How to get Adobe Illustrator for free? There are many open source vector graphics editors with capabilities similar to Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw. Why pay for a commercial software when the free open source alternatives are as good as the paid version?
A number of vector graphics editors exist for various platforms. Potential users of these editors will make a decision based on factors such as the availability for the user’s platform. Below is a complete list of the best Adobe Illustrator alternatives. If you are a poor student, a small business owner or a print shop owner, just give these free illustrator alternatives a try and avoid pirated software from torrent.
↓ 01 – Inkscape | Open Source | macOS | Windows | Linux
Inkscape is a professional vector graphics editor for Windows, macOS and Linux. It’s free and open source. It is an open-source vector graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Freehand, or Xara X. What sets Inkscape apart is its use of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), an open XML-based W3C standard, as the native 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. Works great on Microsoft’s Windows 10 and Apple’s macOS.
- Fully anti-aliased display
- Alpha transparency support for display and PNG export
- Complete “as you drag” rendering of objects during interactive transformations
- Live watching and editing the document tree in the XML editor
- PNG and PostScript export
- Command line options for export and conversions
- Perfectly compliant SVG format file generation and editing
↓ 02 – Krita | Open Source | macOS | Windows | Linux
Krita is a professional free and open source cross-platform application that offers an end-to-end solution for creating digital art files from scratch. Krita is optimized for frequent, prolonged and focused use. Explicitly supported fields of painting are illustrations, concept art, matte painting, textures, comics and animations. Developed together with users, Krita is an application that supports their actual needs and workflow. Krita supports open standards and interoperates with other applications.
It is made by artists that want to see affordable art tools for everyone. Krita is a complete creative sketching and painting application with advanced, commercial quality features. Krita has been in development for over 10 years and has had an explosion in growth recently. It offers many common and innovative features to help the amateur and professional alike.
- Full Color Management – Krita supports full color management through LCMS for ICC and OpenColorIO for EXR, allowing you to incorporate Krita into your existing color management pipeline. Or let it be the start of one: Krita comes with a wide variety of icc working space profiles for every need, with a color space browser to visualise and explore them.
- OpenGL Enhanced – Krita takes advantage of OpenGL for some of its operations. With OpenGL enabled, you will see increased canvas rotation and zooming speed. The canvas will also look better when zoomed out.
- PSD Support – Open PSD files that even Photoshop cannot open. Load and save to PSD when you need to take your artwork across different programs.
- HDR Support – Krita is the only dedicated painting application that lets you open, save, edit and author HDR and scene-referred images. Furthermore, with OCIO and OpenEXR support, you can manipulate the view to examine HDR images, and use it in the most cutting edge workflows from the film and visual effects industries.
↓ 03 – Vectr | Free | macOS | Windows | Linux
Vectr is a free graphics editor that you can use to create vector graphics – graphics that are scalable without the loss of resolution – easily and intuitively. Instead of using pixels, vector graphics use mathematical equations to draw your design. Of course, Vectr performs the math behind-the-scenes, so the only thing you need to focus on is what you’re creating.
Vectr is available online and on your desktop across multiple platforms, allowing for live collaboration and synchronization anytime, anywhere, and with anyone. With Vectr’s easy-to-use interface, anyone can unleash their creativity as an illustrator or graphic designer – we’ll show you how in no time.
- Node editing: moving nodes and Bezier handles, node alignment and distribution, etc.
- Converting to path (for text objects or shapes), including converting stroke to path
- Boolean operations
- Path simplification, with variable threshold
- Path insetting and outsetting, including dynamic and linked offset objects
- Bitmap tracing (both color and b/w)
↓ 04 – Gravit | Limited Free | macOS | Windows | Linux
UPDATE: Gravit is not free anymore. Meet Gravit – the cutting-edge design app that will take your creativity to new heights. Gravit offers the creative possibilities of a full-scale design suite – but in a snug app-sized package. Powerful yet easy-to-handle, Gravit has been custom designed from the ground up with an emphasis on versatility, fluidity and elegance – complex design tasks are made simple through its robust suite of tools and highly responsive smart work environment.
Express yourself in a new way with Gravit – the new must-have tool for today’s pioneering design professionals! The Most Complete Design Platform. Create and share beautiful designs with the power, flexibility and speed of a free, lightweight and easy-to-use tool, right in your browser.
↓ 05 – Microsoft Expression Design [ Discontinued ] | Free | Windows
Although discontinued, Microsoft Expression Design is a really good professional illustration vector and raster graphic design tool for web images based on Creature House Expression, which was acquired by Microsoft. Expression Design is a tool for creative professionals and developers who want to build graphics for application user interfaces, the web, or any other medium.
The convenience and ease of editing vector graphics in Expression Design can be a cornerstone of your Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Microsoft Silverlight, and web images. Whether you’re a veteran professional illustrator, a designer building a dazzling website, or a budding artist eagerly experimenting with various styles and techniques, you will find Expression Design an indispensable tool for your creative tasks.
- Drawing: pencil tool (freehand drawing with simple paths), pen tool (creating Bezier curves and straight lines), calligraphy tool (freehand drawing using filled paths representing calligraphic strokes)
- Shape tools: rectangles (may have rounded corners), ellipses (includes circles, arcs, segments), stars/polygons (can be rounded and/or randomized), spirals
- Text tool (multiline text, full on-canvas editing)
- Embedded bitmaps (with a command to create and embed bitmaps of selected objects)
- Clones (“live” linked copies of objects), including a tool to create patterns and arrangements of clones
↓ 06 – Boxy SVG | Not Free Anymore | macOS | Web App
Boxy SVG is a Scalable Vector Graphics Editor. Vector graphics editor simillar to Adobe Illustrator®, Sketch™ and Inkscape™. Made with and for the modern Web Platform. Can do illustrations, icons, banners, mockups, charts, buttons and more. Works on Chrome OS, OS X, Linux, Windows and even inside the web browser.
- Affine transformations (moving, scaling, rotating, skewing), both interactively and by specifying exact numeric values
- Z-order operations
- Grouping objects, with a way to “select in group” without ungrouping, or “enter the group” making it a temporary layer
- Layers, with a way to lock and/or hide individual layers, rearrange them, etc; layers can form a hierarchical tree
- Copying and pasting objects
- Alignment and distribution commands