Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Freehand, or Xara X. What sets Inkscape apart is its use of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), an open XML-based W3C standard, as the native format.
In contrast to raster (bitmap) graphics editors such as Photoshop or Gimp, Inkscape stores its graphics in a vector format. Vector graphics is a resolution-independent description of the actual shapes and objects that you see in the image. A rasterization engine uses this information to determine how to plot each line and curve at any resolution or zoom level.
Contrast that to bitmap (raster) graphics which is always bound to a specific resolution and stores an image as a grid of pixels.
Inkscape can import and display bitmap images, too. An imported bitmap becomes yet another object in your vector graphics, and you can do with it everything you can do to other kinds of objects (move, transform, clip, etc.)
While Inkscape does not have all the features of the leading vector editors, the latest versions provide for a large portion of basic vector graphics editing capabilities. People report successfully using Inkscape in a lot of very different projects (web graphics, technical diagrams, icons, creative art, logos, maps).
Release highlights Inkscape 1.1
- A Welcome dialog, where the look of Inkscape can be selected, and some choices for the new document's size or file to open are available
- A Command palette that opens when the ? key is pressed and that allows to search and use many functions without having to use a keyboard shortcut or going through the menus
- It is now possible to copy, cut and paste parts of paths with the Node tool
- The dialog docking system has been rewritten, which resolves many issues with Inkscape's docked dialogs and allows you to dock dialogs on either side of the screen
- New Outline Overlay mode that displays object outlines while also showing their real colors
- Preferences options are now easier to find by using the new search field
- It is no longer necessary to remember to click on 'Export' in the PNG Export dialog, as the exporting will already happen after the click on 'Save' in the file selection dialog.
- Export as JPG, TIFF, optimized PNG and WebP directly from Inkscape
- When pasting a copied object, Inkscape now pastes it directly on top of the currently selected object by default
- An extension for updating extensions and installing additional extensions, called the Extension Manager (currently in beta stage)
Download: Inkscape 1.1 32-bit Installer (MSI) | Standalone | ~127 MB (Open Source)
Download: Inkscape 1.1 64-bit Installer (MSI) | Standalone
Download: Inkscape for Other Operating Systems
View: Inkscape Website | Release Announcement | Full Release Notes