Inkscape 0.92.1 released.

My personal standard when it comes to vector graphics is still CorelDraw. Don’t even mention Freehand to me.

All these apps were in my arsenal in a department where I used to work years ago. I had Windows and Macintosh machines. My first vector taste was Micrografx Designer, which was already good, then later bought by Corel. Before that I was using MacDraw and MacPaint on Mac. Now when they want you to use a Mac app, you do it without objection. And I was good at implementing workarounds such as using blank shapes to cover imperfections. Point is when you’re at the workaround stage that means you’re fully familiar with the app warts and all.

Then I discovered CorelDraw which I didn’t like at first, but then found to be more mature and way ahead of its time. It was way faster because it took advantage of the RMB context menu, which all Mac apps didn’t have because it had a one-button mouse! CorelDraw blew out Win versions of AI and Freehand out of the water. AI and Freehand were playing catchup with CorelDraw. They were buggy, too many mouse clicks for simple tasks.

Features that you still don’t see in Inkscape were already in CorelDraw’s earliest versions, booleans, called Trim in CorelDraw, blending two completely different shapes, animation features, etc. Only reason why I no longer use CorelDraw is because it’s too expensive. AI became standard because of its association with Adobe Photoshop. And I think Corel’s mistake was it’s refusal to split the suite in pieces. It has to be bought whole, which included Photopaint, and others. Today, I have no idea what CorelDraw looks like and what they added. It must be 20x better.

So far the only such “report” that I know of comes from someone on this forum who created new icons and didn’t even try to contact us directly, expecting that we will somehow (magically?) discover them. If you know of more such reports, I’d be interested to see what exactly happened and how we can improve.

I’m sure I posted my opinion on that before (it’s in that article on LGW linked above): the GEGL port took too long, new features don’t end up in final releases soon enough. So people are not very motivated to contribute something that will probably reach end-users in several years time. It sure is a problem, and there is no simple solution.

thanks for the suggestions cekuhnen, you’re right Adobe has been asleep for a while now. Affinity had a few no-brainer options (like preview of the blending mode on scroll-over) that Photoshop should have had a long time ago. Couldn’t believe I haven’t heard of it.

Also excited and pleased about new Inkscape.

Yeah but come on the UI is the source of criticism since many years lets say around since I know Inkscape which is 14 years ago!

Not native on OS X always hurt the app. Blender is.

Not having Hi-DPI icons is really a pain. But I contribute this part also to windows and MS itself. nearly all MacOS apps are ready or work with retina displays. MS just did not do a good job here with Win10 and also making companies follow the new design guidelines.

"Superficial " Hmm maybe both. A good UI is as needed as the deep tool set. But I am more happy with a fast UI and workflow then having 50+ effects.

I think in forums in general one can mention competition - but if you do it too much everybody will look like you want the software be like the other one and then they ask hey why dont you use the competition then.

Keep in mind via forums and text emotions and personal intent so often can get lost.

CorelDraw was only Win. That was one of their problems. The second was the lack of serious color management. Specifically Windows at that time was bad at it. Adobe also introduced PDF and such standards. Lool at Win10 today.

The OS still lacks many of the must haves macOS has.

Freehand was also not just an Illustration but layout hybrid. Somethings Coral Draw at the time also was not.

So there are many reasons why Freehand was so dominant in Europe and then with InDesign and such Adobe took over after killing Macromedia and Freehand + Fireworks.

RMB is also something you hardly used in AI during that time as all commands were reachable via hotkeys. Never really missed it
because there are more commands than to fit into the context menu.

In Gravit where I collaborate with the developers we try to put more into the RMG menu but thats also possible because how small and focused the toolset in Gravit it. it perfectly allows it.

Corel Paint xRes Photoshop there were so many 2D and also 3D apps. Macromedia also did a 3D app. But most died out and I think because of good reasons sometimes.

How sustainable is that business model really, though? 45$ is not very much, they will have to charge for upgrades pretty soon and if users don’t follow up with the next 45$ (or whatever it will be), their business will falter unless they have a very low burn rate, which means they have few developers and therefore the program won’t improve much over time.

If the company falters, it’ll likely get bought out by the competition and discontinued. Then you’re stuck with another dead-end product. Granted, this could happen even with a stable company (remember Macromedia Freehand?). Maybe a buyout is their exit strategy and you don’t even know. They might charge just enough to keep running and growing, until Adobe has seen enough and starts waving around serious cash. And that’ll be the end of another incredible journey.

Free software, with all its flaws, doesn’t have that problem. It’s hard to put a dollar value on software freedom, most people will just ignore it and just look at the application and how it works. I also believe people undervalue free software just because it is free.

Another point that has been made is development inertia: Once a program has reached a certain point of development, it becomes much more expensive to change it. All of these new programs appear to come out of nowhere, but they’re informed by the problems and mistakes of the programs that came before. The groundwork for these older programs is sometimes decades old, made to run on completely different computers than we have today. That groundwork is not just getting thrown away.

GIMP and Inkscape may not have turned out quite right in terms of usability, but there doesn’t seem to be anyone foolish enough to give another shot at creating FOSS graphics applications. Maybe that’s because the “community” has never made it truly worthwhile for the developers of GIMP and Inkscape to do their work. Like with proprietary software, the developers of potential new software are informed by the experiences of their precursors.

BeerBaron that is always a risk you take and as you saw happened to all Macromedia apps!!!

But hey lets be honest here 45$ in the USA that is like 5 six packs of beer. Whats the problem?
This is not a big investment. Also after feb they will introduce a new license model. You can either
go subscriptions - or you can buy the upgrades. This will allow you to be always up todate or
upgrade only when needed and keep using the software you have when it offers all you need.

Other point: look at Photoshop over the past 16 years. How much radical tool improvements
did it get? not so many. Look at AI - even less.

My point is that those apps are kind when it comes to photo and vector work at a state where
you just have the tools. Blender doesn’t get new modeling tools all the time.

When Affinity Designer gets deformation tools and master pages (templates) then it is basically
feature equal to Freehand that at that time was more sufficient to do DTP work than what InDesign
is today. AI got a lot better when they actually copied the Freehand parts into it.

My point is that even when you buy Affinity now and it dies in 2 years you will have mature apps
that will serve you for the next comping years and more.

While I support FOSS for me the app has to make sense. Blender and Scribus and now Krita are three
of those FOSS apps that for me are pro grade (usability UI toolset).
And I like to support also commercial apps that can compete with Adobe which is Affinity now - since they are both Mac and PC.

I looked into PhotoLine but I feel for vector work Affinity will have a better direction.
My students instantly jumped ship and are loving the experience.


anybody has an idea for how to make Krita and Inkscape useable on a surfacePro or Book?

I lowered the screen resolution and hilariously win10 or QT scales the icons down as well.


I just went back to Win10 on the MacPro so I can use Inkscape without killing my eyes.

The path effects are pretty nice - but performance and stability and usability is a serious issue.
The effects are rather clunky to use and not intuitive.

However the when working they work pretty great! Bend tool for example. so much better then doing an
envelope bend.

Vector apps are generally used for design layouts. Don’t even know what you mean by this.

So there are many reasons why Freehand was so dominant in Europe and then with InDesign and such Adobe took over after killing Macromedia and Freehand + Fireworks.

Freehand was never dominant in any continent. It didn’t even elevate to a serious app. Don’t know why you keep mentioning Freehand as some sort of a standard. It was a beta full of bugs and remained a beta. Reason why it no longer exists.

Unfortunately the developers have stated that threaded text boxes are not coming to Designer - but they will be included in the upcoming Publisher. Without threaded text boxes creating text layouts is a bit awkward.

Designer is of course focused on becoming an excellent vector illustration package. And for users accustomed to Photoshop (transfer users) Affinity Photo is friendlier to transition to at the moment than PhotoLine. Especially with all the tutorials available for Affinity Photo.

When I still lived in Western Europe (nineties) I taught vector illustration classes, and while Illustrator was the most popular, Freehand was used as the dominant tool by people in certain jobs (for example those who were in map making an drawings) - at least in my experience. Freehand was quite commonly used at that time.

The reason it no longer exists is simple: Adobe acquired Macromedia, and Adobe management killed it. A large group of Freehand users attempted to open source it, and started a class action lawsuit. Adobe met with the representatives of this user group four times (I believe) and due to legalities involved (the details were classified and explained behind doors to the representatives) Freehand never was released to open source. You can check this here:

To say Freehand did not have a fairly large group of users is not quite correct. It did.

Now, whether Freehand would have survived even without Adobe’s involvement as a Macromedia product? At the time when Adobe acquired Macromedia, the development of Freehand, and Fireworks in particular, were already having problems at Macromedia (at least that is what I read over at the Adobe forums). Macromedia was considering to axe Fireworks, it seems. Freehand was suffering as well.

Anyway, we will never know for certain. What I do know is that a staunch group of Freehand users STILL insist, after all these years, to continue to use Freehand. Take that as you will. Many users still use Fireworks (which, admittedly, offers a number of useful features still unavailable in modern software alternatives).

In my opinion Freehand, as it stands, has a rather clunky GUI compared to the current crop of GUIs. And personally I never liked Freehand that much - even in the nineties I preferred both Illustrator and CorelDraw.

Inkscape is simply a single page vector illustration tool.

Freehand was a multi-page illustration and desk top publishing tool. Gravit is now going right into that direction while Adobe keeps AI on purpose crippled. There are some typo tools you need InDesign for lol …

Freehand was not used a lot? Interesting view. All the design positions at agencies I worked at must have been crazy.

Yeah difference between doing a graphic and doing DTP. AI at that time was not even usable for that workflow. That started to change with InDesign and when Adobe adapted art pages from Freehand.

Freehands UI was well from the 90th. You can clearly see that. But the workflow and access to tools was in many areas smarther than AI was at that time for DTP which well AI wasnt even able to do well anyway. Freehands code was was also a mess specifically the data based format.

One of the great ups of Adobe is that AI PSD and InDesign use all the same color management engine. If you use AI and Quarkexpress again you use different CMM engines. That is a pretty important part of you are in print and need to work color accurate.

Today I would never touch Freehand again. Looking at what Gravit Designer 2 Beta shows now is simply how stuff should be.

Inkscape has no multi page nor live booleans. AI wants you to use the shape builder for live booleans. Gravit and Affinity vector simply use drag n drop to create clippings and live booleans faster in the layer system.

Yeah they also want to keep Affinity Designer more like vector and do the DTP with Publisher - which kinda can make sense while I fully disagree.

With 25MB Freehand has 90% of what all modern apps have in 200 to 500 MB. All Freehand did not have was live booleans/clipping and layer vector effects and if you want pressure sensitive pens.

Are you saying Freehand is a DTP app? How many pages, 3, 4, 5?

Freehand was not used a lot? Interesting view. All the design positions at agencies I worked at must have been crazy.
You still haven’t explained why Freehand no longer exists.

In reality you don’t do desktop publishing using a single application. You normally use a dedicated DTP complemented with various apps such as vector and photo editing tools. If what you’re saying is only the convenience of doing everything in one single app, then that’s a shallow way to look at it. And I even doubt apps like CorelDraw haven’t added such features long time ago. (They bought Ventura.)

In this day and age, it’s no longer impossible to do every graphics task using cheaper alternatives and open source apps. I had Serif PagePlus 3 years ago and I could publish a book with hundreds of pages full of graphic illustrations. Latest version is version X9(19). And you still can get it for an unbelievable price of $25!

Nowadays, I’ll probably just use Scribus, Inkscape and Gimp. If you have the resourcefulness and ingenuity, nothing is impossible. However, if I’m active in the DTP industry, I would use CoreDraw Suite, PagePlus, etc.

BTW, Inkscape is using CorelDraw as the standard, not Illustrator or Freehand. Just look at its UI and it resembles CorelDraw. Even the way Adobe designed their UI, later copied by others like Freehand and many others, was found to be short sighted. The undockable floating toolbars looked cool back in the day, but people like me even those early times thought they were silly. They get in the way.

I didn’t say such thing. I was saying it’s not the standard, it’s never been. And you can fairly say any app has its followers and loyal users. Adobe Photoshop was huge, and it carried Illustrator perfectly even though there was a far better app called CorelDraw. Today, the differences are most likely minor and it’s all up to workflow preferences and the amount of money you have in your wallet. Anyways, your response is fair and balanced. I don’t disagree in general.


go google Freehand - you write a lot of non-sense here.

If CorelDraw would have been the killer app the industry would have adjusted based on how you even describe DTP workflows.

Also research how Freehand was used for illustration and DTP - maybe also what DTP includes.

DTP and Vector Illustration are separate applications. They have minor overlaps, but they are never intended to be used for both applications. Think about publishing a book or magazine with hundreds of pages. You use a dedicated DTP as your main app, then add vector and paint app.

Serif had PagePlus, DrawPlus, PhotoPlus, etc. They never thought of combining them in one single application. Now I don’t know about Affinity, whether they bought Serif or just a rebranding of their products. It’s clear that Designer is not having DTP features. They’re adding Affinity Publisher, which is probably the previous PagePlus product.