Open Source Graphics Editors

There are lots of commercial graphics editors available, which are having great features. But I’m listing here few open source graphics editors, which can be downloaded and used freely and few of them are having same features like any other commercial graphics editor software.

These software wont replace your favorite graphics editors like photoshop and others but some of them are alternatives for those who don’t want to spend the big bucks. You can use these tools for some specific tasks like resizing a batch of picture etc.

1. GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a freely distributed program for tasks like photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.

GIMP features can be extended with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted. File formats supported include bmp, gif, jpeg, mng, pcx, pdf, png, ps, psd, svg, tiff, tga, xpm, and many others.

GIMP supported platforms are UNIX / Linux ,MS Windows and Mac OS X.

2. Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X. Inkscape is fully compliant with the XML, SVG, and CSS standards.

inkscape graphics editor

Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features like markers, clones, alpha blending, etc. It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more.

Inkscape has multi-lingual support and runs on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Unix / Linux.

3. Ipe is a free vector graphics editor for creating figures in PDF or EPS format. It can be used for making small figures for inclusion into LaTeX documents as well as making multi-page PDF presentations.

Ipe can be used to draw geometric objects such as poly lines, arcs and spline curves and text. Ipe supports use of layers and multiple pages. It can paste bitmap images from clipboard or import from JPEG or BMP, and also through a conversion software it can import PDF figures generated by other software.

Ipe can be extended by adding different plugins and can be compiled on Unix and Windows.

4. Karbon14 is a vector drawing application with an user interface that is easy to use, highly customizable and extensible. It is a component of KOffice, the KDE office suite.

With this tool you can create clipart, logos, illustrations or photorealistic vector images easily. It can be extended by writing plugins for new tools, shapes and dockers. It supports loading of ODG, SVG, WPG, WMF, EPS/PS file types and writing of ODG, SVG, PNG, PDF, WMF.

5. sk1 is an open-source illustration program that can substitute professional proprietary software like Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator. Unique features of this tool are CorelDRAW formats importers, tabbed multidocument interface, Cairo-based engine, and color management.

It runs on GNU Linux and support for other platforms are scheduled.

6. Xara Xtreme for Linux is a powerful, general purpose graphics program for Unix platforms including Linux, FreeBSD and (in development) OS-X.

Formely known as Xara LX, it is based on Xara Xtreme for Windows. Xara Xtreme for Linux can be downloaded from here.