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Inkscape mini review

Discussion in 'General Software' started by Arstron, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. Arstron

    Arstron Member

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    Oct 11, 2006
    Let me first say that I do not write many reviews, nor do I think I am any good at it, however after giving Inkscape a real try, I feel like it is very underrated. Thoughts and comments are welcome.

    I have been using Inkscape for quiet a while now on my linux computers, mainly for the auto trace feature on recreating logos and numbers on wrecked trucks (18 wheelers). Last night however, I decided to play around with the rest of the features in Inkscape and I have to say I am very impressed. I mainly use Flexi 8.1 for designing and illustrator cs2 for backgrounds, fades, preparing to print, etc. I love the way Flexi handles points in vectors, but hate how illustrator does it. Anyway, I decided to create a banner last night at home using only inkscape, I had to recreate a logo for a company off of a business card so I used the bezier tool and path edit tools, both of which worked just like flexi's. I played around with gradient feels as well, which I found to be easier and would do what I want compared to flexi and cs2. As for fonts, you do not have as many options in Inkscape as there are in flexi (size, width, slant, tracking, vertical offset for each letter), in Inkscape you can only adjust the font, style, line spacing, and alignment of each letter. The other thing it is lacking that I really like about flexi sign, is the ability to choose an anchor point to size or align an object. In Inkscape everything is aligned at the bottom left, not a huge problem, but when you are used to being able to choose your anchor point, you miss it. I have not played with any of the effects in inkscape yet so I really cant say much about them.

    Cons of the program:
    Font customization, although not needed in every job, some jobs and fonts do need this, although you can manually change any letter in the program, it makes it a lot easier.
    I havnt found this option yet, if it has it im sorry, but a "break apart" tool for fonts to break each line into a selectable word or a single line into individual selectable letters. It is possible by using "object to path" then "break apart" however the inside of any letters (such as O or D) become an object as well which you have to then combine for the center to be transparent. Not a huge deal, just a nuisance since Flexi does this.
    Anchor points, again not a huge problem, but it would be a nice feature.

    Pros
    Node/Point editing is every bit as good as flexi, the movement for me "feels" better and smoother to me. I cant stand illustrators node editing so this is a big plus for Inkscape.
    Gradients and transperency, it is able to do transparent to solid color fades, solid to transparent, to solid fades and so on. I have no complaints on the fade tool at all.

    In short, Inkscape does everything that is really needed for making signs, and it doesn't cost a dime. There are some things it does better then flexi or illustrator and some things it is lacking, but all in all it can be a very powerful program that is pretty simple to use. Considering it is open source, it would be possible to add any/all the features that is lacking and to make it even better.
     
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  2. choucove

    choucove Active Member

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    Feb 25, 2008
    This is really great to hear, thank you for your work! I've really been playing with the idea of setting up a Linux workstation just to test out some things and see the feasibility of one in the business. Anymore you can get a solid operating system with a quite friendly user interface so just about anyone can work in it. There are several open-source programs to help with this or that including Inkscape, and you can still run several Windows programs within Wine. The only thing that would be a problem still would be print drivers.
     
  3. Arstron

    Arstron Member

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    Oct 11, 2006
    I have my laptop setup to dual boot windows vista (for gaming) and Ubuntu (for everything else), in ubuntu i have vmware installed and I have it running windows xp. On xp, I have flexi sign installed and can rip/print to my networked computer with ease and I can network to the ubuntu side so that I can share files that I work on in inkscape or flexi. It works really great for me.
     
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