When comparing GIMP vs Inkscape, the Slant community recommends Inkscape for most people. In the question“What is the best open-source drawing software?” Inkscape is ranked 2nd while GIMP is ranked 3rd. The most important reason people chose Inkscape is:
Inkscape is GPL-licensed and maintains public repositories.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Free, open source and cross-platform
GIMP is completely free and open source, meaning you can use GIMP and all of its features without spending a penny. This makes it an excellent case for artists or designers who may not have the budget to spend over 700 USD on Photoshop. It is also available for free on Windows, Mac OS and Linux. It's licensed under GPL with source code available here.
GIMP is the most feature rich free image editing tool. It has most image manipulation and workflow tools that you would expect from an image editing software and what it lacks it makes up with plugins.
Pro Content-aware tools with a plugin
There's a content-aware fill plugin available for GIMP.
Pro Modular & single-window interface options
By default GIMP splits out each window, but you can check to use the one screen mode in options if you prefer.
Compared to to other photo editing software, GIMP is very light weight. In addition it isn't very resource-intensive, meaning you can put it on a flash drive and have it with you to load up on just about any computer.
Gimp has less features than programs like Photoshop, but for a beginner, or someone not needing complicated options, Gimp is the perfect choice. It allows you to quickly do basic photo manipulation so you can easily get the product you need without having to worry about complicated features getting in the way.
Pro Full channel support
Pro Free and open source
Inkscape is GPL-licensed and maintains public repositories.
Pro Opens lots of file types
Inkscape supports many common formats for import (including SVG, Photoshop and Illustrator) and its plugin architecture allows more to be added.
Pre-built binaries are available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Inkscape can be built from source on additional platforms.
Pro Export to different file types
You can export and save your files for example as a "normal" svg, png, jpg, bmp etc. file.
Pro Integrates well into a X11-System
Its uses the X11 icon theme and desktop theme(GTK).
Pro Dark Theme Support
The new 1.0 beta 2 version finally got support for dark theme which normally is only available for commercial software like Affinity Serif, Adobe Illustrator.
Pro Measurement Tool
This tool is extremely handy and I was not able to find it in any other vector graphics programs out there.
Pro Live Path Effects
Extremely powerful menu that offers more than 30 powerful Live Path Effects to apply to your paths vastly enhancing the application functionality.
Pro Guides, Grids, and Canvas Rotation
Extremely handy features when building complex graphics using Inkscape.
Pro Interface is available in 29 languages
Basque, British English, Brazilian, Portuguese, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Latvian, Norwegian (Bokmål), Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Swedish.
Pro It can do anything
A very powerful software that can do pretty match anything!
Pro It's really easy and fun
You can edit and create vector graphics with Inkscape.
Con Unintuitive interface
GIMP doesn't embrace OS X application design, thus Mac users might have a hard time wrapping their heads around GIMP's interface.
Con Less features than other programs
Being a free program, it shouldn't be surprising that it has limited features. For those needing more advanced features for something more professional, GIMP just isn't for you.
Con Lacks adjustment layers
Adjustment layers offer a non-destructive way of combining different photo manipulations. Without adjustment layers the only way to see changes is by irreversibly editing the image.
They are promised in future updates.
Con Poor performance
Con Very slow startup on some systems
Depending on factors like how many fonts you have installed, Inkscape can take upwards of 30 seconds to launch.
Con Uses its own SVG-format by default
Inkscape might use SVG as its default format, however this SVG's contains some additional SodiPodi/Inkscape additions that can be troublesome if you want to import the SVG into some other application.
Con Based on the GTK widget toolkit
Software is based on GTK, so it might not integrate well in non-GTK environments. It also requires many dependencies on those non-GTK desktops. It also adds dependencies to GTK-environments since it is written in C++ which requires the gtkmm wrapper/interface
Con Mac version does not look as polished as its versions for Windows/Linux version for the 0.92.x version.
It seems that Inkscape 1.0 beta 2 for Mac got some needed attention and it looks a lot better with dark theme support. native DMG installer and they got rid of X11 which is great.
Con Incompatible with previous versions
Sometimes backward compatibility breaks. For example, pre 0.92 SVGs are incompatible with later releases (due different default resolutions).
Con Y-axis inverted
0,0 coordinates begin in lower left corner, not upper left corner as SVG standards define in Inkscape 0.92.x.
It seems this is now fixed in the 1.0 beta 2 version of the program.
Con No support for large printing machine system
No support for large printing machine environment, except exporting the resulting artwork to PDF.
Con Since 0.91 the gradient editor is gone
It is now only possible to edit a gradient on screen. but you can't set a stop to a specific percentage anymore.
Con Limited work with ICC CMYK color scheme
Support for ICC color profiles only in SVG files.
Application is often buggy so it happens from time to time that the popup / right-click menu won't close and stays open. It crashes also sometimes randomly. This makes it almost unusable for productive / business use.
Con Crashes very often
Inkscape encountered an internal error and will close now - is one of its standard messages.
Con 1.0 is sluggish
Inkscape 1.0 uses GTK 3 which is sluggish and slow even compared to previous versions.