Inkscape is an open source, feature-full vector graphics environment with capabilities similar to Adobe Illustrator. Inkscape uses the W3C standard SVG file format. It supports many advanced SVG features like markers, clones, alpha blending and so on.
What is more, Inkscape is cross platform and is available for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X platforms.
What is vector graphics ?
Vector graphics is a resolution-independent description of the actual shapes and objects that you see in the image. A rasterization engine uses this information to determine how to plot each line and curve at any resolution or zoom level. If you want to create design compositions, logos, images with text, technical illustrations, and so on, you should use a vector graphics editor.
While a copy of Adobe Illustrator costs around $600, Inkscape is free, which makes it affordable for lay persons and home users to learn to use this very powerful albeit user friendly graphics software. It is mostly true that Inkscape does not support all the features of Adobe Illustrator. However, it’s development is advancing at a steady pace to make it a viable contender in the Vector graphics software market.
Inkscape in it’s current form is stable and very usable. For example, you can use Inkscape to create colorful text effects, design business cards, render realistic objects, logos, and illustrations.
The latest release of Inkscape namely version 0.47 adds many new features to an already powerful toolset. Some of them being numerous enhancements to the existing tools – pen and pencil tool, eraser tool, tweak tool, text tool, and so on. Inkscape -.47 has gained new extensions, and new filters that add special effects to your images, SVG improvements, and interface enhancements.
Nathan Willis provides the nitty gritty details of what you can expect from the latest version of Inkscape aka ver 0.47. Read the article at Worldlabels blog.