and is a first class citizen among these other editors.
Inkscape and Adobe Illustrator
Inkscape is a complete replacement for Adobe Illustrator. I regularly work with graphic artists who use Adobe Illustrator and I am able to open their .ai files, and edit them. The same, they are able to open my .svg Inkscape files and edit them. While there may be edge cases where some elements are different, for the vast majority of needs, everything ports back and forth nicely (including complex layouts and gradients).
Inkscape on Linux (Debian)
There are a few ways to install Inkscape. I prefer apt and then AppImages but there is also Flatpak for those who use it. Unfortunate the apt repositories are not kept up to date and so AppImages (or Flatpack) is recommended.
sudo apt install flatpak -y sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo sudo flatpak install flathub org.inkscape.Inkscape sudo flatpak update -y
Adjust the shortcut to run
flatpak run org.inkscape.Inkscape
Inkscape on OSX
Unfortunately the mainstream OSX release runs on xQuartz which is slow and doesn't support the standard OSX keystrokes and menus. Plus the windowing is not flexible enough. The main branch has continued development while the idea is to get a native release working with Gtk 3, but it is unclear if or when that will take place.
As of 2021 and v. 1.x of Inkscape, Valerio Aimale has stated that there is no need for the custom build and it is not being updated.
Inkscape on Windows
- Latest version of Inkscape is available for Windows
Inkscape Features and Functionality
I use Inkscape as a drawing and illustrating tool and also for editing images in terms of compilations, extraction and svg-ification, logos, book covers, basically everything under the sun. As with any tool, getting efficient with Inkscape is a discovery process with a learning curve. As well, I happen upon a variety of features that continue to amaze, including:
- Barcode generation: > Extensions > Render > Bar Code
Inkscape supports extensions including:
Inkscape vs. Adobe Illustrator
Note that this video is already out of date as many things mentioned lacking in Inkscape are already released in the 1.0 version.