This software should take care of most "average user" needs, and with the latest .46 release, it has become even better and more powerful. One thing I don't care for with this open-source programs is the stupid numbering schemes for releases - in this case ".46" - which makes the program sound incomplete or not ready for prime time, which is anything but the case. In a commercial world, this program could easily be a 3.0 release or such. It is definitely ready for prime-time use, and the advanced feature set has been many years in the making and proving out.
Some of the latest features in Inkscape .46 (which I find very exciting!) include:
- Native PDF import - I need to play with this more yet, but it offers some rather interesting potential for manipulating the content of PDF files. PDF Export abilities are also available - which I consider a "must" these days.
- Angled guidelines - I find these very cool indeed! I have wanted such ability in other commercial software programs before, and now Inkscape implement angled guidelines. Guidelines are so typically limited to simple horizontal and vertical ones - now you have the freedom to create guides at various angles, which really help with more complex and creative layouts.
- Paintbucket tool
- Tweak tool - a neat hybridization of vector / bitmap type functionality
- 3D Box tool - allowing you to more easily give 2D images a 3D feel, by getting the perspective visually correct (via vanishing-point that is mathematically "right")
- Live path effects - where paths are manipulated separate from styles, and in real-time (paths are just that - the path / shape over which the object drawn)
- Open Clip Art Library integration (import/export) and Stock patterns
- Bitmap editing extension effects, full on-canvas gradient editing
- Engraver's Toolbox in the Calligraphic tool - this can produce some rather interesting effects
- Other User-Interface improvements, speed and performance enhancements, and much more.