sK1 (program)

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SK1 2 0.png
sK1 2.0 (in progress)
Developer(s)sK1 Team
Stable release
0.9.3 / 19 February 2015; 4 years ago (2015-02-19)
Preview release
2.0RC2 / 24 October 2016; 2 years ago (2016-10-24)
Written inPython, Tcl/Tk
PlatformLinux, Windows, MacOSX
TypeVector graphics editor
LicenseGNU Lesser General Public License
Developer(s)sK1 Team
Stable release
1.1.5[1] / 26 June 2010 (2010-06-26)
PlatformWin32/64, Linux, MacOSX
TypeVector graphics translator
LicenseGNU Lesser General Public License

sK1 is an open-source, cross-platform illustration program that can be used as a substitute for professional proprietary software like CorelDRAW or Adobe Illustrator. Unique project features are CorelDRAW formats importers, tabbed multidocument interface, Cairo-based engine, and color management.


A small team led by Igor Novikov started the project in 2003, based on the existing open source vector graphics editor Skencil. Sk1 is a fork of the Skencil 0.6.x series which used Tk widgets for the user interface (this version had been dropped by the main Skencil developers who were working on a branch of the program based on GTK+). Although an attempt was made to unify the project with Skencil, it failed.[citation needed]

In 2007 the sK1 team reverse-engineered the Corel Draw (CDR) format.[2] The results and the first working snapshot of the CDR importer were presented at the Libre Graphics Meeting 2007 conference taking place in May 2007 in Montreal (Canada).[3] Later on the team parsed the structure of other Corel formats with the help of CDR Explorer.[4] As of 2008, the sK1 project claims to have the best import support for CorelDRAW file formats among open source software programs.[citation needed]

Target audience[edit]

Since the project was started by a small team of Ukrainian professionals in prepress, it was unambiguously focused on full support for PostScript, PDF, CMYK color model and color management at the expense of developing some advanced functions for illustrators[citation needed]. Informally the project is positioned as a free open source alternative to the commercial CorelDRAW[citation needed].


  • Selection
  • Node edit
  • Magnifier glass
  • Drawing of joint lines (polylines)
  • Bézier curves drawing
  • Ellipse drawing
  • Polygon drawing
  • Text editing

Supported formats[edit]

  • Adobe Illustrator up to version 9 (based on PostScript)
  • Postscript (PS) and Encapsulated Postscript (EPS)
  • Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM)
  • Windows Metafile (WMF)
  • XFIG
  • Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)
  • Skencil/Sketch/sK1 (SK and SK1)
  • Acorn Draw (AFF)
  • PLT - HPGL cutting plotter files
  • AI - Adobe Illustrator 5.0 (based on PostScript)
  • PDF - Portable Document Format
  • PS - PostScript
  • SVG - Scalable Vector Graphics
  • SK/SK1 - Skencil/Sketch/sK1
  • CGM - Computer Graphics Metafile
  • WMF - Windows Metafile
  • PLT - HPGL cutting plotter files

Side projects[edit]

an application for conversion of files from one vector format into another one. In fact it is a part of sK1, rewritten as a standalone code and being developed by the same team. UniConvertor is also used by Inkscape for opening CorelDRAW, WMF and Sketch/Skencil files.[5][6][7] Within a framework of Google Summer of Code 2008 the support of UniConvertor is being prepared for Scribus.[clarification needed]
CDR Explorer
a program that simplifies the reverse-engineering of CorelDRAW formats.
a program for WMF/EMF files preview and export to SVG. During the project development a comprehensive report on WMF support by various open source and closed applications was made. It is discontinued now.
an application for interactive work with cutting plotters (PLT format).


  • In 2007 the project was awarded the second place in the Trophées du Libre open source project contest in the "Multimedia and games" category.[8]
  • In 2008 the project was awarded the third place in the contest Hackontest, organized by the Swiss Open Systems User Groupd /ch/open and sponsored by Google.
  • In 2009 the project was awarded the second place in the contest "The best free project of Russia", conducted by Linux Format magazine. Among the group projects.


Version Date Description
0.9.0 9 May 2009 First public release

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "UniConvertor 1.1.5 release". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
  2. ^ "sK1 illustration program - The history of sK1". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
  3. ^ "Libre Graphics Meeting 2007 - Friday May 4". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
  4. ^ "CDR explorer". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
  5. ^ "Can I open/import *.cdr (Corel Draw Vector drawing file) files in Inkscape?". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
  6. ^ "UniConvertor at". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
  7. ^ "sK1 - UniConvertor - universal vector graphics translator". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
  8. ^ "The 2007 edition winners". Les Trophées du Libre. Archived from the original on 2009-09-02. Retrieved 2009-06-06. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)

External links[edit]