8 Best Free Graphics Editors for Creating Vector Images

Free Graphics Editor Vector Software Hero

When you think of graphic editors, the first name that comes to mind is Photoshop (or GIMP, if you are a Linux user). However, Photoshop and GIMP are only great for editing photos and creating raster images. Raster images, such as PNG or JPG, are fine in many cases, but very often you will need a more scalable format.

That’s where vector images and graphic editors come in, doing the more advanced graphical tasks that Photoshop can only dream of. Here are the best free graphic editors for vector images you should try.

1. Krita

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Krita is an open-source graphics editor that has historically specialized in raster graphics editing. However, an update in Krita 4.0 meant that it’s had an overhaul of the vector tools at its disposal and has become a pretty handy app for the creation of vector graphics.

Free Graphics Editor Software Krita

You can create vector layers, draw all kinds of special shapes, and use the calligraphy and text tool to make more bespoke vectors resembling brush strokes and other fine shapes.

A big part of Krita’s recent development has been its move from the ODG to the more popular SVG file format, which makes it much more versatile for importing and exporting vector graphics.

2. Boxy SVG

Platforms: Web app, macOS, Linux, Chrome

Boxy SVG may not be a terribly complex app with a ton of tools and tweaks for you to make, but that’s its strength. It’s very simple to use and can be either downloaded as a desktop app or used through your browser.

Free Graphics Editor Software Boxy Svg

You’ll find all the drawing tools you need to create elegant vector images using pens, shapes, curves and text. If you want to dig a bit deeper, there are also various options based around typography, geometry, masks, and (crucially) the option to export your SVGs in other formats.

With its sparing and non-overwhelming amount of options and UI elements, BoxySVG is a great lightweight tool if you want to get straight into making vectors with minimal messing around.

3. SVG-Edit

Platforms: Web

best-graphics-editors-svg-edit

Don’t want to go through the rigmarole of downloading software that may lump in a whole pile of other software you don’t want? SVG-edit is a robust browser-based vector editor that uses the open-source SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) format. It has most of the fancy image-manipulation stuff you’d expect and works in every major browser.

4. Inkscape

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Inkscape is a free open-source program with an amazing set of features. It is also the best cross-platform vector editor. Inkscape is used by many professional designers and is a full-fledged desktop vector editor available for Linux, Windows, and macOS.

Free Graphics Editor Software Inkscape

You can use it to create vector objects, perform all sorts of manipulations on them (fill, stroke, render, transform, group, use layers), add text, create vector images from bitmaps, etc. You can use Inkscape for editing some raster formats, such as PNG, too. If you need a desktop vector editor, I think this is the best choice among all the free vector editors.

5. RollApp

Platforms: Web

If you like Inkscape but don’t want to install it on your computer, you can try RollApp. RollApp is the online version of Inkscape, and all you need is a browser. It has all the features of Inkscape, plus integration with Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, and a few other cloud storage providers.

vector-graphic-editors-02-rollapp

However, if you work with large files and/or your Internet connection is unreliable, you may not be able to work as smoothly as on your desktop, but this applies to almost any other online vector editor as well.

6. Vectr

Platforms: Web, Windows, Linux

Vectr doesn’t have all the perks of Inkscape or RollApp, but it’s a good editor you can use for almost any vector task. The fact it doesn’t have as many features as Inkscape is not all bad – in fact, only having the basics makes it easier for beginners. Still, you can use Vectr to create images and apply basic operations, such as add layers, borders, shadows, or text.

Best Sandbox Apps Vectr

Vectr is a very fast online editor (if your Internet connection is good, of course), but if you prefer to use it offline, you can download it for Linux, Windows, Mac, and Chromebook.

7. LibreOffice Draw

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Free Graphics Editor Software Libreoffice

LibreOffice Draw is a good desktop vector editor for Linux, Windows, and macOS. It’s worth trying, especially if you already use the LibreOffice suite. You can use it to create vector images from scratch or to modify existing ones. One of the cool uses of LibreOffice Draw is for technical drawings, flowcharts, and diagrams because it has the right tools for the purpose. For more complex graphic editing, I personally prefer Inkscape.

8. Fatpaint

Platforms: Web

vector-graphic-editors-05-fatpaint

Fatpaint isn’t only a vector editor – you can use it to edit raster photos, too. It’s a web tool, so you only need a browser to use it. It’s great for creating logos and other small vector graphics and doesn’t have as many features as its desktop counterparts, but for quick edits, it’s more than okay. You can use it to create new vector files and objects, edit them, manipulate paths, add text, etc. One of the special features of Fatpaint is its 3D text manipulation abilities.

If you’re looking for other advanced graphics and design software, see our list of the best InDesign alternatives. MacBook users will also want to take a look at these drawing applications for macOS. If you already have Photoshop, then why not head over to our guide on making an image background transparent or try your hand at creating a custom Apple Watch face?

Robert Zak Robert Zak

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.

3 comments

  1. Can any free Mac vector editors import and/or export .ai (Adobe Illustrator) files? I don’t want to be limited to SVG, which is why the free vector editors I’ve tried don’t work for me.

    Also, are there any Mac programs (or websites) that can convert to or from .ai to other vector file formats?

    1. Importing of ai files is possible in Inkscape, exporting is not only in old version. I did read that you can export it to pdf and open it in Illustator without any problems.

      Best to do is export it to svg I think both can read it.

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