View Full Version : Is there a vector app with a trace tool?

February 18th, 2009, 04:17 PM
I want to convert a picture I've found into a vector image before scaling it up and printing it out.

When I was using Windows I'd have opened the scanned image in Freehand and selected the part I want to "vectorise" with the trace tool to convert it into a vector image in one painless and no-skill-required step.

Is there any vector app in Linux that can do the same (and save it in some format macs can read)?

February 18th, 2009, 04:23 PM
Hmmm. Typing that out, I thought about how the trace tool is more a sort of "autotrace" tool. So I googled that instead, and found Autotrace (http://linuxappfinder.com/package/autotrace). It looks like it might be exactly what I was after.

February 18th, 2009, 04:29 PM
Inkscape, Autotrace, and some other tracing program (search in add/remove or synaptic) do this.

However the best result I got (had to do it for one logo a while back) was with one that did black and white tracing only.

February 18th, 2009, 05:28 PM
Thanks Vadi. That's useful info. Not sure if there are many other places where one can get such a prompt and specific answer to a question!

The picture I want to "vectorise" is muticoloured so black and white isn't really an option unfortunately. I'll give Inkscape a go first, I think - it seems to get good reviews on here.

February 18th, 2009, 05:31 PM
the thing I like about inkscape is that it gives you a preview before drawing the paths.

February 18th, 2009, 06:15 PM

And potrace is the name of the program that I couldn't remember - which inkscape utilizes in the gui. It has a lot of options though, so you might need to tinker to get the result you'd like.

February 18th, 2009, 06:56 PM
Another Vector Graphics application is Xara. I don't know if it has tracing or not.

KDE has Karbon14 but I have no idea how well developed it is.

February 18th, 2009, 07:09 PM
I find that, since none of the tracing tools I have found thus far can handle gradients, you get the best quality trace by doing it by hand. It does take skill to do this, though, as you have to know how to do blur gradients as well as normal gradients.

February 19th, 2009, 09:29 AM
There is a cool tool online http://vectormagic.com/online/

February 19th, 2009, 11:01 AM
I find it very helpful.