Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, Freehand, CorelDraw, or Xara X using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Supported SVG features include shapes, paths, text, markers, clones, alpha blending, transforms, gradients, patterns, and grouping. Inkscape also supports Creative Commons meta-data, node editing, layers, complex path operations, bitmap tracing, text-on-path, flowed text, direct XML editing, and more. It imports formats such as JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and others and exports PNG as well as multiple vector-based formats.

Program possibilities:

Object creation

  • Drawing tools
  • Shape tools
  • Linked bitmap images, either imported or rasterized from selected
  • Clones

Object manipulation

  • Affine transformations (moving, scaling, rotating, skewing)
  • Grouping objects
  • Layers
  • Alignment and distribution commands, including grid arrange, randomization, unclumping
  • A tool to create patterns of clones, using wallpaper symmetries plus arbitrary scales, shifts, rotates, and color changes, optionally randomized
  • Grid and guide snapping

Styling objects

  • Color selector (RGB, HSL, CMYK, color wheel), color palette, picker ("dropper") tool
  • Fill opacity, stroke opacity, master opacity, gradient stop opacity
  • Gradients: linear and elliptic
  • Pattern fills made from any objects
  • Gaussian blur
  • Masks and clipping paths
  • Dashed strokes, with predefined dash patterns
  • Path markers (e.g. arrowheads)
  • Ability to copy/paste style between objects

Text support

  • Uses any outline fonts installed on the system
  • Can use any scripts and languages supported by the Pango library including complex scripts (e.g. Hebrew, Arabic, Thai, Tibetan etc.)
  • Kerning, letterspacing, linespacing adjustments
  • Text on path (both text and path remain editable)


  • PNG export
  • PostScript and PDF export
  • Command line options for export, conversions, and analysis of SVG files
  • User interface is translated in more than 40 languages

This software can be downloaded from the developer site: http://www.inkscape.org/  Online community, FAQ and add-ons are also available on this site. Several interactive tutorials in SVG are available via Help > Tutorials in Inkscape. Below the same tutorials are linked in HTML (e.g. for printing), though in this form they lose the interactive aspect.

After you download the install package from the developer website, you can install software. The installation process is simple - you have just follow the wizardís instructions.