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29 Vector Drawing Programs

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the drawling-lahns dept.

Graphics 329

Ed Pegg writes "I did a survey of all available vector-based drawing programs, in anticipation of SVG in the next Firefox. I found 29 different vector drawing programs. Of these, 14 were free or open source. More than I expected. Did I miss any good ones?"

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Xizer (794030) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219845)



Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13219922)

Not even funny anymore. Plus, you're over two weeks late, moron.

uhhh... Helllllooooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13220103)

You get down on the GP for being a moron who took 2 weeks to read a simple book that should have taken only 5-8 hours assuming that the GP was even a decent reader.

Has it dawned on you that maybe the reader is a moron? Likewise, I would have to call you a CLOD, for getting after the moron.

The chick in "The Crying game" is really a dude. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13219958)

The chick in "The Crying game" is really a dude.

Darth Vader is really Luke's father! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13219966)

Darth Vader is really Luke's father!

Adama is a Cylon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13219978)

Adama is a Cylon.


Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13220059)

what's a snape? what's a dumbledore? i don't get it.

More importantly... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13219848)

Did I miss any good ones?

More importantly, did you FIND any good ones? (and could you have written a less informative post?)

Re:More importantly... (1)

Teraka (904430) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219988)

Here's a decent one that got missed.. Vista FX ( [] is a vector based diagramming tool. It's pretty good for collision diagramming.. it could have other uses as well..

Re:More importantly... (1)

kryten_nl (863119) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220050)

You know that, that company has only a year until a legal-cost-induced-bankruptcy, don't you?

Windows Vista is comming..., run, hide or install Linux .

Re:More importantly... (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220003)

Don't you have homework to do?

Despite the fact /. is on google news (1)

tod_miller (792541) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220015)

and could you have written a less informative post?

it is not a news source, it is a NewsSource[], where each element is a pointer (reference in post 1990's terms) to a news source, which is an informatve article.

The job of the post is to describe the contents of the news source, which it did quite accurately.

It is the job of coral cache, mirrordot and karma whores [and assholes like piquepaille] to mirror the content verbatim.

To answer your rhetorical question (every rhetorical question deserves an answer ;-) - yes he could have written a less informative post:

He could have omitted the topic of the article, and the URL of the article, which would have been rather fun.

Ergo cogito sum a genius.

To confirm you're not a script,
please type the word in this image: digitize

(Can we have British English automated-human test images please, you insensitive clods!)

OmniGraffle (1)

philipgar (595691) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219854)

I've found that for producing vector figures (mostly for research papers) OmniGraffle is pretty amazing. Its not free, but supports far more features than dia (such as helping you auto align and create symmetric figures). Also the interface seems nice and well done.


Re:OmniGraffle (1)

Compuser (14899) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219866)

How does it compare with Illustrator?
Does it do CMYK? Does it do exports in a good
variety of formats? Does it handle page layout
issues so printing people (at places like
Science and Nature) are happy?

Re:OmniGraffle (1)

Juanvaldes (544895) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219883)

Doubt it can replace illustrator. Do not believe it supports CMYK. Many export options. No clue about the last one, but you can almost poke around the website [] .

Re:OmniGraffle (1)

philipgar (595691) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219900)

I haven't actually used it enough to compare it, and I have no real experience with Illustrator. I don't have too great of needs when it comes to vector graphics. Mostly making diagrams consisting of circles, arrows, boxes and text. For that purpose you really don't need anything too fancy, but I found OmniGraffle much easier to use and line up objects to make them look good than Dia (although running dia remotely on a dual xeon vs OmniGraffle on my ibook was a big plus for dia).

As for CMYK, I know there are options for it. I haven't played with it much. Check out [] for more details. While its OSX only, I presume you use those enough if youre involved with desktop publishing you have macs available. I'd reccomend downloading their free demo and giving it a try. If nothing else its much cheaper than illustrator depending on your needs.


Re:OmniGraffle (1)

buckhead_buddy (186384) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219981)

I am not the original poster, but I've used OmniGraffle:

It has a long NeXT heritage means GnuStep and Mac OS X are the targeted OS's. Others may be a challenge.

In my opinion, OmniGraffle excels at diagramming office graphics rather than print graphics (Illustrator) or drafting graphics (CAD). But templates exist for circuit diagrams, UML, and many other technical domains.

The big features I like in OmniGraffle are:

  • AutoLayout - Makes a first pass at arranging your data.
  • Connection Magnets - very flexible "snap to" points
  • Nifty shadow tools - impress the boss with
  • Action buttons - create simple navigation scripts to walk the boss through the document.
It will export in CMYK, but whether these are the NeXTStep Libraries or something custom to Omni, I don't know. It exports in PDF and EPS vector formats, PNG, TIF, and JPG for bitmaps, as well as a proprietary format and an HTML image map.

Its layers, grids, and page sizes are all user definable, but use the defaults from your chosen printer to start with. It has text handling prefs for text overflowing an object that it's placed in, but this isn't a Quark killer by any means.

Personally, I like Freehand as my vector tool of choice for artwork, but OmniGraffle is great for a quick and dirty diagram especially if its text heavy or has lots of often changing connection lines.

Good for diagrams and flowcharts (1)

green pizza (159161) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219886)

I use OmniGraffle 3.0 [] for doing diagrams and charts. It works absolutely fantastic for that (once you figure out the somewhat strange shapes palette so you can import several thousand additional figures). It's easy to use and the output is beautiful, I love the nice vector shadows and such, they print out really nicely. I wouldn't use this app for designing logos or other artwork though, it's pretty much strictly a diagraming program, I suppose that's why it supports Visio file formats, but not Corel Draw formats.

BTW, Apple G5 and PowerBook G4 systems have shipped with OmniGraffle (and OmniOutliner plus some other third party software) for the past couple years, so you might already have it preinstalled (or at least available in the "additional software" bundle on the CD that shipped with your G5 or PowerBook).

Re:Good for diagrams and flowcharts (1)

Charles Jo (862028) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219917)

Agreed. It's a fantastic application with a good UI. It's what I imagined Freehand to evolve into.

Re:Good for diagrams and flowcharts (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220018)

I've read through all of this thread and haven't found a mention of Inkscape [] yet. Don't know how it compares with others out there, but I've just started using it and find it kind of fun. Good for my basic requirements, anyway.

Inkscape (1)

jrtom (821901) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220089)

You probably haven't seen it mentioned because it's one of those listed in TFA. Which, you know, might be worth R-ing before you post. :)

PoTrace (Polygon Tracer) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13219976)

I find [] works very well for converting black and white bitmaps to SVG or other vector formats.

Re:PoTrace (Polygon Tracer) (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220057)

I've found that autotrace [] also works quite well and supports colour images.

You missed one (3, Interesting)

lakeland (218447) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219860)

cat >
10 10 moveto
50 50 lineto

Perhaps cat is not the easiest to use, but it easily the most powerful and easier to control from another program! It can also be trivially scripted to produce eps and pdf, or later updated with $EDITOR.

Re:You missed one (1)

macklin01 (760841) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219875)

Mod this up! This sort of technique really came in handy when I needed to add some arrows to a LaTeX figure just before submitted a research paper for review last week. The necessary steps:

  1. Google for "draw lines in eps". Result: Drawing and Filling Shapes []
  2. Read just enough to get going.
  3. Insert the few commands at the end of the eps file in a simple text editor.
  4. ...?
  5. profit!

All in all, it took maybe 30 minutes to go from 0 to 60. A very powerful tool. Also not bad for editing captions, labels, etc. -- Paul

A *good* PS / EPS tutorial somewhere? (2, Interesting)

green pizza (159161) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219902)

I've googled for PS / EPS tutorials a few times and I either find really basic documentation or overly detailed low level documentation. I would like to know how to lay out a basic "newsletter" style document in PS.

I basiclly want to learn how to create a letter (or A4) sized self contained PS document that contains the following:
* Embedded EPS logo in the upper right hand corner
* Large typeface header text to the left of the logo
* A line across the page
* Date / Issue / etc information on one line of text across the page
* Another line across the page
* A bunch of text presented in three columns
* An embedded raster image somewhere in the text

Yeah, I know I'm far better off to use a real DTP program, or at least do this in TeX / LaTeX. But I think it's simple enough to where it shouldn't be too impossible to do with straight PS and some sort of way to embed the EPS and raster images.

Anyone have any pointers?

Re:A *good* PS / EPS tutorial somewhere? (2, Informative)

josh42 (777633) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219928)

Short answer: It's more complex than you think.

To PostScript, a letter/word/line is just another shape that can be put on the page. You'd need to break lines manually, control line spacing yourself, etc. Want it justified? Forget it.

You'd be much better off using (La)TeX for this sort of thing.

Re:A *good* PS / EPS tutorial somewhere? (1)

green pizza (159161) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219945)


Well, is is a good excuse to finally learn TeX. But it's bad news for my idea of a lightweight newsletter generator. (At least without a bunch of additional support software).

I was hoping "all" I would need would be ps2pdf. Heh. Silly me.

Re:A *good* PS / EPS tutorial somewhere? (1)

theapodan (737488) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219995)

Troff/Groff can generate PS output, and is generally considerably smaller than TeX.

Not to mention troff is easier to use, and I think has nicer looking output.

Re:A *good* PS / EPS tutorial somewhere? (1)

Dahan (130247) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220012)

I would like to know how to lay out a basic "newsletter" style document in PS.

Personally, I don't think hand-coding your own PS routines to do something like that is really practical, but if you really want to do it, Don Lancaster [] has what you need. The guy is a (mad) genius with PostScript.

Re:A *good* PS / EPS tutorial somewhere? (1)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220024)

I have to agree with the other poster, LaTeX is by far going to be the easiest and most efficient way to do this. The quickest way to get it done is to just extend an existing document class and make your own. It's actually easier than it may sound - you can probably mostly just inherit from the article class and do a renewcommand on maketitle (copy and paste out of article.cls then edit it to suit your needs) Grab the multicol package to do your three columns.


Re:A *good* PS / EPS tutorial somewhere? (1)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220107)

In fact, I'll go ne better - it's pretty easy to knock these things up once you've done a couple, so here's my quick and dirty version of what you described:
\ProvidesPackage{newslet ter}
\LoadClass[a4paper,12pt]{article}[2000/01/01 ]
%Load Required Packages
\RequirePacka ge{graphicx}
      \def\@makefnmark{\rlap{\@textsuperscript{\normalfo nt\@thefnmark}}}%
    \long\def\@makefntext##1{\parindent 1em\noindent
                \hss\@textsuperscript{\normalfont\@thefnmark}}##1} %
    \global\@topnum\z@ % Prevents figures from going at top of page.
\global\let\maketitle\r elax\global\let\@maketitle\relax
\global\let\@dat e\@empty\global\let\@title\@empty\global\let\@issu e\@empty
\global\let\title\relax\global\let\date\ relax\global\let\issue\relax
    {\Huge Name of Newsletter}\includegraphics{your_logo_here.eps}
    \par\vskip 0.4em%
    \@title & \@issue & \@date\\
    \vskip 1em%
  \vskip 1.5em}
\addtolength{\te xtheight}{48pt}
\ AtBeginDocument{%
\begin{multicols}{3 }
You will most likely want to play with the lengths and other settings a bit, but that should at least give you a good template to work from. Oh, and watch for spaces and crap that slashdot has inserted... Given that as a document class a newsletter then just becomes:
\title{Title you want to use}
\issue{Isse No. 42}
\date{If you want to use something other than compilation date}
Start writing your newsletter.
And all the rest should happily take care of itself.


Re:You missed one (2, Funny)

02bunced (846144) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219915)

What about thick black permenant marker of the front of the screen? Makes a good drawing program in my experiance!

Re:You missed one (1)

Acaila (259043) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219990)

Dont forget ps2 for all your different format needs!

Re:You missed one (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219993)

What about cat > file.svg ? ; )

Re:You missed one (1)

professorfalcon (713985) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220102)

And here's the Windows port: echo. >file.svg

Re:You missed one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13220007)

for more info about PS, there is an great free book online []


Re:You missed one (1)

donweel (304991) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220077)

I have used the forth language to write some programs in the past and that ps code example is similar. Puting parameters on the stack then calling the function "10 10 moveto". I alwas thought that ps script was an extension of the forth language.

SHOVE SVG UP YER BUTT! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13219865)

swivel on it!

There is no dia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13219867)

Only ZuL

Yes, You missed one. (3, Funny)

tonywestonuk (261622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219869)

... a vector drawing program, that IS what you wanted..... No? Try here: Virtual Etch-a-sketch [] (Flash required). Cheers.

You forgot notepad (4, Insightful)

dnixon112 (663069) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219877)

<?xml version="1.0" standalone="no"?>
<!DOCTYPE svg PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD SVG 1.1//EN"
  "" >
<svg width="12cm" height="4cm" viewBox="0 0 1200 400"
     xmlns="" version="1.1">
<rect x="1" y="1" width="1198" height="398"
        fill="none" stroke="blue" stroke-width="2" />
<circle cx="600" cy="200" r="100" fill="red" stroke="blue" stroke-width="10" />

Re:You forgot notepad (1)

Keamos (857162) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219926)


Re:You forgot notepad (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220001)


The mods are obviously worried about kicking of one of those "Which is better, vi, emacs or Notepad.exe?" flamewars.

Re:You forgot notepad (1)

kryten_nl (863119) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220067)

Can you imagine, the vi people AND the emacs people ganging up on the sole notepad defender. There is one advantage, that there will only be six liters of blood on the floor...

Re:You forgot notepad (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220068)

I guess that depends on if you want a good text editor, a good OS, or something else.

Re:You forgot notepad (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220004)


as you can see in other messages, it's good pratice to supply a link to the tool so that we can download and test it. Does anyone have a link?

Hey mods! (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220009)

Why is this flamebait, when the post above saying the same thing but with PostScript and cat was (4, Interesting)? Is it that you don't like SVG, or don't like Notepad, or are you all just on crack?

Oh my, that was so offensive YOU FLAMER! (1)

wilsonao (888480) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220035)

Have some respect for notepad you insensitive clod.

Adobe Illustrator to Avalon/XAML (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13219878)

Here's an interesting one too. Check out the export from Adobe Illustrator to Microsoft's Avalon/Vista format [] . The Eye Candy page [] is pretty cool. Amazing fidelity for a user interface technology. It's not SVG, but it's a very similar technology.

Freehand v Frustrator (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219884)

The article notes:

Adobe is buying Macromedia, might vanish.

Might? MIGHT????

Dude, FH has hada tube up its nose for years, and now that Adobe has it in its clutches, it's good as GONE. Which is a terrible shame, because I prefer FH to AI any day of the week. It was much more intuitive, and it had MULTIPLE PAGES (like DUH!) and was generally just a Better Application. What pissed me off with FH was it had a persistent memory leak in vers 9, 10, and MX, which they never properly fixed. But even with crashing twice a day, it was SO much easier to use.

AI has a long way to go to match FH, and now that FH is deader than a corporlite, they have no need to improve AI. I would expect AI to simply sit and suck for the rest of eternity until they finally roll it into Phootoshop 14 or whatever.

Time to go smoke some weed and look into those Freeware options...


Re:Freehand v Frustrator (1)

green pizza (159161) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219931)

I would expect AI to simply sit and suck for the rest of eternity until they finally roll it into Phootoshop 14 or whatever.
If Adobe was ever going to roll AI into Photoshop, they would have done it around version 3.0 when they added layers. I highly doubt they will ever merge the two applications, Adobe would much rather sell you two applications than just one.

If you want a good alternative to AI, check out Corel Draw. Seriously. It's a great app once you learn its quirks. Even Corel Photopaint is a worthy competitior to Photoshop. But like Dangerfield, Corel doesn't get no respect.

Re:Freehand v Frustrator (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219975)

I use Corel Photopaint every day. I have Photoshop, PSP, etc. but they don't get used unless I need a specific feature that Photopaint lacks (and most Photoshop filters work with Photopaint). Photopaint is way easier to use, and much faster on the same hardware. (Tho I much prefer v8.0 to later versions, which are starting to pick up some of Photoshop's user-hostile traits.)

Re:Freehand v Frustrator (1)

Huring (757464) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219963)

Multiple pages?!

Use the right tool for the right job. The name is a dead giveaway - Illustrator - as in illustrations. It's not called Adobe BrochureMaker...

Re:Freehand v Frustrator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13220060)

Illustrator can do multiple pages using page tiling. it's annoying to use, but it's not like it's missing the ability to create multi-page documents.

vectors on the web (1)

Waltre (523056) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219887)

If SVG gets more support and consequently, further developed for web use, it will be a kickarse format to work with.

Consider that when graphics are published as part of a layout on the web, a big variable that needs to be considered is resolution of users screen (and whether they're browsing with a maximised browser).

A good SVG toolkit with STANDARDISED browsers (yes, I'm talking to you, IE) will mean we can finally tag a div as width="80%", put an image in it as "100%", "100%" and forget about how the image renders based on resolution.

Of course, just because Firefox is supporting it, doesn't mean IE will follow suit. But we can all hope.

Fireworks... (1)

bl4nk (607569) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219889)

You got Macromedia Flash (vector movies), Freehand, but you left out Fireworks. Fireworks being Macromedia's (now Adobe) equivalent of Illustrator.

Re:Fireworks... (1)

rh2600 (530311) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220075)

Actually it ain't... *Freehand* is Macromedia's version of Illustrator. Fireworks *should* be included however, as it does support vector shapes and images, much like MS Acrylic.

You're and idiot (1)

GoClick (775762) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220098)

So is Firefox Mozilla's version of Internet Explorer or Mosaic?

The truth is FreeHand and Illustrator are VERY different programs, their even for different things, SHOCK!

I use FreeHand almost every day, I used to use Illustrator but I found FreeHand is a much better tool at a better price, tho learning to use it was considerably harder than Illustrator.

Also the FreeHand project started in 1988 which is plenty long enough ago to consider it a different product than Illustrator.

Sure we can go back and forth over which product is better but why bother?

I'd rather design a logo in Illustrator and I'd rather design a poster with that logo in FreeHand.

Weird Grouping (3, Insightful)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219893)

Ok... I can kind of understand why this could be helpful to someone looking for a vector drawing program for some purpose, but the programs on that list do such different things. CAD graphics are for one thing, vector illustration is another, graphing programs are yet another. Even included a vector animation program. Sure, they all use a particular method of calculating objects, but that's about it.

Can you imagine trying to do an ad layout with AutoCAD? How about trying to do animated web graphics with a graphic program.

This chart is pretty much useless, except for listing what standards formats each can handle.

Re:Weird Grouping (1)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219898)

Err... should have previewed. That should be:
web graphics with a graphing program.

instead of:
web graphics with a graphic program.

Another one (0)

McFig (904061) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219895)

Nice summary! What about Visio? I know it's got lots of other features, but it's also got some basics. (I haven't explored its export functionality). In the same vein - sad to say, I've often found myself using Word's 'Drawing Toolbar'. The UI's clunky and I wouldn't be surprised if exporting to other formats is not fun. Thoughts?

Re:Another one (1)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220041)

In the Win 3.1 days I used to use Powerpoint to create WMF files.
It worked surprisingly well.

Visio is really more useful as toilet paper (1)

wilsonao (888480) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220051)

It is by far the worst product Microsoft has ever made that I've had the honor of pooping on... And I've had lots of honors...

That's what you get (1)

B1ackDragon (543470) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219901)

for slashdotting drunk at 2 am. Tsk tsk.

AutoCAD and Illustrator? and where is... (2, Insightful)

RandWalker (903696) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219905)

Of these, I've used Autocad LT since 1998, but their latest upgrade price ($349.00) seems high. I've found Illustrator and CorelDraw more powerful.

AutoCAD and Illustrator are for completely different audience. I get a lot of plots from Matlab; and Illustrator is a good package to make some touch up to the graphs. I would never use AutoCAD for that. But you really can't say which one is more powerful.

And where is XFig???

Re:AutoCAD and Illustrator? and where is... (1)

Volvogga (867092) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220079)

I agree. More powerfull for what? Any CAD program has a mindboggling amount of mathimatical formula programmed into it. Also, if he is worried about LT's price, what would he have said to AutoCAD or any other full blown CAD program at a few grand a licence?

If we are counting CAD programs as something to be used as webpage design, then, ya, you missed a bunch.

Anvil, CADvance, all the ones on this page [] , and many more.

OmniGraffle (1)

brindle (8241) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219909)

OmniGraffler has been around for a while on OS X and uses PDF drawing functionality that is accessible to OS X programmers. Its a good Vector based program. The developers are longtime developers on the OS X platform and have given the program a polished look and an intuitive feel. I rarely use Illustrator or Fireworks.

Saves in the PDF format which is nice because most Adobe products can handle PDF files.


Missed TGIF (2, Informative)

saikatguha266 (688325) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219912)

TGIF [] is a very nice vector drawing program. It is a very highly evolved version of xfig (but with better UI than xfig -- not gtk or qt though). It exports to a whole slew of vector formats -- my favourite being LaTeX and EPS. I don't leave home without it. ... Then again, I don't leave home much. :-p

SVG Icons (2, Interesting)

ochinko (19311) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219919)

I've always wondered why rendering of scalable icons isn't relegated to the font server. Seems to me that all the needed code is already there.

Re:SVG Icons (2, Informative)

akzeac (862521) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220076)

AFAIK they are optimized directly for font rendering (black/white or black with grey tones), while SVG requires colors, gradients, multiple transparencies, textures and so on.

Re:SVG Icons (1)

ear1grey (697747) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220093)

I've always wondered why rendering of scalable icons isn't relegated to the font server. Seems to me that all the needed code is already there.

That is a very good idea.

I think the main reson for not doing it is that, by shifting rendering up to a server from the client, the ability to scale dynamically (without a round trip to the server for each component) is lost. I find myself using the firefox scroll-wheel scaling more and more as my eyes get old and lazy, so personally I'd generate a lot of extra traffic.

The real potential for the concept is in easing the transition to SVG for users of older browsers. Content negotiation could easily handle the decision of whether to send the SVG original or a dynamically generated version... but this is all too obvious, it must exist already, right? Please someone tell me there's an apache plugin.

smartdraw and visio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13219939)

no text

Good news here! (-1, Offtopic)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219944)

I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance!



chemical drawing programs (1)

beda (158888) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219946)

Well, for chemistry vector graphics is the most natural format, so all the chemical drawing programs out there are in fact specialized vector drawing programs. As example I would mention BKchem (URL:>) that uses SVG as its native format with private data embedded inside in a different namespace.

What about.. (1)

paul.schulz (75696) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219947)

What about 'xfig'?

And going back a little further, 'macdraw'.

MacDraw - ClarisDraw - EazyDraw (1)

green pizza (159161) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220039)

And going back a little further, 'macdraw'.
MacDraw was neat, but most Mac users in 1984 were more comfortable in the raster world with MacPaint. Bezier curves scare most folks! Still neat to work with EPS files on a Mac 512K.

Did you know that MacDraw/ClarisDraw has inspired a Mac OS X version? EazyDraw [] It's a bit weird but the price is right.

Intellicad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13219964)

There is a special consortium that enables various software vendors to use intelicad sources - IntelliCAD Technology Consortium ITC ( [] ). Cadopia is only one of MANY (I mean more than 50) See []

MM Fireworks (1)

JudasBlue (409332) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219967)

Fireworks does vector and raster in one program very intuitively and is my number one tool for quick web mockups. Unfortunately, like Freehand, I fear that Adobe is going to do the death dance on it to make you buy their TWO ridculously overpriced and overpowered tools for this space. Which is very, very sad, since it is the only tool I know of that does all the things it does without a ton of extra fodderol you aren't going to use for web work and costing a bloody fortune.

QuickGrid (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219968)

Close enough for my purposes, creating maps in vector formats - QuickGrid [] .

another (1)

evershade (894700) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219969)

i've had some good results with geogebra []


you've missed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13219972)

my favorite one (still today...): []

and you did mention clones of xfig, but not the original: []

Other vector drawing programs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13219986)

How about the one Nintendo's Virtual Boy used. Oh asked for GOOD ones. Sorry, my bad.

EPS to SVG (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 9 years ago | (#13219987)

What I'm really after is an EPS to SVG converter so that I can use them with Apache's FOP [] tool.

Any suggestions?

Re:EPS to SVG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13220016)

FOP can output directly to SVG.

A few of these should be counted . . . (4, Informative)

Brendor (208073) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220000)

Alias Maya [] has a great vector renderer. It outputs decent AI/EPS files as well as .swf files.

Also there were previous slashdot stories about Pixar's in-house Sketch Review Tool [] , (a hybrid vector/raster tool) and Microsoft Acryllic [] .

I believe Studio Artist [] is primarily vector based.

There are also many vector programs for the sign/graphics industry to control CNC routers and plotters. FlexiSIGN [] is one of them.

Linux SVG is alive !!! (1)

Kango_V (722296) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220025)

Inkscape []
Sodipodi []


GraphViz (1)

mattr (78516) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220027)

GraphViz [] which lets you draw graphs (has perl module too) in different formats including SVG. I believe I once saw a subroutine call tree drawn in it from perl profiler.

Realdraw (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220037)

Not open or free, but Realdraw [] is one of my favorite drawing tools. It's not as deep as AI or Freehand, and is probably closer to Fireworks in concept since it also does html slicing and bitmaps, but to get a design out quickly and intuitively it's one of the best.
It exports to SVG, and the author has a policy that you pay once and get upgrades for the life of the app.

If you thought Microsoft Acrylic was a good idea, but needed work, Realdraw is what it'll be like when it's finished. Fun too...

Missing some Esko products (1)

foo12 (585116) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220038)

Artios [] and PackEge [] Both are pretty niche, basically only used for packaging cad and related prepress. But vector nonetheless.

I see 2 missing. (1)

Allnighterking (74212) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220061)

1. Photoshop
2. Paint Shop Pro.

While both of these are better known as Raster tools they actually do as much if not more in dealing with Vector images.

USA Today Graphs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13220074)

On the topic of graphics/vectors - does anyone have an idea of what program magazines like Economist and papers like USA Today use to create their graphs? I can never manage to get things looking that crisp in any program. Suggestions would be very appreciated.

xfig (1)

jesterzog (189797) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220081)

I'm surprised you didn't list xfig [] , despite listing a port and a clone (and noting they were related to it).

I often use xfig to draw simple figures for latex documents that I write... I've always found the interface quite awkward to use, though. .fig files are also a bit restricted, but conveniently they're often easy to edit by hand.

ReportLab (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13220082) []
Uses OO python, brilliant and easy to use. I've used it to draw all kinds of publication quality figures, including genetic plasmid maps (I'm into bacterial genomics).

What about Canvas? (1)

Samhain13 (827511) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220084)

My favorite vector drawing program is Canvas by Deneba [] . I use it all the time to make figures for journal articles (molecular biology and biophysics).

So far, I have not found anything it cannot do that I need, and it is cheaper than Illustrator. It's intuitive, stable, and powerful. I'm constantly surprised it doesn't get more attention.

What about Skencil, IPE, XFig and Karbon (1)

ooloogi (313154) | more than 9 years ago | (#13220104)

Skencil [] (was called Sketch) is a good basic editor that has been stable for a long time. It's particularly interesting to people making diagrams for LaTeX, because of the SketchLatex [] and skLatex [] plugins to handle latex math formatting visually within the editor.

Also, there is IPE [] and XFig should at least rate a mention. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13220108)

Smart Draw is simply wonderful, good UI, really complete and the price is right.

Ok, it is more about diagrams and maps than about painting, but it's a time saver

Try a demo and see for yourself.
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