Vectors - Adobe programs

Hi All, My Glowforge is on the way = I recently purchased a vector bundle, do I need an adobe program such as AI to move these vectors from my computer to the Glowforge program. I don’t want to purchase if I don’t need to.


Inkscape for sure.

There are ways to run inkscape in mac OS, but it is a little janky. Some other mac person can chime in later if you’re mac.

There are iOS options too, but I’m not as deep on those.



As @evansd2 noted, you can get Inkscape for free.

Also, depending on what your vector files are, if they’re SVG or PDF you can upload them directly (although I think you’ll want to be able to edit them so still consider Inkscape).

Check out the FAQ for file types and software options that work with your GF.


I have never used inkscape so i can not speak on it however Ai will have a steep learning curve at first but in the end if you are serious and want to do a lot of custom work then Ai is the way to go for sure .

Thank you all for your input!

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Inkscape will have a (semi)steep learning curve at first but in the end if you are serious and want to do a lot of custom work and don’t want to pay for Adobe stuff then Inkscape is the way to go for sure .

To help with that learning curve:

Fundamentally with vectors(in either Inkscape, AI, or some other things like affinity designer), you just need to understand the difference between paths and bitmaps and then understand nodes, strokes, and fills with vectors. Get a firm grasp of those terms and concepts and you are 75% there at least. For some people it’s really hard to internalize those ideas, but once you do, the rest is just details.

As always search the forum and google, chances are if you are wondering “how do I…?” about anything vector related, someone has done it and posted about it somewhere.

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Inkscape runs great on a Mac!!

It also FAR out performs AI running on a PC, for what I do. AI is now Cloud based and simply cannot handle large files. AI also tends to delete layer names in some versions of imported svg files.

Look at Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo, which can both handle svg files. Pretty neat that it works in both the vector and image World. Get Affinity Designer if you use mainly vectors, Affinity Photo if mainly rater images.


Great to hear… the one time I tried it with a buddy on his macbook, it gave him all sorts of issues. Keystrokes and whatnot were just not behaving. Glad you figured it out though!

I wonder if he didn’t install all the related software that needs to go along with Inkscape?

AI is installed as a client and checks in with a license server at least once every 180 days, It is part of the Creative Cloud suite of tools, but that doesn’t mean it is cloud based.

You can run AI with no web connection other than the twice a year for the license server check-in and if you want to take advantage of some internet functionality like back-up, Adobe Stock, Adobe Fonts, Behance, etc.


Good to know the details of its inner workings!

(but it still slows down severely on large files starting around 50 megs, and completely chokes on larger 250 meg files)

As much as I have loved Adobe software, the love affair is approaching its end and I’m moving on to younger women! :slight_smile:

If I paid $10-$20 a month for each software package I use, I would have to give up beer! And my internet connection!



You just have to remember to use Control instead of Command.

It wasn’t that simple. Even I know that :wink: There were whole chunks of the app that just didn’t work correctly, booleans, etc. Even choosing them from the menus yielded weird results.

Huh. I haven’t run into that; maybe they got it fixed before I started!

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