Open Source Alternative to Corel Draw

CorelDraw X6CorelDraw (styled CorelDRAW) is a vector graphics editor developed and marketed by Corel Corporation of Ottawa, Canada. It is also the name of Corel’s Graphics Suite, which bundles CorelDraw with a bitmap image editor, Corel PhotoPaint, and other graphics-related programs. The latest version is designated X6, and was released in March 2012.

CorelDraw is one of the most popular vector graphics software and several innovations to vector-based illustration originated with CorelDraw: a node-edit tool that operates differently on different objects, fit text-to-path, stroke-before-fill, quick fill/stroke color selection palettes, perspective projections and more. Although being a primary vector graphics software, it can also be efficiently use for desktop publishing.

It uses a proprietary CDR file format developed by Corel Corporation. There is no publicly available CDR file format specification, although several open source softwares like sK1 and Libreoffice have partial support for CDR format. CorelDraw’s commercial competitors include Adobe Illustrator and Xara Photo & Graphic Designer.

CorelDraw is a very versatile application and combined with its graphics suite, it can handle almost all of the graphics tasks very efficiently. However, its high price tag of 499$ makes it not-at-all affordable especially if you are a freelancer or have a small designing firm. So, we provide you with various free and open source alternatives to CorelDraw.

1) Inkscape  Available for Microsoft Windows  Available for Mac OS X  Available for Linux

Inkscape - Open Source Alternative to IllustratorInkscape is 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. It is very easy to use and has a streamlined interface. Inkscape supports many advanced features like markers, clones, alpha blending, edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more. It uses the SVG standard as its file-format which produces smaller, lighter files without a lot of “garbage code” and bloat.

Inkscape began in 2003 as a code fork of the Sodipodi project. Released under the terms of the GNU General Public License, Inkscape is free software. Inkscape is also cross-platform and runs on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Inkscape is among the best graphics editors available today and has a large and active developer community.

The latest version of Inkscape is 0.48.5.

Click here to download Inkscape

2) Xara Xtreme  Available for Linux

Xara Xtreme - Open Source Alternative to IllustratorXara Xtreme for Linux is a powerful, general purpose graphics program for Unix platforms including Linux, FreeBSD and (in development) OS-X. It offers some of the most powerful graphics tools available. Xara is the world’s fastest vector drawing program and has a clean, un-cluttered user interface with few floating dialogs, palettes, menus etc.

Formely known as Xara LX, it is based on Xara Xtreme for Windows. The first version was released for Linux in October 2005, and Xara Ltd announced it will release the source code of the trimmed down version under the GPL and seek community help in porting it over to Linux and Mac OS X using the wxWidgets toolkit. The source code was made available open-source in early 2006, and is being ported to Linux. Although much of the source code is already ported to linux, there has been a little development activity in the recent years.

The latest version of Xara Xtreme is 0.7 rev 1785.

Click here to download Xara Xtreme

3) sK1  Available for Linux

sK1 - Open Source Alternative to IllustratorsK1 is an open-source illustration program for the Linux platform that can be used as a substitute for professional proprietary software like CorelDRAW or Adobe Illustrator. Unique project features are CorelDRAW formats importers, tabbed multidocument interface, Cairo-based engine, and color management. It also supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, ICC color management and press-ready PDF output.

A small team led by Igor Novikov started the project in 2003, based on the existing open source vector graphics editor Skencil. In 2007 the sK1 team reverse-engineered the CDR format. As of 2008, the sK1 project claims to have the best import support for CorelDRAW file formats among open source software programs. Although the current software is quite powerful, sk1 team has made it deprecated and is now working on a completely new code written from scratch. The new software project is named “PrintDesign” and is currently under active development.

The latest version of sK1 is 0.9.1.

Click here to download sK1

4) Scribus  Available for Microsoft Windows  Available for Mac OS X  Available for Linux

Scribus - Open Source Alternative to InDesignScribus is a desktop publishing (DTP) application, released under the GNU General Public License as free software. It is based on the free Qt toolkit, therefore native versions are available for Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, and OS/2. It has a number of page layout features and competes with leading commercial applications such as CorelDraw, Adobe PageMaker, PagePlus, QuarkXPress or Adobe InDesign. It supports professional publishing features, such as color separations, CMYK and Spot Color support, ICC color management, and versatile PDF creation.

Scribus is designed for layout, typesetting and to prepare files for professional quality image setting equipment. It can also create animated and interactive PDF presentations and forms. Example uses include writing small newspapers, brochures, newsletters, posters and books.

The latest version of Scribus is 1.4.4.

Click here to download Scribus

5) Karbon  Available for Microsoft Windows  Available for Linux

Karbon - Open Source Alternative to IllustratorKarbon (formerly Karbon14) is a vector graphics editor. It is a component of Calligra Suite, an integrated graphic art and office suite by KDE. It is ideal for beginners as it is very easy to use. It lets you do drawing, finger painting, image manipulation, icon editing and more. It is released under GNU Lesser General Public License and is available for Windows and Linux.

Karbon employs 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. Whether you want to create clipart, logos, illustrations or photorealistic vector images – look no further, Karbon is the tool for you!

The latest version of Karbon is 2.8.6.

Click here to download Karbon

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5 Responses

  1. Saurabh thanks a bunch! I used Inkscape on Ubuntu to draw up this Logo in a matter of miniutes 🙂

  2. Rositsa says:

    Excellent Corel alternative!

  3. mahdi says:

    Gimp is also a great free tool!

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