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Images, Graphic Design, and Digital Photography Discussion of all things graphics.

Need recommendation for graphics/vector editing

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Robert Roaldi

Member Since: Feb 21, 2007
Posts: 21
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I migrated to iMac several months ago. I need to replicate what I used to be able to do using Micrografx Draw and Picture Publisher when I was on Windows.

What I need to do is to import graphics files into a vector drawing package and overlay the bitmap with vector graphics. What I import is generally not photos, but scans of maps, scans of freehand drawings, things like that. It would be nice if I could edit basic things on the bitmap too, contrast, sharpen, crop, paintbrush, etc.

I don't care whether I do this in one single package or 2 separate bitmap and vector editors. I am not fussy.

I already have a photo editor (Lightzone) and it is not suitable to general graphics the way Photoshop or the Corel products are or the way Micrografx Picture Publisher was. Of course I know that Photoshop and Corel would do what I need, but this is strictly for fun not-profit use and I have no intention of spending a lot of money. In any case, those packages are overkill for me. I would never use anything more than the basic functions.

To help, as an example of what I do: I prepare map-based instructions for car rallies. After scanning a map, I may need to highlight a route on the bitmap, mask out the name of a town (paintbrush it out using surrounding colour), then import into a vector editor where I "paste" on arrows or other drawings that are part of the rally instructions. I need some few basic functions but nowhere near what Photoshop allows. To give you a better idea, I was able to learn what I needed from the the Micrografx products in less than 1/2 hour and never used more than those basic functions in 15 years of use.

I have tried Appleworks but I find the integration of bitmaps inside vector base drawing awkward to use. I find it frustrating to have to pre-define a bitmap area and assign predetermined dpi values to use. If I need to stretch a bitmap to 8.5 by 11 at a dpi of 143 and live with the decreased quality of output, then so be it. Somehow, Appleworks makes this awkward to do but maybe I am missing something.

Anyway, I hope I have explained what I need. Thanks.
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Inkscape is worth a try, it's a pretty good vector drawing app.

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