Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Freehand, or Xara X. What sets Inkscape apart is its use of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), an open XML-based W3C standard, as the native format.
In contrast to raster (bitmap) graphics editors such as Photoshop or Gimp, Inkscape stores its graphics in a vector format. Vector graphics is a resolution-independent description of the actual shapes and objects that you see in the image.
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is an open, industry-standard XML-based format for vector graphics developed by the W3C. Its acceptance is growing fast. Most vector editors these days can import and export SVG, and modern browsers (such as Firefox and Opera) can display it directly, i.e. without requiring any plugins.
Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) and great care is taken in designing a streamlined interface. It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more. For a full list of features go to our features page.
InkScapes open source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, uses the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. However it can also output a lot of files like BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG and more!
With the recent advances in SVG support in web browsers using SVG directly on the web is a possibility. You can open any Inkscape SVG document right in the browser, and your browser will show it correctly. Interested designers or developers should explore this possibility further.