Tag Archive for Free Graphics Editor

Dia Review – Free And Open Source Diagramming Tool

Often, diagramming is necessary to document a project, or for a business proposal etc. Diagrams in the documentation plays a vital role in communicating the details to the engineering team. E.g. Flowcharts always help to understand the problem better. There are popular commercial diagramming tools such as Microsoft Visio, which is one of the industry leader. Visio has lots of featureimages but expensive. If you are looking for a free Flowchart, Network or a generic diagramming tool, the Dia which is Free and Open Source software is worth taking a look. It is cross-platform, it can run on Windows, Linux etc. It supports various kinds of diagrams; 

  • Flowchart
  • Network Diagrams
  • Circuit Diagrams
  • Telephone systems
  • UML
  • Civil and much more.

Recommended Reading:

A sample flowchart created using Dia

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Simple and Easy User Interface

Dia has a decent GUI (user interface) and pretty intuitive. It has lots of in-built graphic images for creating various diagrams. It is very easy to design flowcharts and other diagrams. Arrows and lines can automatically attach to other diagrams and managing a large diagram is quite easy. Diagrams can be exported to various formats such as PNG, JPG, WMF etc.

Object Sheet Editor

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An UML Diagram

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How to add a custom shape to Dia?

If you need to have more graphic images, Refer to this tutorial.

Quality of Diagrams

Well, quality of the graphic images/icons are good but compared to other tools, they are a little archaic. Icons are very basic and richness of the graphic quality could be improved. But, overall, Dia is a great tool and it is pretty reliable too. It can work as an alternative to Microsoft Visio.

15+ Awesome Open Source Graphics Software List

Cenon – Cenon is a graphical tool of a special kind. Build upon a modular graphical core, Cenon offers a wide variety of possibilities and applications. image
The best of all, the Cenon core is free software, available with full source codes, and at home on many computer platforms. It is capable of doing Desktop publishing, vector graphic transformation etc.

Dia – Dia is roughly inspired by the commercial Windows program ‘Visio’, though more geared towards informal diagrams for casual use. It can be used to draw many different kinds of diagrams. It currently has special objects to help draw entity relationship diagrams, UML diagrams, flowcharts, network diagrams, and many other diagrams. It is also possible to add support for new shapes by writing simple XML files, using a subset of SVG to draw the shape.

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GimpShop – GIMPshop is a modification of the free/open source GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), intended to replicate the feel of Adobe Photoshop. Its primary purpose is to make users of Photoshop feel comfortable using GIMP.

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Hugin – It is an easy to use cross-platform panoramic imaging toolchain based on Panorama Tools. With Hugin you can assemble a mosaic of photographs into a complete immersive panorama, stitch any series of overlapping pictures and much more.

Inkscape – An Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) and great care is taken in designing a streamlined interface. It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more. We also aim to maintain a thriving user and developer community by using open, community-oriented development.

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KoverArtist – KoverArtist is a program for the fast creation of covers for cd/dvd cases and boxes. The main idea behind it is to be able to create decent looking covers with some mouseclicks. There is no Open Source App for Windows, however there is a freeware called UnderCoverXP.

gLabels – gLabels is a program for creating labels and business cards for the GNOME desktop environment. It is designed to work with various laser/ink-jet peel-off label and business card sheets that you’ll find at most office supply stores. gLabels is free software and is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License

KTooN – It is a free 2D Animation Toolkit  like Macromedia Flash kit.

Krita – Krita is a KDE program for sketching and painting, offering an end–to–end solution for creating digital painting files from scratch by masters. Fields of painting that Krita explicitly supports are concept art, creation of comics and textures for rendering. Modelled on existing real-world painting materials and workflows, Krita supports creative working by getting out of the way and with snappy response.

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MyPaint – Open Source Painting – MyPaint is a fast and easy open-source graphics application for digital painters. It lets you focus on the art instead of the program. You work on your canvas with minimum distractions, bringing up the interface only when you need it.

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OpenOffice Draw – DRAW lets you quickly sketch a complex plan, DRAW gives you the tools to communicate with graphics and diagrams. With a maximum page size of 300cm by 300cm, DRAW is powerful tool for creating technical or general posters, etc.

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Panorama Tools – As the name suggest, it is a set of Software, to View, Create, Edit and Remap Panoramic Images:

  • PTStitcher: High quality, simple to use, all format stitching software.
  • Panorama Tools: Photoshop plug-in for panorama creation, editing and remapping.
  • PTViewer: High quality spherical viewer, Standalone and java versions for many platforms.

Pixelize – Pixelize works by splitting up the image you want rendered (or duplicated) into a grid of small rectangular areas. Each area is analyzed, and replaced with an image chosen from a large database of images. Pixelize tries to pick images that best match each area.

Scribus – Scribus is an Open Source program that brings award-winning professional page layout to Linux/UNIX, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp 4/eComStation and Windows desktops with a combination of “press-ready” output and new approaches to page layout. Underneath the modern and user friendly interface, Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, Spot Colors, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation.

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Skencil – Skencil is a Free Software interactive vector drawing application.

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Synfig – Synfig is a powerful, industrial-strength vector-based open-source 2D animation software package, designed from the ground-up for producing feature-film quality animation with fewer people and resources. While there are many other programs currently on the market to aid with the efficient production of 2D animation, we are currently unaware of any other software that can do what our software can.

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Xara Extreme – Xara Xtreme for Linux is a powerful, general purpose graphics program for Unix platforms including Linux, FreeBSD and (in development) OS-X.

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Top 3 Free Vector Graphics Editors That Are Open Source

Vector Graphics Editors allow users to interactively edit and compose Vector Graphics (primitives such as lines, points, curves etc forming the whole image). Vector Graphics Editors are best suited for creating Logos, Page Layout, Graphic Design, Illustrations like ClipArts etc, Where as Bitmap Editors (like GIMP or Adobe Photoshop) are more suited for Image Processing. Adjacent picture is taken from Wikipedia article on Vector Editors. A fine example that shows Bitmap Graphics are based on pixels and degrade as the Zoom factor increases where as Vector Graphics is not affected.image

Most well known commercial Vector Graphics Editors are Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW and Xara Extreme (Except Linux version). They are very capable but expensive too. But, the Open Source community is not far behind. There are very good Free and Open Source Vector Graphics Editors and Here we list 3 of them.

Inkscape (For Linux, Mac OS and Windows)

  • Inkscape is an Open Source Vector Graphics Editor using SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) file format. Comparable to CorelDRAW, Adobe Illustrator and Xara Extreme.
  • Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) and with a streamlined interface. It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more in Inkscape. There is an active user and developer community that is open, community-oriented development.

inkscape-0.47-spiro-typography

Xara Extreme (For Linux)

Xara Xtreme for Linux is a powerful, general purpose graphics program for Unix platforms including Linux, FreeBSD and (in development) OS-X. It is however not free on Windows Platform.

  • Is very fast, very slick to use.
  • Offers some of the most powerful graphics tools available.
  • Is simple to use and learn.
  • Has a clean, un-cluttered user interface. Few floating dialogs, palettes, menus etc.
  • Has a huge resource of learning material, tutorials, movies, tips and a very active enthusiastic and growing user community.

Xara

Skencil (For Unix Like and Mac OS)

Skencil is a Free Software interactive vector drawing appliction. Known to run on GNU/Linux and other UNIX-compatible systems, it is a flexible and powerful tool for illustrations, diagrams and other purposes.

It is developed using Python and very powerful with following features.

  • Bézier Curves
  • Transformed text and images
  • Bézier curves, rectangles and ellipses can be used as guides
  • Gradient fills
  • Blend groups
  • Writes EPS files
  • Text along a path

tiger 

There are other Open Source Vector Graphics Editors like OpenOffice Draw, Scribus, Karbon14, SK1 etc. They are also worth exploring.

Which one do you like? Do you agree with us? Please comment.

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