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Does anyone know a good vector drawing application?

I tried Inkscape, but it is not a real vector design app. Technically it's an SVG editor, and as such doesn't support anything that SVG doesn't support.

I'm missing these features in Inkscape/SVG (and I don't care about SVG anyway, I just want to draw on screen/paper, not web):

  • Support for multiple pages*, so I can design and print booklets / practice sheets / etc.
  • Center a text in any shape/group that doesn't stray or stretch when the shape size is changed. Word-wrap is required. (Read carefully -- this is impossible to do with Text-flow!)
  • Can easily create arrows with any size arrowhead* and any color*.
  • Have 'anchors' on shapes so other shapes (typically lines) move when the shape in question is moved/scaled.

*(known Inkscape bug/shortcoming with very awkward workaround)

Text-in-shape Example:
Text-in-shape Example
Anchors Example:
Anchors Example

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2 Answers

Support for multiple pages*, so I can design and print booklets / practice sheets / etc.

Macromedia Freehand had that feature. We all loved it. Adobe killed it.

Anyways, that's really not a feature that is typical of an illustration app. That's more of a page layout/publishing app such as Adobe InDesign. For a decent open source option, try Scribus.

Center a text in any shape/group that doesn't stray or stretch when the shape size is changed. Word-wrap is required. (Read carefully -- this is impossible to do with Text-flow!)

Inkscape handles resizable text boxes with the text re-flowing as needed.

Again, though, complex typography and text flow is more of a page layout feature (again, see Scribus).

Can easily create arrows with any size arrowhead* and any color*.

Relative easy to do by creating your own arrowhead and duplicating as needed.

Have 'anchors' on shapes so other shapes (typically lines) move when the shape in question is moved/scaled.

Not quite sure what you are looking for there. Could you clarify that one a bit more?

Inkscape is typically considered the most mature of the open source options for vector illustration (in fact, it's all I use for my freelance work these days). That said, there are some alternatives. I haven't tried these. If you do, report back and let us know how they work out!

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I think he means for example an arrow to a box and "anchoring" it meaning if he then moves the box that control point of the arrow will also move. OpenOffice.org Draw makes that really easy to do actually. I used it a lot when illustrating a textbook. –  Ryan Oct 24 '12 at 2:57
    
ah! Yea, that's a neat feature. One that I think Freehand also had! Alas, that's also not really a focus of illustration apps. That's more of a flow charting feature (and there are open source flow charting apps). –  DA01 Oct 24 '12 at 3:30
    
I guess perhaps another way to put it, the features being requested, while valid and would be great to have, aren't really features one typically finds in illustration software. I think the best solution might be to use different types of software for the particular task at hand. –  DA01 Oct 24 '12 at 3:31
    
Do you not like OpenOffice.org? –  Ryan Oct 24 '12 at 3:48
    
I can't say I have a strong opinion about OpenOffice one way or the other. ;) –  DA01 Oct 24 '12 at 5:05
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OpenOffice.org does everything you've just described. For more complex books (the multi page feature you seek) you might also want to look into Scribus.

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+1 for OOo. It fits the description. How good is Scribus these days? It's supposed to fit the bill, but I tried to work with it about a year and half ago and the bloody thing kept crashing. –  Sylverdrag Oct 24 '12 at 6:51
    
OOo Draw has all the features, but on the other end it is quite primitive. –  Sylverdrag Oct 24 '12 at 7:11
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