No designer’s toolkit would be complete without a good SVG editor. Luckily, there are plenty to choose from. In this article, we run through some favorites.
In computer graphics there are two main types of image: vectors and rasters. A raster, also known as a bitmap, is an image which is made up of a fixed number of pixels. Bitmaps are great for detailed images like photos, and all digital cameras produce bitmap images for this reason. The majority of images in use on the internet are bitmaps. The most common file types for raster images are JPG, GIF and PNG.
Vector graphics work differently. Vectors are based on a mathematical formula with two-dimensional points which are joined to each other with lines and curves to form shapes. Because they’re made in this way, they are infinitely resizable, always delivering smooth edges, without digital artifacts, and smooth color gradients. While not so suitable for photos, vector images are perfect for logos and similar graphical elements used in design. SVG is the standard vector format for use on the internet.
To create and work with SVG files, you’ll need a vector graphics editor. Here are 11 awesome free and paid SVG editors for Windows, Mac, Linux, Web, iOS and Android.
Free – available for Windows, macOS, Linux
Inkscape is a really popular SVG editor that’s free to use and available cross-platform. Perfect for illustrators, designers and web designers, Inkscape has powerful tools for object creation and manipulation. Inkscape lets you work in freehand, with shapes and with text, and it supports a range of output formats including PNG, OpenDocument, DXF, PDF, EPS, sk1 and more.
Free – available for Windows, macOS, Linux
Sketsa SVG Editor is a free cross-platform SVG drawing application. It includes multiple tools for content creation, allowing you to easily draw, manipulate and edit objects. It also includes a source editor with syntax highlighting. This lets you view and edit the underlying SVG XML source code for maximum control.
$9.99 – available for Windows, macOS, Chrome OS and as a web app
Boxy SVG is a really nicely designed SVG editor aimed at both professional web designers and developers, and non-technical users who are just getting started with SVG graphics. Because it uses a Chromium-based rendering system, it renders SVG documents in exactly the same way as your Chrome browser for desktop or mobile. It packs in tons of additional features, including Google Fonts integration, Open Clip Art Library integration, and you can even try it out online for free.
Free (paid Pro version: €99 per year) – available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome OS and as a web app
Corel’s Gravit Designer is a powerful SVG editor with a lot of extra features compared to some of the other options on the market. Aimed squarely at designers, it’s perfect for creating illustrations, screen designs, presentations, animations and high quality icons. It can even be used to create 3d simulations.
$99/year – available for macOS
One of the more popular tools among web design professionals, Sketch is a powerful design tool that lets you create and edit vector images, prototype your designs and even create your own fonts. While it’s quite expensive, it’s a full design solution with an excellent user interface. It even integrates with Justinmind!
Free – web app
Vecteezy is a simple-to-use vector editor and creator aimed at design beginners, but powerful enough for professionals to use it as well. It has all the features you’d expect in an SVG editor, and includes lots of templates and illustrations to get started.
Free – available for Windows, Linux, Chrome OS and as a webapp. Paid version on the way.
Vectr is a free graphics editor which makes it easy to create vector graphics. Its simple user interface design hides a surprisingly powerful and yet easy-to-use piece of software. Work with multiple shapes, paths and text tools to create simple vector images and icons. Like some of the other apps, it’s also available to try online as a web app.
Free – web app
For a completely free and minimalist online vector editor, check our Method Draw. It lets you create and edit vector graphics files with all the tools you’d expect, but not so many of the extra bells and whistles in some of the other apps listed here. We think it’s ideal for making something really quick while you’re focusing on other aspects of your design project.
$6.99 – available for iPad
Drawing on the iPad gets better and better, so we thought we’d include a couple of iPad-specific SVG editors. Inkpad is a tool for creating vector graphics on your iPad. Featuring unlimited layers, flexible typography effects, and a wide range of import and export options, Inkpad is a full professional SVG editor that you can carry around anywhere. Plus it works great with the Apple Pencil on iPad Pro.
$7.99 – available for iPhone and iPad
Designed specifically for drawing with your finger, iDesign makes it easy to create 2-dimensional vector graphics on your iPad or iPhone. Its specially-designed offset handles help you move and position objects without your finger blocking your view. iDesign includes Boolean operations on shapes, and auto-smoothing for paths, to make life that little bit easier.
Free (in-app purchase for cloud storage) – available for iPad, iPhone and Android
It will come as little surprise that graphics and design software giant Adobe has one of the better designed mobile vector editors on the market. With a simple, modern user interface, Adobe Illustrator Draw makes it easy to create beautiful vector images. And if you already use Adobe products, you’ll find its integration options are second to none.
A reliable SVG editor is a must for anyone working in web or UX design. Whether you go for a top of the line professional tool or a free web app, we’re sure you’ll find the right SVG editor in our list.