- Comparison of vector graphics editors
A number of vector graphics editors for various platforms exist. Potential users of these editors will make a decision based on factors such as the availability for the user's platform, the feature set, usability of the user interface (UI) and the focus of the program. Some programs are more suitable for artistic work while others are better for technical drawings. Another important factor is the application's support of various vector and bitmap image formats for import and export.
Some editors in detail
- Adobe Fireworks (formerly a Macromedia product) is a vector editor with bitmap editing capabilities with its main purpose being the creation of graphics for Web and screen. Fireworks supports RGB color scheme and has no CMYK support. This means it is mostly used for screen design. The native Fireworks file format is editable PNG (FWPNG or PNG). Adobe Fireworks has a competitive price but its features can seem limited in comparison to other products. It is easier to learn than other products and can produce complex vector artwork. The Fireworks editable PNG file format is not supported by other Adobe products. Fireworks can manage the PSD and AI file formats which enables it to be integrated with other Adobe apps. Fireworks can also open FWPNG/PNG, PSD, AI, EPS, JPG, GIF, BMP, TIFF file formats, and save/export to FWPNG/PNG, PSD, AI (v.8), FXG (v.2.0), JPG, GIF, PDF, SWF and some others; recently, also some support for exporting to SVG has been added (via a free Export extension).
- Adobe Flash has straightforward vector editing tools which make it easier for designers and illustrators to use. The most important of these tools are vector lines and fills with bitmap-like selectable areas, simple modification of curves via the "selection" or the control points/handles through "direct selection" tools. Flash uses Actionscript for OOP, and has full XML functionality through E4X support.
- Adobe FreeHand (formerly a Macromedia product) is mainly used by professional graphic designers. The functionality of FreeHand includes flexibility of the application in the wide design environment, catering to the output needs of both traditional image reproduction methods and to contemporary print and digital media with its page-layout capabilities and text attribute controls. Specific functions of FreeHand include a superior image-tracing operation for vector editing, page layout features within multiple-page documents, and embedding custom print-settings (such as variable halftone-screen specifications within a single graphic, etc.) to each document independent of auxiliary printer-drivers. User-operation is considered to be more suited for designers with an artistic background compared to designers with a technical background. When being marketed, FreeHand lacked the promotional backing, development and PR support in comparison to other similar products. FreeHand was transferred to the classic print group after Macromedia was purchased by Adobe in 2005. On May 16, 2007, Adobe announced that no further updates to Freehand would be developed but continues to sell FreeHand MX as a Macromedia product. FreeHand continues to run on Mac OS X Snow Leopard (using an Adobe fix) and on Windows 7.
- Adobe Illustrator is considered an industry leading editor and is more expensive than other similar products. It is primarily developed consistently in line with other Adobe products and such is best integrated with Adobe's Creative Suite packages. The ai file format is a common vector format for exchange and its feature set allows creation of relatively complex vector artwork. Illustrator imports over two dozen formats (including PSD, PDF, SVG) and exports AI, PDF, SVG, SVGZ, GIF, JPG, PNG, WBMP, and SWF. However, the user must be aware of unchecking the "Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities" option if he or she desires to generate interoperable SVG files. The powerhouse of Adobe Illustrator's vector drawing interface is the pen tool and it's set of complementary tools, which offer refined control over curves and anchor points, but do also earn Illustrator criticism[by whom?] for having a steep learning curve.
- Artboard is a Mac OS X-only 2D vector graphics editor designed by Mapdiva LLC. Artboard delivers an extensive library of styles and clip art, and features a powerful style generator. Artboard exports PDF, and 72-600dpi JPG, PNG, and TIF. Artboard is released through the Mac App Store. There is a shorter learning curve for Artboard in comparison to other similar products. A free trial version is available on the Mapdiva website.
- Aviary offers a light, but multi-featured set of vector-editing capabilities and is entirely browser-based. It was built on top of the Adobe Flex framework to be accessed through any browser with Flash 9 installed. It is aimed at offering light collaborative use and teaching new users the introductory concepts behind complex vector editing. It can be used to easily create vector shapes that can be worked on by multiple people with authorship and versioning tracked correctly. It exports to SVG formats and standard bitmap formats like JPG, GIF and PNG. Due to the product being browser based, it works on all major operating systems including Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
- CorelDRAW is an industry-standard editor used in the graphic design, sign making and fashion design industries. CorelDRAW is capable of limited interoperation by reading file formats from Adobe Illustrator. CorelDRAW has an extensive array of more than 50 import and export filters, on-screen and dialog box editing and the ability to create multi-page documents. It can also generate TrueType and Type1 fonts, although refined typographic control is better suited to a more specific application. Some other features of CorelDRAW include the creation and execution of VBA macros, viewing of colour separations in print preview mode and integrated professional imposing options.
- Corel Designer (originally Micrografx Designer) is one of the earliest vector-based graphics editors for the Microsoft Windows platform. The product is mainly used for the creation of engineering drawings and is shipped with extensive libraries for the needs of engineers. It is also flexible enough for most vector graphics design applications.
- Dia is a free and open source diagramming and vector graphics editor available for Windows, Linux and other Unix-based computer operating systems. Dia has a modular design and several shape packages for flowcharting, network diagrams and circuit diagrams. Its design was inspired by Microsoft Visio, although it uses a Single Document Interface similar to other GNOME software (such as The GIMP).
- Drawit is a Mac OS X application. DrawIt is a vector editing application with support for bitmap-like image filters. Vector editing and the filters are completely non-destructive which means that a vector layer can still be edited even after a stack of filters has been applied.
- exoNotes  is an iOS Apple iPad application. exoNotes is a notes taking application with support for vector drawing, text, and text box. Transparent keyboard is over-laid on the canvas to preserve maximum view during editing. Opacity of keyboard is adjustable using 2-finger left-right swipe. Notes can be emailed out as SVG, PDF, JPG. SVG (with .XN extension) can be imported from email attachment. Eight different papers / backgrounds are built-in. Additional papers in SVG format can be imported.
- Fatpaint is a free, light-weight, browser-based graphic design application with built-in vector drawing tools. It can be accessed through any browser with Flash 9 installed. Its integration with Zazzle makes it particularly suitable for people that want to create graphics for custom printed products such as t-shirts, mugs, iPhone cases, flyers and other promotional products.
- Google SketchUp is a free vector graphics program with a paid pro-version. SketchUp is focused primarily on 3D sketching, with many features specifically designed to simplify architectural sketching. Google have integrated an online model sharing database called 3D Warehouse to allow sharing of 3D sketches.
- Inkscape is a free and open source vector editor with the primary native format being SVG. Inkscape is available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X(using X11 environment) and other Unix-based systems. Inkscape can import SVG, SVGZ, AI, and PDF file formats and export SVG, SVGZ, PDF, PostScript, EPS, EPSi, LaTeX and POVRay file formats. Some formats have additional support through Inkscape extensions, including PDF, EPS, Adobe Illustrator, Dia and Sketch.
- Intaglio is a Mac OS X only editor.
- Lineform is a vector editing program designed for Mac OS which is intended to be a cost effective alternative to other similar products. The developer site is located at http://www.freeverse.com/apps/app/?id=6020
- Litha-Paint a web-based vector graphics editor available for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera. Currently it is in the alpha phase of development. It can export SVG and use JPG and PNG images as a background. Users of Litha-Paint can save and share an unlimited number of documents via the Litha-Paint server, as well as uploading their images.
- Mayura Draw is a shareware vector graphics editor for Windows. It is specifically designed to output clean PostScript, and save the drawings in PostScript format.
- Microsoft Visio is a diagramming, flow chart, floor plan and vector graphics editor available for Windows. It is commonly used by small and medium sized businesses, and by Microsoft in their corporate documentation.
- Microsoft Expression Design is a commercial vector and bitmap graphics editor based on Creature House Expression, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2003. It is part of the Microsoft Expression Studio suite. Expression Design is only available for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
- The Omni Group OmniGraffle is a vector graphics editor available for Macintosh. It is principally used for creating flow charts and other diagrams. OmniGraffle imports and exports several formats, including Microsoft Visio, SVG and PDF.
- OpenOffice.org Draw functions as the drawing component and a vector graphics editor of the open source Office suite OpenOffice.org. It supports many import and export file formats but it has no support for importing SVG file formats by default. The grid is fixed in size, and editing can be less flexible than other similar products.
- Serif DrawPlus is a 2D vector graphics editor for the Windows platform.
- sK1 is a free and open source vector editor which is oriented for "prepress ready" PostScript & PDF output. The major sK1 features are CMYK colorspace support; CMYK support in Postscript; Cairo-based engine; Color management; Universal CDR importer (7-X4 versions); Modern Ttk based (former Tile widgets) user interface. sK1 can import ai postscript based, CDR, CDT, CCX, CDRX, CMX, PS, EPS, CGM, WMF, XFIG, SVG, SK, SK1, AFF, PLT file formats. It can export ai, SVG, SK, SK1, CGM, WMF, PDF, PS, PLT file formats.
- Sketsa is a cross-platform vector graphics editor based on SVG that runs on Java 1.5 or higher.
- Swift 3D is a Mac OS X & Windows application for vector and raster-based 3D animations for Adobe Flash and EPS.
- Xara Photo & Graphic Designer and Designer Pro (formerly Xara Xtreme and Xtreme Pro) is a vector graphics editor for Windows. Xara Xtreme LX is a partially open source version for Linux. Xara Photo & Graphic Designer has high usability compared to other similar products and has very fast rendering. Xara Photo & Graphic Designer (and earlier product ArtWorks) was the first vector graphics software product to provide fully antialiased display, advanced gradient fill and transparency tools. The current version supports multi-page documents, and includes a capable integrated photo tool making it an option for any sort of DTP work. The Pro version includes extra features such as Pantone and color separation support, as well as comprehensive web page design features.
The following tables compare general and technical information for a number of vector graphics editors. Please see the individual products' articles for further information. This article is neither all-inclusive nor necessarily up-to-date.
This table gives basic general information about the different vector graphics editors:
Operating system support
This table lists the operating systems that different editors can run on without emulation:
Software Windows Mac OS X Unix iOS Aviary Yes Yes Yes Artboard No Yes No CorelDRAW Graphics Suite Yes Dropped (v. 11) Dropped (v. 9) Macromedia Freehand Yes Yes No Adobe Illustrator Yes Yes No Drawit No Yes No Chittram Yes Yes Yes exoNotes  No No No Yes (iPad) Fatpaint Yes Yes Yes ImageBot Yes Yes Yes Inkscape Yes Yes Yes Intaglio No Yes No MagicTracer Yes No No Mayura Draw Yes No No Microsoft Expression Design Yes No No Microsoft Visio Yes No No OmniGraffle No Yes No Yes (iPad) OpenOffice.org Draw Yes Yes Yes PhotoLine Yes Yes No Serif DrawPlus Yes No No sK1 No Yes (user must compile) Yes Google Sketchup Yes Yes No Sodipodi Yes No Yes Swift 3D Yes Yes No Synfig Yes Yes Yes Xara Photo & Graphic Designer Yes No No Xara Xtreme LX No No Yes ZCubes Yes Partial Partial
Software Maximum page size Maximum zoom Color management for print Scripting support Adobe Illustrator 5.7785 X 5.7785 m 6400% Yes Yes Aviary ? 400% No No CorelDraw Graphics Suite 45.72 X 45.72 m 45000% (estimated) Yes Yes Chittram A0 33.11 x 46.81 In. 2000% No No exoNotes  1024px x 670px 100% No No Fatpaint 8000px x 8000px. Depend on the page size. No No Macromedia Freehand 5.6388 X 5.6388 m 25600% Yes Yes MagicTracer ? 12800% Yes No Microsoft Visio 2002 2147483647 sq. in. 3098% No Yes Microsoft Visio 2003 2147483647 sq. in. 3098% No Yes Inkscape 304.8 X 304.8 km 25600% No Yes Intaglio ? 1600% ? ? OmniGraffle 2,147,483,648 x 2,147,483,648 km 800% Yes Yes OpenOffice.org Draw 119 x 119 cm 3000% No Yes PhotoLine ? 6400% Yes Yes Serif DrawPlus ? 5000% Yes ? sK1 50 X 50 m 3000% Yes Yes Google SketchUp Unlimited Unlimited No Yes Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 2.75 x 2.75 m 25601% Yes No ZCubes unlimited unlimited Yes Yes
File format support
Software AI CDR ODG PS/EPS SVG SWF DXF WMF/EMF XAML Adobe Illustrator Yes Partial No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes ? Aviary No No No No No Yes No No No ? CorelDraw Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes ? exoNotes  No No No No No Partial No No No No Fatpaint No No No No No No No No No No Inkscape Yes Partial No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes ? Intaglio ? ? ? Yes Yes Yes ? ? ? ? Karbon14 No No Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes ? Macromedia Freehand Yes Partial No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No Mayura Draw Yes No No No No No No No Yes ? Microsoft Expression Design 4 Partial No No No No No No No Yes No Microsoft Visio 2002 Yes Partial No Yes No No No Yes Yes ? Microsoft Visio 2003 No No No No No Yes No Yes Yes ? OmniGraffle No No No No Yes No No No No ? OpenOffice.org Draw No No Yes Yes Partial Partial No Yes Yes ? PhotoLine No No No No Yes No No No No ? Serif DrawPlus Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes ? sK1 Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes ? Google SketchUp No No No No Yes No No Yes No ? Sodipodi No No No No No Yes No No No ? Swift 3D Yes No No Yes No No No No No ? Synfig No No No No No Partial No No No ? Xara Photo & Graphic Designer Yes Partial No Yes Yes No No No Yes ? Xara Xtreme for Linux Partial No No Yes Yes Partial No No No ? Software AI CDR ODG PS/EPS SVG SWF DXF WMF/EMF
Software AI CDR ODG PS/EPS SVG SWF LaTeX DXF WMF/EMF TT/T1 fonts XAML PNG JPG Adobe Illustrator Yes No No Yes Yes Partial Yes No Yes Yes No Partial Aviary No No No No No Yes No No No ? No ? Chittram No No No No No Yes No No No No No ? CorelDRAW Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes ? Yes Yes exoNotes  No No No No Yes Yes No No No No No No No Yes Fatpaint No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes ImageBot No No No No Yes Yes No No No No No No Yes Yes Inkscape Partial Partial Yes Yes Partial Yes Partial Yes Yes Yes No Partial Yes Karbon14 No No Yes No Yes Yes No No No Yes No No Macromedia Freehand Partial No No Yes Yes No Yes No No Partial No No Mayura Draw Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No No Microsoft Expression Design 4 No No No No Yes No No No No No No Yes Microsoft Visio 2002 Yes No No Yes No No No No Yes Yes No No Microsoft Visio 2003 No No No No No Yes No No Yes Yes No No OmniGraffle No No No Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No OpenOffice.org Draw No No Yes Yes Yes Partial Yes No No Yes No No PhotoLine No No No No Yes No Yes No No ? No ? Serif DrawPlus No No No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No ? sK1 Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No No Google SketchUp No No No No No No No No Yes No No No Swift 3D Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No ? No ? Xara Photo & Graphic Designer Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No No Yes Yes Xara Xtreme for Linux Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No Software AI CDR ODG PS/EPS SVG SWF LaTeX DXF WMF/EMF TT/T1 fonts XAML PNG JPG
- ^ "Adobe Store-North America: FreeHand MX". Adobe. https://store1.adobe.com/cfusion/store/index.cfm?store=OLS-US&view=ols_prod&category=/Applications/FreeHand&distributionMethod=FULL&nr=0#loc=en_us&category=/Applications/FreeHand&store=OLS-US&view=ols_prod. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
- ^ toptenreviews.com
- ^ "Inkscape FAQ". http://wiki.inkscape.org/wiki/index.php/FAQ#I_exported_an_SVG_file_from_Adobe_Illustrator.2C_edited_it_in_Inkscape.2C_and_imported_back_to_AI.2C_but_there_my_changes_are_lost.21.
- ^ Arah, Tom (January 2008). "Product Reviews: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4". PC Pro. http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/158352/coreldraw-graphics-suite-x4.html. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
- ^ "Unix" includes all Unix-like systems excluding Mac OS X.
- ^ Currently being looked into
- ^ a b Internet Explorer is required for full functionality
- ^ AppleScript only
- ^ "Supported file formats in Illustrator CS4 and CS5". http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/403/kb403880.html. Retrieved 2010-12-01. "CorelDraw 5,6,7,8,9,10"
- ^ Via an extension using UniConvertor. Text elements not converted
- ^ Via an extension using Ghostscript.
- ^ Inkscape 0.47 release notes
- ^ Via an extension using UniConvertor.
- ^ a b "Karbon14 Features". http://www.koffice.org/karbon/features/. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- ^ a b c "Adobe Freehand MX 11.0 - Minimum System Requirements". http://www.adobe.com/uk/products/freehand/productinfo/systemreqs/. Retrieved 2010-12-01. "CorelDraw 7, 8"
- ^ a b AI 88 only
- ^ "Visio2000: File Formats That Can Be Imported into Visio". http://support.microsoft.com/kb/303883. Retrieved 2010-12-01. "You can import the following file formats into your Visio drawings: CorelDRAW! Drawing File versions 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0 and 7.0 (.cdr), Corel Clipart (.cmx)"
- ^ "What you won't find in Microsoft Office Visio 2003". http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/visio-help/what-you-won-t-find-in-microsoft-office-visio-2003-HA001085757.aspx. Retrieved 2010-12-01. "The following file formats and converters are no longer supported:CorelDRAW! 3,0-7.0, Corel Clipart Format, CMX"
- ^ It can export to SVG but cannot import from SVG
- ^ a b c Via an extension
- ^ AI postscript based up to 9 ver.
- ^ Pro version only
- ^ Only SVG 1.0 Specification is supported since Synfig 0.62.00
- ^ Imports only up to version 8.0 AI files, newer AI file versions needs to save as "AI (V8.0)" or PDF files
- ^ a b c "Xara Designer - Import and Export". http://www.xara.com/eu/products/designer/features/feature?id=8. Retrieved 2010-12-01. "early versions of CorelDRAW CDR and CMX"
- ^ a b "What can Xara Xtreme for Linux do now?". http://www.xaraxtreme.org/Developers/what-can-xara-xtreme-for-linux-do-now.html. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- ^ "Adobe Illustrator CS4 - Save in SVG format". http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Illustrator/14.0/WS714a382cdf7d304e7e07d0100196cbc5f-655ba.html. Retrieved 2010-04-01.
- ^ "Inkscape FAQ". http://wiki.inkscape.org/wiki/index.php/FAQ#I_exported_an_SVG_file_from_Adobe_Illustrator.2C_edited_it_in_Inkscape.2C_and_imported_back_to_AI.2C_but_there_my_changes_are_lost.21.
- ^ Via an external plug-in
- ^ Via UniConvertor (UC) and only on UNIX/Linux, only paths with flat fill and stroke are supported as of UC 1.0. Available in version 0.46.
- ^ Support for many features is limited
- ^ Via the Swftools extension
- ^ Produces only Canvas based Shape drawings
- ^ 
- Vector graphics editor
- List of vector graphics editors
- Comparison of graphics file formats
- Raster graphics
- Comparison of raster graphics editors
- Comparison of 3D computer graphics software
- Slashdot discussion about a VGE list - loads more data for comparison.
- Math Games: Vector vs Raster (maa.org) - Incorporates Slashdot suggestions (above) for 65 vector graphics editors.
- Comparisons between Inkscape and various similar applications
- CNet review of web-based vector editor
- Import capabilities of Scribus, OpenOffice.org, Inkscape, GIMP, and Krita — Scribus wiki
Still vector graphics editors Open source ProprietaryCategory • Comparison • List
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