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I am a newbie in making pictures and animations. I have found a nice .svg picture on wikipedia and now I am assuming what tools the author used.

enter image description here

I know that I can make this picture with Microsofts' paint or gimp too, but I am searching for an tool that is easily to use for making such animations.

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A search for free vector graphics software will give you a variety of editors to choose from.

Inkscape is one which I've heard is similar på Illustrator and does a decent job.

  • Is Inkscape the only well-known free .svg editor? – andrew May 31 '13 at 11:36
  • "Well known" is highly subjective and relative. Why does it matter how well known it is? Try some out, or look up comparative articles on them to see which others like the best. I have used Illustrator pretty much exclusively so I'm afraid I can't give any experience input on that matter – AndroidHustle May 31 '13 at 11:44
  • Inkscape is generally talked about as the leading open source alternative to Illustrator, e.g. Wikipedia themselves recommend it, but there always might be others (can't think of any others off the top of my head) – user56reinstatemonica8 May 31 '13 at 14:17
  • @andrew SVG-Edit is another FOSS SVG editor that is completely in-browser – JohnB May 31 '13 at 16:05
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Usually we can read a lot on how an .svg file was created by opening it with a text editor.

In the example linked to in the question the .svg file tells us the following in it's header:

Application used:

<!-- Created with Inkscape (http://www.inkscape.org/) -->

But there is much more we can find out from the xml tags which define the objects in an SVG file:

Arrows:

inkscape:stockid="Arrow2Mend"  

Circles:

sodipodi:type="arc"
style="fill:#555753;fill-opacity:1;stroke:#729fcf;stroke-width:5.12058449;stroke-linecap:round;stroke-linejoin:round;stroke-miterlimit:4;stroke-opacity:1;stroke-dasharray:none"

Text "Schlüsselgenerator":

style="font-size:48px;font-variant:normal;font-stretch:normal;text-align:center;text-anchor:middle;fill:#eeeeec;font-family:Trebuchet MS;-inkscape-font-specification:Trebuchet MS"

The xml tags will also have information on colours used, styles of borders or fill patterns. It is then very easy to reproduce the original drawing or modify it to our personal needs.

Much easier than reading the file in a text editor is opening it in the application used to create it to read the object's properties there.

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if you go to alternativeto.net and enter an alternative to Illustrator (a vector program) it will provide a list of around 20+ vector solutions for you to browse through.

Some are open-source and some are paid. Read the comments/reviews and decide which one you would like to try out. If you have an issue by all means you are welcome to come back and ask specific questions on how to achieve something and we will be happy to help.

Please know we do have a tag system in place here and you can search many open-source questions/answers.

Vector programs:

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