3 Open Source Design Apps: The Pro, the Novice and the Trainee
The advantages of open source software really become evident when it comes to using design applications. This category of software is one that not everyone needs -- that is, unless you need software to help you create illustrations for Web design or print publication projects.
The Linux OS has a bevy of design apps that go head-to-head against hallmark design applications for the Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) Mac OS X platforms such as Adobe Illustrator CS5, Adobe Freehand, CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5 and Microsoft Visio. I am not referring to standard intro-level drawing apps with variations of "Paint" in their names.
Three Linux apps -- Inkscape, OpenOffice Draw and Xara Xtreme -- come fully loaded with professional-strength tools to handle on-screen illustration tasks.
You will need to spend some time with each of these apps, however. Deciding which one works best for you will take familiarity and hands-on practice.