Inkscape, Free Vector Graphics Editor

For some of the things we did for the wedding, we needed to produce graphics to be inserted in programs, printed on tins, and so on. For all of these, I used the free open-source editor Inkscape.

I’ve used it for a long time, and I like it because:

  • It’s free to download and use, and open-source
  • It’s multi-platform, so it runs on my Linux box and Cassie’s Macbook
  • It’s a vector graphics editor, so moving and arranging shapes is easy
  • It can open PDF files (you’ll see why this is useful) as well as many other formats, including
  • SVG, which it uses as its native format

The reason PDF import is useful is that when the invitations and RSVP cards were being designed, we were sent a PDF proof of the design for approval before they went to print. I was able to open this file, and grab certain bits of the design to tweak for use in the other items we needed graphics for. A bit naughty, I guess, but whatever – I’m no challenge to a professional designer.

Inkscape is currently at version 0.48.1, so it’s still very much a work in progress, but there is an active development community, and it’s pretty much the only game in town for open-source vector editing that isn’t trying to be a business flowchart generator.

There are some quirks, like needing to run a weird X11 thing on Cassie’s Macbook, and some of the tools aren’t that intuitive, but you can’t beat the price, and I like using open-source software. I may even drop some coins in their box.