Comparison of vector graphics editors

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A number of vector graphics editors exist for various platforms. Potential users of these editors will make a decision based on factors such as the availability for the user's platform, the software license, the feature set, the merits of the user interface (UI) and the focus of the program. Some programs are more suitable for artistic work while others are better for technical drawings. Another important factor is the application's support of various vector and bitmap image formats for import and export.

Some editors in detail[edit]

  • Adobe Fireworks (formerly a Macromedia product) is a vector editor with bitmap editing capabilities with its main purpose being the creation of graphics for Web and screen. Fireworks supports RGB color scheme and has no CMYK support. This means it is mostly used for screen design. The native Fireworks file format is editable PNG (FWPNG or PNG). Adobe Fireworks has a competitive price but its features can seem limited in comparison with other products. It is easier to learn than other products and can produce complex vector artwork. The Fireworks editable PNG file format is not supported by other Adobe products. Fireworks can manage the PSD and AI file formats which enables it to be integrated with other Adobe apps. Fireworks can also open FWPNG/PNG, PSD, AI, EPS, JPG, GIF, BMP, TIFF file formats, and save/export to FWPNG/PNG, PSD, AI (v.8), FXG (v.2.0), JPG, GIF, PDF, SWF and some others; recently, also some support for exporting to SVG has been added (via a free Export extension).
  • Adobe Flash (formerly a Macromedia product) has straightforward vector editing tools which make it easier for designers and illustrators to use. The most important of these tools are vector lines and fills with bitmap-like selectable areas, simple modification of curves via the "selection" or the control points/handles through "direct selection" tools. Flash uses Actionscript for OOP, and has full XML functionality through E4X support.
  • Adobe FreeHand (formerly a Macromedia product) is mainly used by professional graphic designers. The functionality of FreeHand includes flexibility of the application in the wide design environment, catering to the output needs of both traditional image reproduction methods and to contemporary print and digital media with its page-layout capabilities and text attribute controls. Specific functions of FreeHand include a superior image-tracing operation for vector editing, page layout features within multiple-page documents, and embedding custom print-settings (such as variable halftone-screen specifications within a single graphic, etc.) to each document independent of auxiliary printer-drivers. User-operation is considered to be more suited for designers with an artistic background compared to designers with a technical background. When being marketed, FreeHand lacked the promotional backing, development and PR support in comparison to other similar products. FreeHand was transferred to the classic print group after Macromedia was purchased by Adobe in 2005. On May 16, 2007, Adobe announced that no further updates to Freehand would be developed but continues to sell FreeHand MX as a Macromedia product.[1] FreeHand continues to run on Mac OS X Snow Leopard (using an Adobe fix) and on Windows 7. For Mac OS X, Serif (makers of Serif DrawPlus) have created Affinity Designer which is able to open some Freehand files.
  • Adobe Illustrator is a commonly used editor because of Adobe's market dominance, but is more expensive than other similar products.[2] It is primarily developed consistently in line with other Adobe products and such is best integrated with Adobe's Creative Suite packages. The ai file format is proprietary but some vector editors can open and save in that format. Illustrator imports over two dozen formats (including PSD, PDF, SVG) and exports AI, PDF, SVG, SVGZ, GIF, JPG, PNG, WBMP, and SWF. However, the user must be aware of unchecking the "Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities" option if he or she desires to generate interoperable SVG files.[3] Illustrator has been criticized[by whom?] for having a steep learning curve.
  • Artboard is a commercial vector graphics application for macOS by Mapdiva, LLC.
  • ConceptDraw PRO is a business diagramming tool and vector graphics editor available for both Windows and OS X. It supports multi-page documents, and includes an integrated presentation mode. ConceptDraw PRO supports imports and exports several formats, including Microsoft Visio and Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • CorelDRAW is an editor used in the graphic design, sign making and fashion design industries.[4] CorelDRAW is capable of limited interoperation by reading file formats from Adobe Illustrator.[5] CorelDRAW has over 50 import and export filters,[6] on-screen and dialog box editing and the ability to create multi-page documents. It can also generate TrueType and Type 1 fonts, although refined typographic control is better suited to a more specific application. Some other features of CorelDRAW include the creation and execution of VBA macros, viewing of colour separations in print preview mode and integrated professional imposing options.
  • Draw and LibreOffice Draw function are the drawing components and vector graphics editors of the and LibreOffice open source office suites. Each supports many import and export file formats. Each are available for multiple desktop operating systems. The Document Foundation with the help of others is currently developing Android and online versions of the LibreOffice office suite including Draw.
  • Corel Designer (originally Micrografx Designer) is one of the earliest vector-based graphics editors for the Microsoft Windows platform. The product is mainly used for the creation of engineering drawings and is shipped with extensive libraries for the needs of engineers. It is also flexible enough for most vector graphics design applications.
  • Dia is a free and open source diagramming and vector graphics editor available for Windows, Linux and other Unix-based computer operating systems. Dia has a modular design and several shape packages for flowcharting, network diagrams and circuit diagrams. Its design was inspired by Microsoft Visio, although it uses a Single Document Interface similar to other GNOME software (such as GIMP).
  • Edraw Max is a cross-platform diagram software and vector graphics editor available for Windows, Mac and Linux. It supports kinds of diagram types.[7] It supports imports and exports SVG, PDF, HTML, Multiple page TIFF, Microsoft Visio and Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • Serif DrawPlus is a powerful but easy to use graphics studio for illustrators and hobbyists looking to create digital art. First built for the Windows platform in 1993 it has matured into a full featured vector graphics editor for home and professional users alike. Also available as a feature limited free 'starter edition' – DrawPlus SE.
  • Embroidermodder is a free machine embroidery software tool that supports a variety of formats and allows the user to add custom modifications to their embroidery designs.
  • Microsoft Expression Design is a commercial vector and bitmap graphics editor based on Creature House Expression, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2003. It is part of the Microsoft Expression Studio suite. Expression Design is only available for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
  • Fatpaint is a free, light-weight, browser-based graphic design application with built-in vector drawing tools. It can be accessed through any browser with Flash 9 installed. Its integration with Zazzle makes it particularly suitable for people who want to create graphics for custom printed products such as T-shirts, mugs, iPhone cases, flyers and other promotional products.
  • Inkscape is a free and open source vector editor with the primary native format being SVG. Inkscape is available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X (using XQuartz) and other Unix-based systems. Inkscape can import SVG, SVGZ, AI, PDF, JPEG, PNG, GIF (and other raster graphics formats), CDR (CorelDraw), VSD (Visio) file formats and export SVG, SVGZ, PNG, PDF, PostScript, EPS, EPSi, LaTeX, HPGL, SIF (Synfig Animation Studio), HTML5 Canvas, FXG (Flash XML Graphics) and POVRay file formats. Some formats have additional support through Inkscape extensions, including PDF, EPS, Adobe Illustrator, Dia, Xfig, CGM, sK1 and Sketch.
  • Ipe lets users draw geometric objects such as polylines, 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. It differentiates itself from similar programs by including advanced snapping tools and the ability to directly include LaTeX text and equations. Ipe is extensible by use of ipelets, which are plugins written in C++ or Lua.
  • The Omni Group OmniGraffle is a vector graphics editor available for Macintosh. It is principally used for creating flow charts and other diagrams. OmniGraffle imports and exports several formats, including Microsoft Visio, SVG (export only) and PDF.
  • Ortelius is a commercial vector graphics application tailored to map design and cartography, for macOS, by Mapdiva, LLC.
  • PhotoLine is mainly a raster graphics editor but also offers a comprehensive set of vector drawing tools including multiple paths per layer, layer groups, color management and full color space support including CMYK and Lab color spaces, and multipage documents. PhotoLine can import and export PDF and SVG files as well as all major bitmap formats.
  • sK1 is a free and open source vector editor for Linux which is oriented for "prepress ready" PostScript & PDF output. The major sK1 features are CMYK colorspace support; CMYK support in Postscript; Cairo-based engine; Color management; Universal CDR importer (7-X4 versions); Modern Ttk-based (former Tile widgets) user interface. sK1 can import ai postscript-based, CDR, CDT, CCX, CDRX, CMX, PS, EPS, CGM, WMF, XFIG, SVG, SK, SK1, AFF, PLT file formats. It can export ai, SVG, SK, SK1, CGM, WMF, PDF, PS, PLT file formats.
  • Sketch is a commercial vector graphics application for OS X.
  • SketchUp is a free vector graphics program with a paid pro-version. SketchUp is focused primarily on 3D sketching, with many features specifically designed to simplify architectural sketching. Google integrated an online model sharing database called 3D Warehouse to allow sharing of 3D sketches. SketchUp was purchased by Trimble on 1 June 2012.
  • SVG-edit is a FOSS web-based, JavaScript-driven SVG editor that works in any modern browser.
  • Synfig Studio (also known as Synfig) is a free and open source 2D vector graphics and timeline-based computer animation program created by Robert Quattlebaum. Synfig is available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X. Synfig stores its animations in its own XML file format, SIF (uncompressed) or SIFZ (compressed) and can import SVG.
  • Microsoft Visio is a diagramming, flow chart, floor plan and vector graphics editor available for Windows. It is commonly used by small and medium-sized businesses, and by Microsoft in their corporate documentation.
  • is a web-based CAD capable diagramming tool for SVG. It supports real-time collaboration within team through modern browsers.
  • Xara Photo & Graphic Designer and Designer Pro (formerly Xara Xtreme and Xtreme Pro) are vector graphics editors for Windows developed by Xara. Xara Xtreme LX is a partially open source version for Linux. Xara Photo & Graphic Designer has high usability compared to other similar products and has very fast rendering. Xara Photo & Graphic Designer (and earlier product ArtWorks) was the first vector graphics software product to provide fully antialiased display, advanced gradient fill and transparency tools. The current version supports multi-page documents, and includes a capable integrated photo tool making it an option for any sort of DTP work. The Pro version includes extra features such as Pantone and color separation support, as well as comprehensive web page design features.
  • The image editor GIMP, that works mainly with raster images, offers a limited set of features to create and record SVG files. It can also load and handle SVG files created with other software like Inkscape or Sodipodi.

The following tables compare general and technical information for a number of vector graphics editors. Please see the individual products' articles for further information. This article is neither all-inclusive nor necessarily up-to-date.

General information[edit]

This table gives basic general information about the different vector graphics editors:

Software Company First released Latest version List price (USD) License
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite Corel 1989 X8 (18) $699.99, $329 upgrade (includes Photopaint) Proprietary
Artboard Mapdiva, LLC 2011 2.0.7 (November 2017) $39.99 Proprietary
ConceptDraw PRO CS Odessa 1999 10.0 (August 2014) $199 Proprietary
Dia The GNOME Project 0.97.3 (5 September 2014) Free GPL
LibreOffice Draw The Document Foundation 2010 6.0.1

February 11, 2018; 6 days ago (2018-02-11)

Apache OpenOffice Draw Apache Software Foundation 2000 4.1.1 (August 21, 2014) Free LGPL, Apache license for later versions
Serif DrawPlus Serif Europe 1994 X8 (23 March 2015) $119.99 Proprietary
Edraw Max EdrawSoft 2004 8 (10 March 2016) Free, $99 premium subscription Proprietary
Embroidermodder Embroidermodder Team 2004 1.70 Free GPL, zLib
Macromedia FreeHand Adobe Systems 1988 MX (11) $399, $99 upgrade Proprietary
Adobe Illustrator Adobe Systems 1987 CC 2018 ( / 18 October 2017 $19.99 / month (1 year contract) or $29.99 / month Proprietary
Inkscape Inkscape Team 2003 0.92 (1 January 2017) Free GPL
OmniGraffle The Omni Group c. 2000 5.3.1 (August 2011) for OS X, 1.6 for iOS (September 2011) Standard: $99, Pro: $199, iPad $50 USD Proprietary
Ortelius Mapdiva, LLC 2009 2.0.7 (October 2017) $399/$140 annual Proprietary
PhotoLine Computerinsel GmbH 1995 17.10 €59, €29 upgrade Proprietary
sK1 sK1 Team 2009 0.9.3 (2015) 2.0RC2 (2016) Free GPL, LGPL
Sketch Bohemian Coding 2010 39.1 $99[8] Proprietary
SketchUp Trimble (previously owned by Google; originally by Last Software) 2013 17.0 (2017) SketchUp Make 2017: Free for non-commercial use only, Pro: $495 Proprietary
SVG-edit The SVG-edit community 2009 2.8.1 (December 2, 2015) Free MIT
Synfig Synfig Team 2005 1.0.2 (October 2015) Free GPL
Microsoft Visio Microsoft 1992 12.0 $560, $350 upgrade (Pro), $260, $130 upgrade (Standard) Proprietary
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer Xara 1995 10 (July 2014) $89.99 Proprietary Radica Software 2017 (Nov 2017) Freemium (Beta) Proprietary
Software Company First released Latest version List price (USD) License

Operating system support[edit]

This table lists the operating systems that different editors can run on without emulation:

Software Windows Mac OS X Unix and Linux iOS Android Windows RT
Gravit Designer Yes Yes Yes No No No
Aviary Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Artboard No Yes No No No No
Dia Yes Yes Yes No No No
ConceptDraw PRO Yes Yes No No No No
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite Yes Dropped (v. 11) Dropped (v. 9) No No No
LibreOffice Draw Yes Yes Yes No Under development No
Edraw Max Yes Yes Yes No No No
Apache OpenOffice Draw Yes Yes Yes No No No
Serif DrawPlus Yes No No No No No
Microsoft Expression Design Yes No No No No No
Macromedia Freehand Yes Yes No No No No
Adobe Illustrator Yes Yes Dropped (v 5.5) No No No
Inkscape Yes Yes Yes No No No
OmniGraffle No Yes No Yes (iPad) No No
Ortelius No Yes No No No No
PhotoLine Yes Yes No No No No
sK1 No Yes (user must compile) Yes No No No
Sketchup Yes Yes No No No No
Sketch No Yes No No No No
Sodipodi Yes No Yes No No No
SVG-edit Yes Yes Yes No No No
Synfig Yes Yes Yes No No No
Microsoft Visio Yes No No No No No
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer Yes No No No No No
Xara Xtreme LX No No[9] Yes No No No

Basic features[edit]

Software Maximum page size Maximum zoom Color management for print Scripting support
Vectr No maximum size. 6400% No No
Gravit Designer Infinite 25600% No No
Aviary  ? 400% No No
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 45.72 × 45.72 m 260000% (estimated) Yes Yes
ConceptDraw PRO Screen resolution Page width No Yes[10]
Edraw Max Screen resolution 400% No Yes
LibreOffice Draw 300 × 300 cm 3000% Yes Yes
Apache OpenOffice Draw 119 × 119 cm 3000% No Yes
Serif DrawPlus 10,000 x 10,000 cm 5000% Yes Yes[11]
Embroidermodder  ?  ? No Yes
Fatpaint 8000 × 8000 px Depend on the page size. No No
Macromedia Freehand 5.6388 × 5.6388 m 25600% Yes Yes
Adobe Illustrator 5.7785 × 5.7785 m 64000% Yes Yes
Inkscape 1000 × 1000 km 25600% No Yes
OmniGraffle 2,147,483,648 × 2,147,483,648 km 800% Yes Yes[12]
PhotoLine 1,400,000,000 × 1,400,000,000 px 6400% Yes Yes
sK1 50 × 50 m 3000% Yes Yes
SketchUp 250,000 × 250,000 m 250000% No Yes
SVG-edit  ? 10000% No Yes
Microsoft Visio 2002 2147483647 sq. in. 3098% No Yes
Microsoft Visio 2003 2147483647 sq. in. 3098% No Yes
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 2.75 × 2.75 m 25601% Yes No

File format support[edit]


Vectr Yes No No No No Yes No No No No
Gravit Designer No No No Yes No Yes No No No No
Aviary No No No No No Yes No No No
Artboard No No No No Yes Yes[13] No No No No
CorelDRAW Yes Native No Yes Yes Partial[14] No Yes Yes No
Dia No No No No No Yes No Yes Yes No
ConceptDraw PRO No No No No No No No No Yes No
LibreOffice Draw Partial[15][16] Yes Native Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Apache OpenOffice Draw No No Native Yes Partial[17] Partial[17] No Yes Yes
Serif DrawPlus Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
Embroidermodder No No No No No Partial No Partial No
Microsoft Expression Design 4 Partial No No No No No No No Yes No
Fatpaint No No No No No No No No No No
Macromedia Freehand[18] Yes Partial[18] No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No
Adobe Illustrator Native Partial[19] No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Inkscape Yes Partial[20] No Yes[21] Yes Native No Yes[22] Yes[23] Partial
Karbon14[24] No No Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes
OmniGraffle No No No No Yes No[25] No No No Yes
Ortelius No No No No Yes Yes No No No No
PhotoLine No No No No[26] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
sK1 Yes[27] Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes
SketchUp No No No No Yes No No Yes[28] No
Sodipodi No No No No No Yes No No No
SVG-edit No No No No No Yes No No No No
Synfig No No No No No Partial[29] No No No
Microsoft Visio 2002 Yes Partial[30] No Yes No No No Yes Yes
Microsoft Visio 2003 No No[31] No No No Yes No Yes Yes
Microsoft Visio 2013 No No[32] No No No Yes No Yes Yes Native
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer Yes[33] No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Xara Xtreme for Linux[34] Partial No No Yes Yes Partial No No No


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Adobe Store-North America: FreeHand MX". Adobe. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Inkscape FAQ". 
  4. ^ Arah, Tom (January 2008). "Product Reviews: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4". PC Pro. Retrieved 2009-05-16. 
  5. ^ "CorelDRAW X7: support for Adobe Illustrator (AI) files, CorelDRAW X7 Help". 
  6. ^ "CorelDRAW X7 supported file formats, CorelDRAW X7 Help". 
  7. ^ "Edraw vector graphics types". Retrieved 2016-04-26. 
  8. ^ Bohemian Coding - Sketch 3
  9. ^ Currently being looked into
  10. ^ ConceptDraw Basic Script only
  11. ^ ActionScript only
  12. ^ AppleScript only
  13. ^ "Notes about SVG". Retrieved 2017-11-16. It is important to understand how the SVG 1.1 standard is implemented, since in some cases results may differ from another product. 
  14. ^ Not all features are supported. Some Inkscape-generated plain SVG files yield corrupted results.
  15. ^ "Media Support/Linux/Images". The Document Foundation. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Media Support/Windows/Image Tests". The Document Foundation. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b Via an extension
  18. ^ a b "Adobe Freehand MX 11.0 - Minimum System Requirements". Retrieved 2010-12-01. CorelDraw 7, 8 
  19. ^ "Supported file formats in Illustrator CS4 and CS5". Retrieved 2010-12-01. CorelDraw 5,6,7,8,9,10 
  20. ^ Via an extension using UniConvertor. Text elements not converted
  21. ^ Via an extension using Ghostscript.
  22. ^ Inkscape 0.47 release notes
  23. ^ Via an extension using UniConvertor.
  24. ^ "Karbon14 Features". Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  25. ^ It can export to SVG but cannot import from SVG
  26. ^ only EPS images
  27. ^ AI postscript-based up to 9 ver.
  28. ^ Pro version only
  29. ^ Only SVG 1.0 Specification is supported since Synfig 0.62.00
  30. ^ "Visio2000: File Formats That Can Be Imported into Visio". Retrieved 2010-12-01. You can import the following file formats into your Visio drawings: CorelDRAW! Drawing File versions 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0 and 7.0 (.cdr), Corel Clipart (.cmx) 
  31. ^ "What you won't find in Microsoft Office Visio 2003". Retrieved 2010-12-01. The following file formats and converters are no longer supported:CorelDRAW! 3,0-7.0, Corel Clipart Format, CMX 
  32. ^ "What you won't find in Microsoft Office Visio 2003". Retrieved 2010-12-01. The following file formats and converters are no longer supported:CorelDRAW! 3,0-7.0, Corel Clipart Format, CMX 
  33. ^ Imports only up to version 8.0 AI files, newer AI file versions needs to save as "AI (V8.0)" or PDF files
  34. ^ "What can Xara Xtreme for Linux do now?". Retrieved 2010-12-01.