Help:Manual Toolsinkscape

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Inkscape

Disclaimer: I am technically one of the Inkscape Team members, though mostly to liaise with them and build rpms. However, I would not bother a: If Inkscape was not such a terrific application with a really bright future. b: The Inkscape Team was not a really great bunch to work with. Inkscape's development is an excellent model for OSS developers to follow.

That said, Inkscape is rapidly becoming the leading OSS SVG vector drawing or "illustration" tool. The Inkscape Team has made a lot of effort to faithfully adhere to the W3C SVG specs. The most recent version has made a lot of progress and has new import/export options. Some more experimental than others.

In its favor: A very friendly user interface, with extensive tool tips and a couple of really well done short tutorials on vector drawings. Almost every function can be handled by keyboard short cuts (the list of shortcuts is almost 10 pages). Like Scribus, the Inkscape Team is quick with bug fixes and is very open minded about feature requests and enhancements.

The best part of Inkscape though it is its fidelity to SVG specs. No, it is not perfect, no application is, however. Inkscape SVG seems to work well with other SVG applications better than most, even some expensive commercial ones.

For the most part, Inkscape SVG artwork will import into Scribus easily. There are some SVG features which are not yet supported by Scribus (patterns), however 99% of the time, It Just Works TM. If a file does not seem to import correctly into Scribus, try saving as "Plain SVG" within Inkscape. One other hint for working with Inkscape SVG is the SVG model for working with text is far different than the PDF/PostScript model. (One of the few weak spots in the spec in my opinion.) Save text input and text effects for Scribus. Scribus does a very good job of offering you a multitude of text effects and it will output them faithfully. Scribus uses the freetype2 libraries and this gives you a wide range of effects.

That does not mean Inkscape does it wrong. Only that the way it is done in SVG and within a PostScript oriented application are sometimes very different and difficult to translate from one to the other. Actually, Inkscape does an excellent job of support for SVG font features including kerning and other advanced features.

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