A Vector image is an image designed through a commands that place lines and shapes in a given 3D or 2D dimensional images . For our convenience as well as compatibility in other devices, a vector image is converted into a raster graphics image (PNG or JPG).
When we hear the word graphic editor, we immediately think of Photoshop. However, Photoshop is really good for raster images; but when it comes to vector images, it can only do a few basic tasks.
For creating and editing a vector image, you need a dedicated program. Here are 10 of the best free graphic editors that specialize in Vector Images.
Inkscape is one of the best professional vector graphic editors for Windows, Mac and Linux. It’s free and open source. It is a full-fledged desktop vector editor and which is used by illustrators, designers, web designers or anyone who needs to create vector images. You can also use Inkscape for editing some raster formats, such as PNG.
Vectr is a free graphics software used to create vector graphics easily and intuitively. It’s got a relatively simple interface which is ideal for beginners. You can either download it for free (Windows, Mac, Linux or Chromebook) or use it online.
DrawPlus Starter Edition is basically a drawing and graphics program that helps you create vector graphics and more. It has a free license with limited features. It is a powerful yet easy to use tool. You have to register using an email address to use the program.
Fatpaint is a web-based vector as well as a ratster image editor. It is inferior in features as compared to its desktop counterparts but it is very efficient for quick fixes and minor edits. One of its notable features is the 3-D text manipulation abilities.
LibreOffice Draw is a part of the LibreOffice Suite for Windows, Mac and Linux. It is a good desktop vector image editor and can be used to create vector images from scratch or to change existing ones. You can use this program specially for technical drawings, flow charts and diagrams.
RollApp is the cloud-based online version of Inkscape. It allows features like Inkscape plus integration with Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, and a few other cloud storage providers. However, if you work with large files and/or your Internet connection is unreliable, you might not be able to work as smoothly as on your desktop.
SVG, which stands for Scalable Vector Graphics, is an open format that allows you to reproduce your Vector drawings programmatically. SVG-Edit is a web-based open source program which can be used for creating and editing documents as well as downloading and modifying the code to make your own version.
Dia is a free program for Linux, Unix, Mac OS X and Windows. Dia is used to draw structured diagrams and supports more than 30 different diagram types like flowcharts, network diagrams, database models. It can also be used to read and write a number of raster and vector image formats.
Draw is a part of the Apache OpenOffice suite, which enables us to work upon visuals and diagrams. It is a really good program for technical or general posters. You can import graphics from all common formats (including BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and WMF). Draw also has a free feature to create Flash (.swf) versions of your work.
Microsoft Expression Design is a creative designing tool for designers and developers who want to build graphics for their application or user interfaces, the web, or any other medium. It is very useful with Microsoft Office as it supports WMF and EMF file formats. The software has an good Manual which facilitates slicing, which means that you can export parts of the drawing without exporting the entire drawing.
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I have already discussed the Top Free Vector Graphics Editors for beginners as well as experts. The programs mentioned above should be enough for performing all sort of creative editing in your vector and in some cases, raster images. Nevertheless, if you want to use certain specialized functions of some premium software, here are a few of the Top Paid Software for Vector Graphics Editing that you can download for a free trial.
Adobe Illustrator is the standard vector graphics tool that lets you to create icons, drawing, logos and complex illustrations for web apps, mobile, prints and video. It is a part of the Adobe Creative Cloud and works for Windows and Mac and can also work on smartphones and tablets using the Illustrator Draw companion app.
Sketch is a proprietary vector graphics editor for MacOS. It is a light-weight package that provides power, flexibility and speed for its operations. It is ideal for modern graphic designers. Sketch features a flexible workflow with support for Multiple Pages and Artboards. Powerful features like Symbols and Shared Styles are there to make reusing elements quick and easy. Your data syncs up on the cloud server which you can use using other apple devices (Mac book, iPhone, iPad).
These graphic editors for vector images are all efficient in their own way, but it all depends on what you need them for. A beginner looking to start working with vector images would prefer going for Vectr and a statistical analyst who has to work with a lot of graphs and charts would go for Dia because a professional graphic designer who needs extra functionality might prefer using a paid software like Adobe Illustrator CC or Sketch. My opinion is to go for Inkscape, as you can get most of the premium features present in the paid software for free.