Wondering if anyone has any suggestions for vector drawing programs aside from for drawing diagrams, mockups, wireframes, icons — basically any kind of design asset.

I may give a try, but I would prefer something open source that stores it’s files in an open format like . Not something that exports to SVG, but just saves and opens SVG by default. I also want to keep files locally, so is out.

Such software may not exist, because I’d love features like non-destructive shape joins, which is at odds with standard file formats like SVG. Still, open to suggestions.

@darth_mall The real problem with SVG, as I see it, is the text features are a mess. If you accept the constraint of SVGs that are readable only by HTML-aware programs, such as browsers, it becomes more feasible to have an open-source offering.

@danburzo it'd be great if the design assets were readable by something like a browser, so that I could share them with teammates without them having to install anything special, but that's not a requirement for me. I'm more interested in avoiding tool lock-in.

I'm not sure what you mean by SVG's text features being a mess, though.

@darth_mall Oops, I meant the support for SVG text features is a mess, mainly the lack of any text-flow implementation in current browsers.

@darth_mall (We're now in a place where to get decent text capabilities in a SVG environment, we're forced to go back into the HTML namespace via the foreignObject element)

@danburzo Oh, that's excellent. I didn't realize that had been added.

I have tried gravitdesigner and I am quite happy with it mainly due to its object highlight feature. And yes I needed to revert to it in some cases due to lack of OSS options. Nevertheless, when I can, I use Inkscape.

If you want something that is also capable of print ready output, you might want to try SK1. I also tried Alva but I need to play around a little bit more to form an opinion. Then there was someone doing something with elementary dependencies, called Ankira.

@Pedro Maybe I just need to invest more time in really learning Inkscape. It's been so long since I really used it for anything (probably over 10 years) that it probably deserves a harder look.


I see. Inkscape is still my go to whenever is possible. I quite enjoy the opportunities that inkscape command line offer. Or even the possibility to have interactive prototype with just Python + SVG ♥

@ted Inkscape feels like it lacks the polish of the kinds of tools I'm used to like Affinity Designer, Sketch, or Figma. It feels more like an SVG authoring tool than a drawing/design tool in a lot of ways, if that makes sense.

When I was testing it out a few months ago, I had so much difficulty creating reusable symbols (plus it kept crashing). There's no automatic alignment to other shapes, not a lot of good typographic tools, & the UI feels so clunky.

That said, I'm giving it another shot.

@darth_mall thanks for the feedback!

You might play with the guides and grids, Inkscape's are very configurable and can be basically arbitrarily built and placed. Also, tiled clones can give a lot of interesting results based on how you're trying to lay things out.

Also @ryangorley may have some additional tips on using it as a professional design tool.

@ted @ryangorley Sure. I'd be happy to provide more detail if there's a better venue for it than masto. 😁 I haven't looked into where the community is yet, but I'd really like to use open source tools for work.

Also at least some of the clunkiness I was running into seems to be an issue at work. The font dialog was buggy and it didn't pick up my GTK theme, but when I installed it on my laptop, I wasn't having those problems. So 🤷‍♂️

@ted @Pedro One question I have, and maybe one of you knows the answer: is there a way to get to play nicely with a dark GTK theme? I'm using the dark version of flat-remix-gtk ( and Inkscape just doesn't play nicely with it. LibreOffice Writer doesn't have these same problems, which makes me suspect it's not the theme itself.

@darth_mall @Pedro it is probably most related to Inkscape's released version being GTK 2. The dev branch is already GTK 3, it just hasn't gotten stable enough to release yet.

@ted something to look forward to, then. 😁

Have you tried the latest inkscape build? The pre 1.0 releases have a bunch of theme preferences and upgrades that need testing.
@ted @Pedro

@doctormo I haven’t. I can’t really be running prereleases for work. I need something stable.

@doctormo @darth_mall @ted Thanks for the suggestion Martin but I also shouldn't work with unstable tools for my day to day work. Nevertheless by switching to Numix-circle icons + Vimix light blue I found my sweet spot at least for now :p

@jalcine I have not.

Are you talking about this, or something else?

@darth_mall that's the one! They have imports for GNOME 3 UI components but I just use the basic ones

@jalcine Wait, is that really the same thing as Pencil2D seems to be for animation, or am i missing something?

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