Anyone remember Macromedia's FreeHand? Yes, that company that developed products as popular as Director or Flash that was later taken over by Adobe. Well, if this software now resides in Illustrator, Inkscape is probably the closest thing to FreeHand without using that old program.
In other words, a free alternative to vector drawing program offered by Macromedia to pick things up from where it left off. The interface is almost identical to that of the latest stable version of FreeHand (11.0) and the toolset available looks almost identical.
As usual with many open-source alternatives to proprietary programs, it can be downloaded and used for free. So, even if its aspect may remind us of FreeHand, Inkscape is to Illustrator what GIMP is to Photoshop.
Main features of Inkscape
Amongst the main functions of this powerful software, we can point out the following:
- Wide range of vector editing tools.
- Support for different vector graphics formats.
- Possibility to expand functions by means of extensions.
- Support for Creative Commons metadata.
However, just like almost any worthy vector drawing program, beginners should get hold of some kind of manual. Not to carry out basic edits such as cropping an image but for more complex tasks or for designing the layout of a magazine using grids. That's why it's never a bad idea to search for a tutorial due to the complexity of the task.
Likewise, Inkscape can be used for almost anything, from really simple to really complicated tasks: from drawing a simple arrow to create a short animation movie. You can do whatever you can think of if you know how.
All in all, if you're looking for a free, open-source, and powerful vector graphics editor, Inkscape is definitely what you need. Don't hesitate to try it out.