Inkscape is a popular open source graphic application that started as a code fork from the Sodipodi project. The main benefit to this application is due to its continual open source status, developers can download the application and create more features and submit them back to the Inkscape and SourceForge communities.
The application at its core is a vector graphics editor. Features can be broken down into sections which are: object creation, object manipulation and styling of an object. Under the object creation section, application users can create a wide range of objects that include rectangles, ellipses, text, clones, 3D objects and even bitmap images. The main object creations come from using either the Pencil tool or Pen tool, which allows for path creation freehand. Under the object manipulation section there are features that allow for moving, scaling, skewing and rotating an object as well as being able to transform an object through the Transform dialog. Under the styling of an object section, users can fill by color or pattern and adjust the fill feature for stroke style, opacity and use various filters like the Gaussian blur.
Additional features that come with Inkscape are as follows:
- Object Masks
- Clipping Object Paths
- Copy Object Style to Clipboard
- Tweak tool allows for changing individual paths
- Object Text Editing in Canvas
The above image to the left is an example of a finished vector graphic created using Inkscape. Created for an Inkscape new release contest the image as shown was made entirely using the free vector software application. The quality and user friendly interface have been compared with more expensive vector software applications, often with the same object and image rendering result. For more information on this free vector application and to get started with your own copy of the software, visit their main web site at: www.inkscape.org