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How do I Choose the Best Vector Editor?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

To choose the best vector editor software program you should begin by considering what you need from a program and how much you plan on using it. If you are looking for a program that will allow simple vector editing, then you should look for one that is easy to use. A program that provides you with a greater array of tools or options for implementing animation may be appropriate in some cases, but these programs are also typically more difficult to use when starting out. You should also consider how much use you will get out of a vector editor to help you decide on the one that is best for you.

A vector editor is a software program that allows you to create and edit vector images. Images that use vector graphics are created through the editing of geometric elements, such as lines and shapes, rather than raster-based graphics that utilize individual pixels to create an image. You should consider what types of projects you are going to be working on with the editor. If you are just looking for a vector editor to make a few changes to one image, then you should consider a simple program that will be easy to use.

Woman doing a handstand with a computer
Woman doing a handstand with a computer

On the other hand, if you are looking to make major changes to a vector image, or you are working on professional graphics, then you should consider a more complicated vector editor program. These programs are often more difficult to use, and more expensive, so you should look for a program that will suit your needs. If you need to create animations, such as short animated cartoons or commercials, then you should look for a vector editor that supports animation output. You may need to utilize several different programs for this, however, as well as a program to composite audio and video together.

There is quite an array of vector editor programs available, so you should consider how much use you will get out of such a program before choosing one. If you are just looking to make a few changes to an image for personal use, then you can likely find a simple and affordable program for your purposes. You may even be able to find freeware to download and use without expense. On the other hand, if you are running a professional advertising agency, then you would likely want to purchase a commercial vector editor program that is far more powerful and more expensive.

Discussion Comments


Another important question to ask is what, exactly, you want to do with the vector editor. That might seem like an obvious question, but consider this. If you are only out to convert raster graphics to vector so they can be scaled, that can be a chore with a lot of commercial vector programs. There are commercial package that do that task very well and they cost a lot less.

Do some research and make sure you are getting exactly what you need before you plunk down that cash.


Before rushing out and buying a vector imaging program, it might be a good idea to find an open source one first so you can get an idea of what it is like to work with vector graphics. Heck, you may find that the open source package you choose is more than good enough.

Yeah, yeah. I know. "Open source means free and how good could a free program be?"

You might be surprised. I know for a fact that there are some great open source vector packages out there. They might not have all the bells and whistles as the more respected, commercial programs built for editing vector graphics, but they do work well and some professionals can even get by with using them.

The open source movement has given us a great operating system in Linux, some fantastic office suites and, yes, even great vector programs. Try one or two out before you buy a commercial vector program. What do you have to lose?

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      Woman doing a handstand with a computer