Inkscape review

Top quality graphic design software without the high-end price tag

TechRadar Verdict

Inkscape is to Illustrator what GIMP is to Photoshop – a feature-packed open source alternative created by a team of dedicated and talented enthusiasts. It's hugely adaptable and powerful, and an excellent tool for graphic designers.

Pros

  • +

    Wide selection of vector-editing tools

  • +

    Expandable via extensions

  • +

    Excellent file format support

Cons

  • -

    Processing can be a little slow

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Inkscape is a great free program for creating vectors (scalable graphics that won't blur when you resize them). It's so good, in fact, that it's a serious alternative (opens in new tab) to premium tools like Adobe Illustrator (opens in new tab).

Inkscape

Download here: https://inkscape.org/ (opens in new tab)

Type: Vector image editor

Developer: Inkscape (opens in new tab)

Operating system: Windows, Mac, Linux

Version: 0.92

Free vector illustration software Inkscape is compatible with SVG format, but can also important EPS, PostScript, JPG, PNG, BMP or TIP images and export PNG or other vector-based formats. 

Inkscape provides several tools and various shapes, paths, text, markers, clones, transparency effects (alpha), transformations, gradients, patterns and groups. 

Inkscape also supports Creative Commons metadata, node editing, layers, complex path operations, bitmap tracing, path-based texts, circumfluent object text, direct XML editing and much more.

User experience

Simply put, if you can do it in Adobe Illustrator, chances are you can do it in Inkscape, and that's pretty incredible for a piece of free vector software. If nothing else, give it a try to see how you find it; if it's not for you, you haven't lost a thing.

You can manipulate image shapes, fill them with gradients, apply filters, group them with other layers, convert them to paths, distort them and so much more.

 There's not enough space to list everything that Inkscape can do, which just attests to how powerful it is.

Latest updates

The latest version of Inkscape supports mesh gradients, offers a checkerboard background that makes it easier to see transparencies, and features improved spray and measure tools. For a full list of all updates, new features and bug fixes, see the official release notes (opens in new tab).

The competition

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)