Vector Image Files: An Easy to Follow Guide to Viewing and Editing Vectors

Vector image files have become a cornerstone of modern design, offering scalability, versatility, and precision. Whether you’re a graphic designer, illustrator, or simply interested in working with vector graphics, understanding how to view and edit vector image files is essential. In this article, we’ll explore the best programs for viewing and editing vector files and dive into techniques for creating and manipulating vector images.

Viewing Vector Image Files

To view vector image files, you’ll need specialized software capable of rendering these scalable graphics accurately. Here are some popular programs that excel in this area:

Adobe Illustrator:

As the industry-standard software for vector graphics, Adobe Illustrator provides a comprehensive set of tools for viewing and editing vector files. Its intuitive interface and robust features make it a go-to choice for professionals.


CorelDRAW offers powerful vector editing capabilities and provides a range of tools to view and manipulate vector images. It supports various vector file formats and is suitable for both beginners and experienced designers.


Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor that allows you to view and edit vector files. It’s a versatile tool, compatible with multiple platforms, and serves as a cost-effective alternative to commercial software.

Editing Vector Image Files

Once you have the appropriate software, you can leverage a range of techniques to edit and create vector images. Here are some fundamental techniques to get you started:

Scaling and Transforming:

One of the key advantages of vector images is their scalability. You can resize vector graphics without losing quality. Use the scale and transform tools in your chosen software to adjust the size and proportions of elements within your design.

Drawing and Editing Paths:

Vector graphics are composed of paths—lines and curves that define the shape of objects. Learn to use the drawing tools available in your software to create and edit paths, allowing you to craft precise shapes and lines.

Adding and Editing Colors:

Vector files allow you to work with both solid colors and gradients. Experiment with the color tools in your software to apply fills and strokes, adjust color values, and create captivating color schemes.

Layering and Organizing:

Organizing your design elements into layers provides flexibility and ease of editing. Use layers to separate different parts of your artwork, allowing for selective modification and efficient management of complex designs.

Applying Effects and Filters:

Many vector editing programs offer a wide range of effects and filters to enhance your designs. Experiment with gradients, shadows, blurs, and other effects to add depth and visual interest to your vector images.

Creating Vector Images

If you want to create vector images from scratch, follow these steps to get started:

Sketch Your Design:

Begin by sketching your concept on paper or using digital sketching tools. This step helps you plan the composition and layout of your design.

Digitize Your Sketch:

Use a scanner or a digital drawing tablet to import your hand-drawn sketch into your vector editing software. Alternatively, you can recreate the sketch directly in the software using drawing tools.

Define Shapes and Paths:

Use the drawing tools to create shapes and paths based on your sketch. Start with basic shapes and gradually refine them by manipulating anchor points and adjusting curves.

Add Details and Effects:

Once you have your base shapes, proceed to add finer details, such as text, icons, and intricate patterns. Experiment with the various editing tools and effects available in your software to bring your design to life.

Save and Export:

Finally, save your vector image in a suitable format, such as AI, SVG, or EPS. These formats preserve the scalability and editing capabilities of your artwork.

Mastering the viewing and editing of vector image files opens up a world of creative possibilities. By utilizing the right software and employing key techniques, you can manipulate and create stunning vector graphics with ease.

Remember to familiarize yourself with the software options available, such as Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, and Inkscape, which are well-suited for viewing and editing vector image files. These programs offer a range of tools and features tailored specifically for vector graphics.

As you delve into editing vector files, experiment with scaling and transforming elements, drawing and editing paths, adding and modifying colors, and utilizing layers for efficient organization. Don’t shy away from exploring the effects and filters offered by your chosen software, as they can significantly enhance the visual impact of your designs.

If you’re starting from scratch, follow a structured approach to create vector images. Begin by sketching your ideas on paper or digitally, then digitize your sketches using scanning or drawing tablet technology. From there, you can define shapes and paths, add details and effects, and save your artwork in appropriate vector file formats to preserve its scalability and editing capabilities.

Remember, proficiency in working with vector image files takes time and practice. Be patient with yourself as you learn the intricacies of the software and hone your skills. Seek inspiration from other designers, explore tutorials and online resources, and experiment with different styles and techniques to develop your unique approach to vector graphics.

By utilizing the right software, mastering essential editing techniques, and employing a structured workflow, you can unlock the full potential of vector image files. Embrace the flexibility, scalability, and precision that vectors offer, and let your creativity soar as you create captivating and professional designs.