Graphics App Categories:

Omitted from these files (so far) are CAD apps, 3D animation and modelling apps, video/movie editing apps, renderers, and (most) Macromedia Flash generators.

Graphics Apps, Vector

Best, at this point, are probably Sodipodi, Inkscape, or Xara Xtreme, then Draw.

Graphics Apps, Vector — Details


Sodipodi is a vector-based drawing program, like CorelDraw or Adobe Illustrator from the proprietary software world, and Skencil or Karbon14 from the free software world. It is free software, distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License, Version 2.

Sodipodi uses W3C SVG as its native file format. It is therefore a very useful tool for Web designers.

It has a relatively modern display engine, giving you finely antialiased display, alpha transparencies, vector fonts and so on. Sodipodi is written in C, using the Gtk+ toolkit and optionally some GNOME libraries.

Sodipodi works under most versions of Unix and Windows.


About Inkscape: An Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara LX, 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.

Features transparency, gradients, node editing, pattern fills, PNG export, and more. Aiming for capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, Visio, etc.

Xara Xtreme for Linux (formerly Xara LX)

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

Formerly known as Xara LX, it is based on Xara Xtreme for Windows, which is the fastest graphics program available, period. The Xara Xtreme source code was made available open-source in early 2006, and is being ported to Linux.

Xara Xtreme for Linux:

We're pleased to announce that the 0.7 stable version is now available. Most of the Xara Xtreme features now work on Linux and it's now a very powerful and usable drawing tool. These are just some of the many working features, give them a try:

RM note: The CDraw rendering engine remains proprietary, and is available in static binary form for a few CPU architectures on Linux. This situation may be subject to change. See:


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.

A somewhat unusual (for a drawing program) feature of Skencil is that it is implemented almost completely in a very high-level, interpreted language, Python. Python is powerful, object-oriented and yet easy to use.

Just a few highlights about Skencil's features

Drawing Primitives

Skencil has the usual drawing primitives found in a vector drawing program:

All objects, including images and text, can be rotated, scaled, sheared, etc. (All affine transformations are possible.)


Primitives can usually have fill and line properties:

Special Effects and Features


Skencil has plugin mechanisms for a variety of purposes:

Import Filters allow Skencil to read different file formats. Currently Skencil has import filters for XFig (.fig), Adobe Illustrator (.ai) files, Corel CMX, Windows 3.1 Metafiles, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) and for its own file format.

Export Filters allow Skencil to write the drawing to various file formats. Skencil has filters for its own format and for Adobe Illustrator, PDF and SVG files.

Plugin Objects provide a way to define new graphics objects.

Other Features Draw

DRAW - from a quick sketch to a complex plan, DRAW gives you the tools to communicate with graphics and diagrams.

'Park' your most commonly used drawing tools around your screen ready for single-click access.

Use Styles and Formatting to put all your graphics styles at your finger tips.

Manipulate objects, rotate in two or three dimensions; the 3D controller puts spheres, rings, cubes, etc. at your disposal.

Arrange objects: group, ungroup, regroup, and edit objects while grouped. Sophisticated rendering let you create photorealistic images with your own texture, lighting effects, transparency, perspective, and so on.

Smart connectors make short work of flowcharts, organisation charts, network diagrams, etc. Define your own 'glue points' for connectors to 'stick' to.

Dimension lines automatically calculate and display linear dimensions as you draw.

Use the picture Gallery for clipart; create your own art and add it to the Gallery.

Save your graphics in OpenDocument format, the new international standard for office documents. This XML based format means you're not tied in to DRAW. You can access your graphics from any OpenDocument compliant software.

Import graphics from all common formats (including BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and WMF).

Use DRAW's free ability to create Flash (.swf) versions of your work. Impress

IMPRESS is a truly outstanding tool for creating effective multimedia presentations. Your presentations will stand out with 2D and 3D clip art, special effects, animation, and high-impact drawing tools.

Master Pages simplify the task of preparing your materials.

A complete range of Views are supported: Drawing / Outline / Slides / Notes / Handouts to meet all the needs of presenters and audiences, plus an optional multi-pane view to put all the tools at your fingertips.

IMPRESS has a complete range of easy-to-use drawing and diagramming tools to spice up your presentation.

'Park' your most commonly used drawing tools around your screen ready for single-click access.

Slide show Animation and Effects bring your presentation to life. Fontworks provides stunning 2D and 3D images from text. Create lifelike 3D images with astounding speed and response.

Save your presentations in OpenDocument format, the new international standard for office documents. This XML based format means you're not tied in to IMPRESS. You can access your presentations from any OpenDocument compliant software.

Of course, you are free to use your old Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, or save your work in PowerPoint format for sending to people who are still locked into Microsoft products. Alternatively, use IMPRESS's built-in ability to create Flash (.swf) versions of your presentations.

Synfig (release candidate)

Synfig is a powerful, industrial-strength vector-based 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.


2D Animation has traditionally been very expensive because every frame must be drawn by hand. Even with today's digital inking and painting software, the process still relies on individuals hand-drawing each frame. This laborious task is called "tweening".

Our animation technology eliminates the task of manual tweening, producing smooth, fluid motion without the animator having to draw out each frame individually.

This allows you to produce 2D animation with fewer people while producing a product of a higher quality.

Karbon14 (formerly Kontour, formerly Killustrator)

Karbon14 is the scalable vector drawing application in KDE.

Karbon is a vector-based drawing application for KOffice. It allows artists to create complex drawings without losing image quality when zooming in on, or resizing the drawing. You can use Karbon to add finishing touches to diagrams created using Kivio or charts created using KChart. Graphic design ideas can be quickly and easily transformed into high quality illustrations with Karbon.

What makes a vector-based drawing application like Karbon different from a pixel-based drawing application like Krita?

In a vector drawing - such as the drawing shown above - your drawing is stored as geometric shapes such as lines and curves. When the drawing is resized, the image scales smoothly.

However, in a pixel-based drawing, your drawing is stored as many dots (pixels) in rows and columns. When you resize a pixel-based image, the dots will be enlarged. This can result in jagged edges known as pixelation and aliasing and thus the quality of the image will go down. Pixel-based drawings often have larger file sizes compared to simple vector drawings.

For example: Karbon is useful for creating cartoons drawings or editing clip art which often needs to be resized to fit in a document or on a poster. Krita is more suited to painting pictures or editing photographs.

To get started with Karbon quickly, you might want to try opening and modifying some of the images from the Open Clip Art Library.


KToon is a 2D computer graphics animation toolkit designed by the Colombian firm Toonka Films for animators, and designed to function similarly to popular proprietary animation packages like Macromedia Flash. It currently lacks a scripting language like Macromedia's ActionScript, but can export movies as AVI files and Flash animations.

KToon is a 2D animation toolkit designed by animators for animators, focused on the cartoon industry. This project is covered by the GPL, using g++, OpenGL, and Qt as programming resources, and KDevelop as the development platform. For now, KToon is available only for Unix systems.

Minimum Requirements:


Potrace is an open source, cross-platform computer program that converts bitmapped images into vector graphics. It is written and maintained by Peter Selinger.

Various frontends are available for Potrace. Notably, it has been integrated with Inkscape, giving Inkscape its Trace Bitmap action. FontForge can use Potrace to import a bitmap image into a font. CR8tracer is a simple Windows GUI based frontend.

Potrace's input and output is black and white. (Colored images are converted to bitmap before processing.) However, Inkscape is capable of producing color images by decomposing each channel into several black and white images and tracing them separately with Potrace. The commercial Total Vectorise program also uses Potrace as its core.

Potrace is licensed under the GPL.


Kivio is an easy to use diagramming and flowcharting application with tight integration to the other KOffice applications. It enables you to create network diagrams, organisation charts, flowcharts and more.



Dia is a GTK+ based diagram creation program for Linux, Unix, and Windows released under the GPL license.

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.

It can load and save diagrams to a custom XML format (gzipped by default, to save space), can export diagrams to a number of formats, including EPS, SVG, XFIG, WMF and PNG, and can print diagrams (including ones that span multiple pages).

We feel Dia is in a state where it can be actively used. Many features are implemented, and the code is quite solid and mature.


ArgoUML is the leading open source UML modeling tool and includes support for all standard UML 1.4 diagrams. It runs on any Java platform and is available in ten languages.

ArgoUML provides the following features. Each feature is described briefly below.

Install with Java Web Start

The ArgoUML Web site provides easy installation with Java Web Start. Runs on any platform with Java1.4 or Java5

ArgoUML is written entirely in Java and uses the Java Foundation Classes. This allows ArgoUML to run on virtually any platform.

Standard UML Metamodel

ArgoUML is compliant with the OMG Standard for UML 1.4. The core model repository is an implementation of the Java Metadata Interface (JMI) which directly supports MOF and uses the machine readable version of the UML 1.4 specification provided by the OMG.

UML Diagram Support

ArgoUML uses GEF, the UCI Graph Editing Framework to edit UML diagrams. The following diagram types are supported:

XMI Support

XMI is an XML based exchange format between UML tools. ArgoUML uses this as standard saving mechanism so that easy interchange with other tools and compliance with open standards are secured. Additionally, exporting the model to XMI is possible. XMI version 1.0 was used for UML 1.3. ArgoUML 0.20 imports XMI 1.0 (by converting UML 1.3 to UML 1.4). And ArgoUML imports the UML1.4 formats XMI 1.1 & 1.2, but only writes XMI 1.2.

Several diagram export formats

Diagrams can be saved as GIF, PNG, PostScript, Encapsulated PS, PGML and SVG.


ArgoUML has been internationalized to American English, British English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Norwegian Bokmål and Chinese.

Diagram Editing

ArgoUML supports many diagram editing features that help you edit UML diagrams.

OCL Support

ArgoUML provides constraint modeling support on UML Classes and Features. The Dresden OCL toolkit enables ArgoUML to perform syntax and type checking on those constraints. OCL support has been provided by and developed at the Technical University of Dresden, thanks!

Code Generation

ArgoUML provides code generation for Java, C++, C#, PHP4 and PHP5. Other languages may be added since the code generation is a modular framework. The Java code generation works with the Java reverse engineering to provide basic round - trip engineering.

Reverse Engineering

ArgoUML provides a modular reverse engineering framework. Currently Java source code is provided by default and there are modules for Java Jar and class file import.

Design Critics

Design critics are simple agents that continuously execute in a background thread of control. They analyze the design as the designer is working and suggest possible improvements. These suggestions range from indications of syntax errors, to reminders to return to parts of the design that need finishing, to style guidelines, to the advice of expert designers. Many critics offer to automatically improve the design. Critics are controlled so that their suggestions are relevant and timely to the design task at hand, based on information in Argo's user model. Critics never interrupt the designer, instead they post their suggestions to the designer's "to do" list.

Corrective Automations (partially implemented)

Critics identify specific problems in the design and may offer specific solutions in the form of wizards or other corrective automations. These automations allow design improvements to be made faster and more reliably than they could be done by hand. Also, designers need not recall how to use the tool to achieve the suggested change.

"To Do" List

One difficulty designers face is keeping track of the myriad of details of their task. It is all to easy to skip a step in the design process, leave part of the design unspecified, of make a mistake that requires revision. Argo provides the designer with a "to do" list user interface that presents action items in an organized form. These items can be suggestions from critics, reminders to finish steps in the process model, or personal notes entered by the designer. The choice control at the top of the "to do" list pane allow the designer to organize items in different ways: by priority, by decision supported, by offending design element, etc. Items are shown under all applicable headings. The "to do" list may also be viewed as a flat list.

User Model (partially implemented)

Argo's user model maintains information about the designer and uses that information to make the tool more useful. One way that it does this is by controlling critics so that only critics that are timely and relevant to the task at hand can make suggestions. In the future, the corrective automations and explanations offered by critics will also be tailored to the designer.

Argo's user model consists of the following parts:


Checklists are currently widely used in design review meetings, in part, because they remind designers to cover all design details and avoid common design errors. Argo provides checklists that serve the same purpose, but have several advantages over passive printed lists:

Checklists are somewhat similar to critics (in fact, they share some of the same implementation), however they differ in the level of specificity so much that we feel that they should be presented separately to designers. Critics look for very specific problems and provide specific suggestions when those problems are detected. The designer stesign changes, but the critic can automate much of the analysis and work. In contrast, checklist items are much more general and vague, they serve to remind the designer, but it is the designer who must do most of the analysis and work.

Explorer Perspectives

ArgoUML, like most tools, provides a tree view to allow the designer to access the various parts of their modeling project. Unlike other tools, ArgoUML provides 9 different explorer perspectives and a simple editor to customize these perspectives or author new ones. Each explorer perspective is made up of a set of rules. Each rule defines the possible children of a given design element. When rules are combined they yield the union of the children produced by each rule. About 70 rules are available for designers to use in explorer perspectives. A simple dialog box allows designers to specify the rules that make up each perspective.

Multiple, Overlapping Views

Complex designs are made up of hundreds of elements with complex relationships to each other. Designers are better able to understand the design and make changes when they can see the elements and relationships that affect a certain design issue. No single diagram can clarify all design issues. Instead multiple diagrams and other presentations must be used.

ArgoUML allows multiple graphical representations of the same design element to be used in different diagrams. In this sense, the views are overlapping.

ArgoUML has 4 main views: Explorer, Diagram, Details, Critics.

Geist (unfinished, unmaintained)

Author's note: I should point out that geist is totally abandonware at this stage - but I'm keeping the page up because it's cool software. I just never had the time to work on it and imlib2 wasn't the best rendering backend to base the thing on. This disclaimer is up here so I don't have to edit the whole page and turn it all into the past tense :D

Geist is my [author Tom Gilbert's] stab at a object/vector based image manipulation package.

That's a pretty weak definition, but I can't do a lot better, the best thing is for you to check it out from CVS and take a look. Basically, the idea of geist is to be able to lay out images, shapes etc, whilst supporting full RGBA colorspace. Layered, transparent objects a speciality ;-)

Geist can currently export to every file formate supported by imlib2, plus it uses its own XML file format for saving documents between editing sessions.

In the future expect cool things like arbitrary curves, etc, plus modification layers, grouping, filters, gradients, blah, blah, blah... The TODO list is immense right now, but this thing is really fun to hack on.

There's no point me harping on too much here, check it out of CVS and see what you think, it's changing too fast for me to try and write more about it here ;-)

You'll need to get Imlib2 installed, recent, real recent. CVS if possible - geist requires the most recent imlib2 at all times, make sure you're up to date :-) Don't worry, imlib2 doesn't effect an imlib1 install, it's a separate library.

Sketsa SVG Editor (proprietary)

Sketsa SVG Editor is a cross platform vector drawing application based on SVG. Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is a graphics format and technology based on XML developed by W3C. With Sketsa, you can create vector graphics that can be scaled and printed at any resolution, without losing detail or clarity. You also get instant visual feedback on what you changed.

Sketsa SVG Editor features various tools for optimizing content creation, giving designers unsurpassed support for creativity. The visual design tools allows designer to select, draw, and edit objects easily, while the integrated DOM Editor and SVG XML source editor allows designer to hand edit SVG source code for greater control.

System Requirements

Sun StarOffice Draw

StarOffice 8 Draw

StarOffice Draw delivers a collection of powerful, easy-to-use illustration tools that can have a dramatic impact on your documents -- and your audience.

Key Benefits

Express Yourself Graphically

Layout Tools

You don't have to be a studio art director to do dramatic graphic layouts. With StarOffice Draw, curiosity and imagination are enough. You visual layout toys include grids, guides, rulers, snap-to, position, and sizing tools. They let you think graphically rather than grapple with technology.

Vector Graphics & AutoShapes

Let's get fancy. StarOffice Draw puts advanced vector graphics at your fingertips. Choose from 87 different AutoShapes, with shape-adjustment handlers, 3-D options, and gads of "fill and shading" tools for subtle nuance that makes the difference.

Colors, Textures & Shading

Start slow. Begin with the standard palette. Then, the sky's the limit. You can customize colors, gradients, textures, transparency, bitmaps, and shadows. It's all the fun of art school, and your presentations will look like you were in business school.


The Fontwork tool helps you design 2-D and 3-D fonts with flexible curves, shading, and color-fill options.

3D Objects

Create simple 3-D objects such as cubes, spheres, and cylinders in Draw, and even modify the light source of the objects.

Merge Graphics

Combine any shape, whether 3-D vector or 2-D raster, with others in a variety of ways.


StarOffice Draw uses connectors to connect objects in flow charts, organizational diagrams, and more. Connectors attach to glue points on drawing objects, and stay attached to objects, even when you move them.


Enrich your drawings and other StarOffice files with images, animations, and sounds.

Export & Share Your Drawings

Flexible Graphic File Formats

You won't be locked out. StarOffice Draw exports files in all the common graphic file formats, including BMP, GIF, JPEG, TIFF, PNG, SVG, WMF, EPS, and more.

Portable Document Format (.pdf)

StarOffice's PDF publishing features make sure nothing gets lost in the translation. StarOffice now supports PDF bookmarks, hyperlinks, thumbnail images, and form elements.

Publishing in Flash (.swf)

StarOffice Draw also lets you export your presentations as Macromedia Flash files with dramatic appeal.

Corel Draw (proprietary)

From rick Wed Sep 17 21:19:48 2003
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 21:19:48 -0700
To: Philippine Linux Users Group Mailing List (
Subject: Re: [plug] Corel Draw

Quoting smart penguin (

[About copies of Corel Draw for Linux:]

> I want to reiterate what I have said; I like to buy a copy, do you
> have any suggestion where to buy this one?

They're very hard to find, after all this time. The product was discontinued three years ago, and there weren't all that many boxes made in the first place. The two mail-order places I'm aware of that used to have copies in stock until recently no longer do so.

Please be aware that (like Corel WordPerfect9, PhotoPaint, and Paradox for Linux) the program was never a real Linux port, but rather a WINE app (Win32 code compiled to run under WINE libraries). So, it was fairly slow, huge, and buggy -- not to mention dependent on Corel's fork of the WINE code.

If you honestly want to run Corel Draw, then maybe running some native Win32 (MS-Windows) release under WINE or Crossover Office might work -- though comments I've seen don't look encouraging. On the other hand, if you'd consider using something else, then look at native Linux apps.

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