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Old 03-23-2008, 04:08 AM   #1
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Xfig or Inkscape?

Which one do you like better.?

Inkscape is more pleasing to the eye, but I do not want to miss anything xfig could have to offer over a trivial cosmetic issue.

What can I say, xfig looks way too drab, so much so that I feel tempted to point and click the little 'x' on the top right corner as soon as it starts up.
If xfig does have any advantage over inkscape please let me know.

One thing i dislike about inkscape is the absence of facility for changing keybindings.May be that is an _advantage_...i dont know.
Old 03-23-2008, 11:37 PM   #2
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I've used InkScape a bit and love it.
I haven't used xfig for more'n 30 minutes, so I can't compare it.
Old 03-24-2008, 12:18 PM   #3
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I agree. I love Inkscape too.

But as I said before, xfig too is popular. I actually have three vector drawing programs installed on my system. Inkscape, xfig and Xara Xtreme LX.

Xara is also very intuitive, and is easier to learn than Inkscape.

What I wish to know is users comments on what they like best in their favorite programs.
Old 03-24-2008, 12:39 PM   #4
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Well, in 2008 and with the visuals of Gtk I'm simply not willing to look at old X-GUI hour for hour. If I'm doing graphics I'd like to look at contemporary visuals and I don't mean glossy buttons and rounded-corner icons by that.

Despite that, Inkscape is nice and in many ways rather efficient to use, not too much to click even though it's a graphical application (Gimp is in several ways more click-intensive), the development seems to really go ahead and I can do my stuff.

If I compare my behavior of usage Xfig - Inkscape with Image Magick - Gimp, I still use Image Magick regulary and for many specific image manipulation application I don't like to do in Gimp. With Xfig - Inkscape, I don't miss anything in Inkscape where I actually want to open Xfig instead for.

But this might be due to my specific requirements and taste.

Inkscape shortcuts can be changed in "default.xml" (/usr/local/share/inkscape/keys/ or similiar) - basically it looks like this:

 <bind key="F4" action="ToolRect" display="true"/>
 <bind key="r" action="ToolRect" />
 <bind key="R" action="ToolRect" />
See this URL for details: (or click "help" -> "keyboard and mouse" in Inkscape)
Old 03-24-2008, 01:18 PM   #5
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It should depend on what you need to do, not what you like to see

I use Inkscape for eye-candy vector drawing, and that's about it. X-Fig deals faster with my tasks such as turning certain images to postscript (for TeX documents) or when I quickly need to draw a diagram of something for my report. Maybe I'm used to using X-Fig, but it just feels faster on those tasks. Both are good, though, no arguing that..

But before asking (because others' opinions can't possibly be true in your own case; there are so many of them that don't agree with each other) you should maybe spend a week or two with either one of those, doing the same tasks with both of them (tasks you need to do with a vector drawing app anyway) and see how it works out. If you're up to the outlooks, buy Apple products.
Old 03-26-2008, 01:21 PM   #6
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I find Inkscape much more fun to use, but since my system is a bit resource limited, I use Xara because of its higher rendering speed.

Xfig will need a bit of getting used to. I came about it because of the frequent mention in LaTeX circle.
Old 03-27-2008, 02:06 PM   #7
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This question doesn't really make sense. It depends on what YOU like to use or what your work poses as a requirement. You can even install and use Adobe's Illustrator or Quark XPress on Linux by means of 'wine', if that's what you like.

If this is some sort of opinion poll or info gathering on DTP tools, than we should mention Scribus as well (

In the end every one decides for himself/herself.


Fedora User

Last edited by simplicissimus; 04-02-2008 at 06:04 AM.
Old 09-07-2009, 11:04 PM   #8
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A lot of times I need to load in a png file and then add Greek symbols to

I find xfig is rather inefficient when I try to key in Greek symbols ---
I have to use Text Flags /Special Flag -> Special and then export
pstex and include the source file in my latex source.

Have I missed something in xfig or inskape can solve this problem this
trivially ?

I tried out gimp but then I cannot key in the Greek symbols. The Ctl-U
followed by unicode (?) does not work for me.

So far I am still clinging on to the clumsy xfig for Greek symbols..
Old 09-08-2009, 12:55 AM   #9
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centguy, are you using a Unicode locale? It may be easier to just choose a greek keymap and activate it when you need it (it works in Inkscape and Gimp). XFig allows you to select font "Symbol (Greek)" and type in Latin layout (while actual symbols rendered are Greek).
Old 09-08-2009, 03:43 AM   #10
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For some reason, I forgot all about Symbol (Greek) in xfig. It solves my problems immediately ! Now, I have a very small eps file and a very high res figure!


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