The best free Adobe Illustrator alternatives allow you to create and edit vector graphics for free. This is a good choice if you are new to designing with vector graphics. Unlike raster graphics, they use math expressions to draw the lines, shapes, and colors. This means they are infinitely scalable, so you can enlarge them to the size of a billboard without unsightly pixelation.
While Adobe Illustrator is the industry-standard vector graphics creation and editing software, you commit to an expensive Creative Cloud subscription. For many, it’s not always the most cost-effective solution. Fortunately, it’s not the only choice. There are many free Adobe Illustrator alternatives out there.
Not all Adobe Illustrator alternatives are created equal, however ̵
Sample vector files from Freepik.
The best vector editor overall is Adobe Illustrator CC
If you are a professional designer or illustrator, the industry’s vector editing software is second to none. Adobe Illustrator is available as a standalone app or as part of the Creative Cloud suite along with Photoshop, Lightroom, and more. Whether you’re creating app icons or billboards, it has all the tools you need and works seamlessly with Adobe’s other software. It’s not free like the options below, but it’s the best tool money can buy. View deal
Inkscape, the open source vector graphics package, is amazingly powerful and the best free Adobe Illustrator alternative for professional and semi-professional illustrators, graphic designers, and web designers.
In addition to the standard drawing and shaping tools, Inkscape offers a dedicated spiral tool, a tool for creating patterns and arrangements of clones, advanced object manipulation options, multiple filters (including bevels, textures, overlays, and more), and some nifty fill settings. In short, there is very little Illustrator can do that Inkscape cannot.
Since it’s open source, not only is it free to use, but if you have the technical know-how, you can even edit it and integrate it with other software. And new features are being added all the time. The latest version offers meshes, improved SVG2 and CSS3 support and new path effects for the group.
So what’s the catch? Some users have complained that performance is slow, although it seems that it depends on what device and operating system you are using. It’s best to just download it and give it a try. There is nothing to lose.
Read our full review: Inkscape
Boxy SVG is a free tool for creating scalable vector graphics files that runs as an extension in Google Chrome. It includes a number of basic tools including pens, bezier curves, text, basic shapes, strokes and fills, layers, the ability to add types, groups, transforms and paths.
The main selling point for Boxy SVG is the total simplicity of the user interface. It is a virtue to keep the vector graphics experience to a minimum of options. These essentially limit you to the things that the SVG format is good at. As a result, it’s quick and easier to learn than Illustrator, and the files it creates are clean and efficient.
In addition to importing and exporting files in SVG and SVGZ format, you can also use Boxy SVG to import and export JPEGs and PNGs. Wonderfully practical.
Vecteezy is another free browser Adobe Illustrator alternative (the developer makes a crust selling premium illustrations, and its clients include the BBC, Amazon, McDonald’s, and Dell).
You can import and edit SVG files, or create your own designs from scratch. There is a variety of shapes and pre-made clip art to choose from, as well as a wide variety of fonts for text-based designs.
Vecteezy also includes a pen tool for drawing freehand shapes and editing existing paths, as well as a simple color picker. It’s all refreshingly easy to use, and even brand new users will understand the basics in minutes.
There are just a couple of points to keep in mind: you need to create an account or login through Facebook to save your work. When you open a particularly large file, Vecteezy warns you that this could be causing your browser to freeze. This is a risk with any similar web app, however, and we appreciate that Vecteezy is so open-minded.
Vectr is a free Adobe Illustrator alternative in the browser. It was originally also available as a desktop application for offline use, but has now been discontinued.
Don’t let that put you off, however. Vectr is intuitive to use and has a flat learning curve. “Design software shouldn’t give people a sense of struggle, but that’s exactly how we felt from the problematic design software we grew up with,” says the developer who created this pared-down vector editor with accessibility in mind Has.
While it lacks many of the advanced features Illustrator has, it has all of the tools you need for basic vector editing – shapes, text, multilayer, and the like – and what it does, it works very well. You can save any work created in Vectr online or export it in PNG, JPG or SVG file formats.
Vectr is a great choice for beginners or simply anyone who wants to create a simple graphic with minimal effort.
If your main reason for using a vector graphic editor is to create SVG files for websites, SVG edit may be all you need. You can use this free vector software in your web browser to create SVG images and edit existing ones.
SVG Edit works in any modern browser and offers a number of basic vector editing features, including hand drawing tools, shape tools, text tools, and path tools. The tool is open source, which means that new features are constantly being added by contributing developers.