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#1
Old 03-16-2012, 09:42 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: 127.0.0.1
Posts: 3,469
Can someone recommend a line drawing software?

I'm looking for a software to draw figures/illustrations, like those you find in Ikea or other instructions. Preferably with the following features:
  • Windows or OS X
  • Cheaper than Adobe Illustrator
  • Standard file format that can be opened by other programs (I think eps is used?)
  • Works with tablets (not tablet computers, tablet input)
  • I've worked with AutoCAD before and I like its drawing features: you can draw lines by directly entering start and end points, by relative positioning, by specifying polar or rectangular positions, you can define circles in at least 5 ways (e.g. tangent tangent radius). I'd like a drawing program like that.

Does one like that exist? Thanks for the recommendations.
#2
Old 03-16-2012, 12:53 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Montréal, Québec
Posts: 8,772
Would Google SketchUp meet your needs? I've never used it, but I hear good things about it and it's free!
#3
Old 03-16-2012, 01:02 PM
Chicago Savant
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 2,334
Inkscape is the freeware alternative to Illustrator/FreeHand/Corel Draw that is most often mentioned. But if I were going to invest the time in learning a program, I'd learn Illustrator even if you had to settle for an older version or cadge an educational version somehow.

(Personally, I still love FreeHand, but it's now abandoned).
#4
Old 03-16-2012, 01:18 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 10,971
I find the drawing tools in CorelDraw much easier to use and more powerful than Illustrator. Also, since they aren't trying to sell you an over-priced suite of tools, it has a lot of features built in that Adobe keeps in separate programs. The current full version X5 of CorelDraw Suite sells for $84.77 while the more limited CorelDraw Essentials 2 sells for $14.99. From what I can tell, Essentials is CorelDraw 9 without some of the input/export filters that had licensing fees.
#5
Old 03-16-2012, 03:13 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 609
Dia and DRAFT IT are two programs that I know of but have never used.
#6
Old 03-16-2012, 05:49 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 22,852
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnemosyne View Post
Would Google SketchUp meet your needs? I've never used it, but I hear good things about it and it's free!
I've messed around with Sketchup, and, while it's kinda clunky, and a little hard to get started with, if you persevere, and follow the tutorials, it can be useful. Once you have designed your 3-D object, then orbiting all around it and seeing it from all sides (and making an animated gif of it) can be all sorts of fun!

I've used it to design room layouts for banquets, art shows, etc. When done, you can "walk through" the result.

And, free. Did you mention free? You mentioned free!
#7
Old 03-16-2012, 06:17 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: CentralArkansas
Posts: 23,807
Ms Word line drawing is pretty good. I've used to it to draw my deck layout and some cabinet designs. Since I already had Office it was a free choice for me.

Last edited by aceplace57; 03-16-2012 at 06:18 PM.
#8
Old 03-19-2012, 09:19 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: 127.0.0.1
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Yes I've been using MS Word all this time and it's been slow/inadequate. I've also tried SketchUp but it doesn't have the positioning features of AutoCAD, like specifying start/end points. Before I consider Illustrator, does anyone know if it can do all these?
#9
Old 03-19-2012, 10:27 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: The Bluegrass State
Posts: 247
If you're used to AutoCAD, try DraftSight from the maker of the popular 3D CAD software SolidWorks, Dassault Systemmes. It is FREE and looks, feels, and works almost exactly like AutoCAD. Saves files as .dwg or .dxf by default, but you can export to many others including .eps, .emf, .pdf, .bmp, .jpg, and more.

I have no idea how it works on a tablet computer, but it hits all your other bullet points.
#10
Old 03-19-2012, 07:16 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: In a handbasket.
Posts: 1,037
Quote:
Originally Posted by pyromyte View Post
If you're used to AutoCAD, try DraftSight from the maker of the popular 3D CAD software SolidWorks, Dassault Systemmes. It is FREE and looks, feels, and works almost exactly like AutoCAD. Saves files as .dwg or .dxf by default, but you can export to many others including .eps, .emf, .pdf, .bmp, .jpg, and more.

I have no idea how it works on a tablet computer, but it hits all your other bullet points.
Thanks for linking that! I've been wanting a CAD program for home newer than AutoCAD Release 14. I'm pretty sure AaronX means tablet digitizers, not a tablet PC, so he should be golden with DraftSight.
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