Adobe Illustrator Alternatives and Similar Software


Adobe Illustrator is the most widely used program for vector graphics design, but some people find it hard to learn or too expensive. Whooaa! don't worry if you are one of this users, because there are several alternatives that fit almost any budget or skill level.

 If you are one of my twitter friends, you already know how much I like to share resources, so I decide to show my personal selection of Adobe Illustrator alternatives and / or similar software. So here they are, my list of alternatives in alphabetical order!


 Calligra Karbon (Linux-Windows)

Their Description: Karbon is a vector drawing application with an user interface that is easy to use, highly customizable and extensible. That makes Karbon a great application for users starting to explore the world of vector graphics as well as for artists wanting to create breathtaking vector art.

Application Website


Corel Draw (Windows only)

Their Description:  Versatile and powerful graphic design software. Whether you're an aspiring artist or an experienced designer, CorelDRAW® Graphics Suite X6 is your trusted graphic design software solution. With its content-rich environment and professional graphic design, photo-editing and website design software, you have everything you need to express your style and creativity with endless possibilities.

Application Website


CreativeDocsNET (Windows only)

Their Description: Creative Docs .NET is a vector-based graphic design tool with support for rich text, ideal to quickly write short documents, manuals, posters, illustrations, schemas, plans, flow charts, and much more.

Application Website


Inkscape Vector Drawing (Linux-Mac-Windows)

Their Description:   An Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, 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.

Application Website


Serif Draw Plus (Windows only)

Their Description: DrawPlus X5 is the powerful and versatile graphics studio that's perfect for digital art, illustration, and painting. With easy-to-use tools, it provides everything you need to express your creativity. Draw vector art, sketch ideas, design logos & graphics, paint naturally, turn photos into artwork, create Flash® animations, plus much more.

Application Website


Sketch Vector Graphics (Mac only)

Their Description: Sketch is a professional vector graphics app with a beautiful interface and powerful tools. We set out to build a better app for graphic designers. Not to copy, but rather to improve.

Application Website


Sketsa SVG Editor (Linux-Mac-Windows)

Their Description: Sketsa SVG Editor is a cross platform SVG vector drawing application. With Sketsa, you can easily draw SVG vector graphics that can be scaled and printed at any resolution, without losing detail or clarity. Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is an open standard language for describing two-dimensional graphics and graphical applications in XML developed by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Application Website


Xara Photo & Graphic Designer (Windows only)

Their Description: Quite simply the world's fastest graphics software, with truly flexible illustration tools and revolutionary photo handling. A single application for all types of creative work, whether it's vector drawings, DTP, photo composition, web graphics or Flash animation. Comes in 2 versions, Photo & Graphic Designer and Designer Pro, Pro offers advanced print and web design features.

Application Website


Boxy SVG (Windows - Mac - Linux - Chrome OS)

Their Description: Vector graphics editor. Generates clean SVG files. Works on Mac, Linux, Windows and ChromeOS.

  • Scale, rotate and skew any object on canvas
  • Control rotation center pointTheir Description:
  • Transform several objects simultaneously
  • Linear and radial gradients, with on-canvas editing
  • Quadratic and cubic Bézier paths
  • Freehand paths
  • Polygon paths
  • Ellipse, circle, ring, rectangle and star shapes
  • Text editing
  • Drag & drop PNG and JPG images
  • Blend modes
  • Clipping and masking
  • Customisable keyboard shortcuts

Application Website


Affinity Designer (Mac Only)

Their Description: Affinity Designer is the fastest, smoothest, most precise vector graphic design software available. Whether you’re working on graphics for marketing materials, websites, icons, UI design or just like creating cool concept art, Affinity Designer will revolutionise how you work.

Application Website


iDraw (Mac Only)

Their Description: iDraw is a powerful feature-packed vector design and illustration application, available for both Mac OS X and iPad.  All of the tools you need to create everything from detailed technical illustrations to beautiful works of art.

Application Website


 ArtBoard (Mac Only)

Their Description: A Design & Illustration App for Making Creative Vector Graphics.

Application Website


More Alternatives?

There are 2 alternatives I would like to add but can't recommend at this time for different reasons.

Xara Xtreme - Website: Reason: Development stops since the company was acquired by Magix (BTW: Bad move).

SK1 (Print Design): Website: Reason: SK1 and UniConvertor 1.x are deprecated and substituted by PrintDesign and UniConvertor 2.0 (Still under development).



Martin Pohanka's picture

Nice post about Ai alternatives :) It's sad that Xara Xtreme development has stoped (thanks Magix!) because it has fast rendering... I'm using Inkscape (I use linux and Inkscape is probably best solution for vector graphics available on linux right now). PrintDesign looks promising, but i'm not sure if it's ever going to be released. PS: Sorry for my english, I'm working on it... :D
Roberto's picture

Thanks! Yup, really sad indeed, as you mention Xara Xtreme has a very fast rendering performance. When I moved to Linux, Xara was my favorite solution for complex graphics. I also use Inkscape and I love it, in fact I preferred it over Illustrator. Print Design is going to be a good software ( I received a positive response from the developer ) he is working on it. The strength of Print Design is that they're targeting the printed media market. BTW: Don't worry about you're english, I'm also working on not my native language.

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