4 Resources for the Powerful Inkscape Open Source Drawing Tool
Among advanced open source graphics tools, GIMP has a lot of fans, and there are many free online resources available for it, but if you're looking for a drawing and illustration tool that can compete with Adobe Illustrator and is especially good for logos and splashy still graphics, give Inkscape a try. It runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, and is well-known as a powerful and flexible drawing and vector editing application. In this post, you'll find four resources for getting familiar with Inkscape's capabilities, and they'll help you get going quickly with the application.
Get it. First things first. You can download Inkscape here, in its current 0,46 version, but note that a much updated version 0.47 is coming very soon.
What can I do with Inkscape? Inkscape's site presents many galleries and screenshots showing what kinds of tasks it is good at. Here, you'll find examples of how it is used for web design, creating icons for applications, creating logos, adorning CD booklets, and more. The Inkscape Tutorials blog also has an outstanding collection of videos and posts illustrating what the program is capable of.
Getting up to speed. You can find several types of documentation for Inkscape here, including a free online book with individual chapters posted as links, here. There is also a keyboard and mouse reference here, and an Inkscape User Manual in progress here.
Our recommended guide. While the manuals referenced just above are more exhaustive, FLOSSManuals has by far the most accessible introduction to Inkscape's main features, found here. It begins with an introduction of the application's capabilities and moves on to individual discussions of how all the major tools in Inkscape work. You'll find links to the discussions of the tools running down the left rail of the online guide, and there are annotated screenshots to learn from, like the one seen below. Beginners can also get a lot out of this basic tutorial.
Inkscape is very useful, good for eye-catching graphics, and a lot of fun. If you haven't done so already, give it a try.