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Scalable Vector Graphic Program (FREE)

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Working with raster images in a regular graphics program  is easy and most of the time it  ‘fits the bill’ as long as you don’t need to scale an image. However, if you find yourself needing a vector image or maybe needing to convert a raster image to a vector – so you can scale it without loosing the integrity of the image – you’ll find you need and must have a vector program. You’ll also find that most of the good vector programs, i.e., Illustrator, Corel Draw, etc. are quite expensive. [ Read about the differences between raster and vector images here. ]

Inkscape

That’s why you’re going to love this week’s FREE down-loadable program – Inkscape. This program is an “Open Source Scalable Vector Graphics Editor” for creating SVG formatted files –  similar to Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw and Xara X – but for free.  Inkscape offers a myriad of functions that allow you to perform tasks comparable to the high-end programs.  Some of the tasks featured include use of:

  • Markers
  • Clones
  • Alpha Blending
  • Text Tools
  • Editing of multiple paths at same time
  • and much more

The screen shots above are some of the effects generated using Inkscape.

Getting Started

With this program you can create new vector images and/or convert an existing raster image into a vector. Conversion is easily done by either scanning the raster image into the Inkscape program or importing an image  file (raster).

Note: If you plan to import an image file to convert, it will need to be in Bitmap format first. Once your raster image has been imported, you will be able to work with it however you like.

 

In addition to everything else this program offers, you’ll be able to create unique graphics from a wide variety of shapes.  You’re sure to find many creative uses for them on your web page, blog, affiliate marketing site or build your own e-book and report covers with the 3-D option. You also have the ability to re-shape, color and label them with text as you like. Some of the shapes are:

  • Rectangles and squares
  • 3-D Boxes
  • Circles, ellipses and arcs
  • Stars and polygons
  • Spirals
  • Bezier curves and straight lines
  • Calligraphic strokes
  • Draw freehand

 Conclusion

If all of this seems daunting, don’t worry, the Inkscape program has a Help tab  along the top icon bar with access to information categories. Some of which are . . .

  • Inkscape Manual
  • Keys and Mouse References
  • Ask a Question
  • Tutorials
  • FAQ
  • About Us

Just about everything you might need to assist you in maximizing your use of this program has been covered in the Help section.   However, if you find you still need assistance, try one of the links on the Inkscape home page under Community.  Here you’ll find more FAQ’s, a Forum as well as a Discussion group. Download your copy of  Inkscape from http://inkscape.org/.


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