Good Graphics Software?

I’m looking for something for my own needs, but I doubt I’m the only one looking for good graphics software, so feel free to talk about your own needs, what has worked for you, and what hasn’t.

I’m looking for drawing software for making game maps and game pieces. So far I’ve used Appleworks Draw, OpenOffice Draw, and LibreOffice Draw, all with some success and sme maddening frustration.

I’m currently partway through updating one of my projects in LibreOffice Draw. But it can be very click-intensive, very precise-coordination-intensive, and very nonresponsive, at times, which isn’t good with my arm injuries and coordination problems. I’m trying to revise game pieces to use consistent color schemes, add supply-status information, etc. LibreOffice changed the available colors, so I have to switch all the old pieces to the new color options to work with a few new pieces. I’m working with 352 pieces, each groups of smaller images, with text overlapping colored bands, etc. and it can be hard to get into each group, select the right opjects, not select the wrong objects, etc.

Now the good of LibreOffice:

  1. It works.

  2. It uses an open format, so I don’t have to worry about losing my old files when my old software gets discontinued. I have had trouble with it failing to render embedded images, though, after transferring LibreOffice files from one machine to another.

  3. It allows me to group and align objects.

  4. It is pretty flexible.

And the bad:

  1. It is very labor-intensive.

  2. It seems to have more erratic redesigns than bug fixes in the updates.

  3. If I carefully align objects, sometimes the act of letting go of the mouse causes LibreOffice to move the objects somewhere else.

  4. I can’t fix a lot of things at once. I can’t even check the colors without going into each object, one at a time. I would like to be able to check them more easily and reassign all examples of one color to another color, to replace deprecated colors, to experiment with lighter or darker colors, etc. I can’t re-align the points of a zig-zagging railroad to the grid without creating new points and deleting the old. I would like to be able to realign all points to the grid. I can’t order objects easily enough. And when I ask for help, people on the forum don’t understand the problems, and might offer an example with 6 objects instead of 352 groups and c. 3,000 objects.

Obviously, I need something which can import from odg, use groups and layers, and save to an open format, preferably odg.

Afraid that I don’t have much experience here, but this Wikipedia article has a review of many programs – several open source.
Comparison of vector graphics editors - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I have used Inkscape quite frequently to edit images, but have never used it for a project. I think that Inkscape can export odg files but cannot import them – you would have to export the file as a svg file in LibreOffice.

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So how well does it work for alignment to the grid, text, mass edits, etc.? I’ve looked up alignment and grid and can’t find anything about alignment to the grid.

You can align to grid or create your own guides (e.g. if you want your objects to line up along a diagonal line, then you can create a diagonal guide that they will “snap” to). It does text quite well – that is often what I am adding to the images that I edit using the program. It is not exactly user friendly, but one gets a hang of it after playing for a bit.

I wasn’t able to run Inkscape because of “a problem.”

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procedurally generate countersheets, possibly using svgwrite.

I can’t read the documentation:

I’ve gotta get a handle on working with vector images… my fave graphics app, an old version of Paint Shop Pro (9.01, the last one before it was raped by Corel) can do stuff with vectors, but I’m not sure how powerful it is in that regard. Might be worth a look, since I find it vastly easier to use than Photoshop…

I think I’m going to have to redo the counters, since so many issues have cropped up trying to fix the counters.

I might have better luck redoing all the counters in LibreOffice than I had trying to fix all the counters in LibreOffice. I wouldn’t have to worry about some of the positional issues, the color issues because the old versions of LibreOffice used a different color palette from the new versions, etc.

I might also have better luck redoing all the counters in some other software. I haven’t been able to run Inkscape. Has anyone here tried either iDraw or TouchDraw for the Mac? I want to get a sense of accessibility, functionality, etc. Being able to select all and edit text everywhere is important. Being able to group objects, arrange objects and groups relative to the grid, arrange elements and groups from back to front, etc. are all important. Being able to use a grid in inches is pretty important, because printing.

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