From Smashing Magazine comes this awesome listing of some of the best free vector packs available.
The Ultimate Collection Of Free Vector Packs
While the images are beautiful and many are suitable for cutting, few of them are in SVG format. Most are in EPS, PDF or AI format. Newer AI files, as well as PDFs will import directly into Inkscape. When you double click on an EPS file on a Macintosh, it will be converted to PDF automatically and open in Preview. From there all you have to do is save it and Inkscape will make it into an SVG.
Once you have imported an AI or PDF into Inkscape, click on the vector pack and begin ungrouping until you see dotted rectangles around each individual image. To work on an image, drag it off by itself or save it to a new document to do any necessary simplification, color separation or whatever. Once it has been saved in Inkscape you can then import it into SCAL for cutting.
Here’s an example, starting with one of the free vector packs from Designious.com
We open up the EPS version and save it as PDF in Preview, then open it in Inkscape and Ungroup
Then delete everything but the dolphin we were after and saved under a new name.
Valerie Lynch says
I bought SCAL and I downloaded Inkscape a few weeks ago, but was too nervous to try it until I saw your post. Following your directions, I chose the same image you used as your example and got it into Inkscape, but I can’t get it to “ungroup” so I can delete the other images. Am I doing something wrong? I was so excited to see you post information about this- I LOVE your blog (saw it on the cricut messageboard). Keep up the good work! Thanks!
Val and anyone else having trouble with this,
Be sure you select the image before trying to ungroup it (just click somewhere on the image). On some vector packs you have to use the ungroup command several times, but be patient between clicks because sometimes it takes a while if the images are complicated. Hope that helps.
karen degraw says
I love you site and was excited to see the designs on designiious. I seem to be having several problems though. I downloaded one of the designs and it was zipped and in EPS format. I was unable to unzip it as the message was something about windows needed to know what program created it…I didn’t have a clue what that meant. I did get the wizard msg and clicked extract file. Do I need a program that unzips this type of program? Or am I able to import this EPS file to something to change it? As you’ve probably guessed alreaady, I’m new at this vector file name stuff..I have been able to open SVG files to inkscape that have already been created so that is a good thing for me! LOL…Was also able to change a jpg to a svg…WOW…thanks for any help you might have on this “weird” kind of file..(weird to me anyway)
Sorry Karen, but these open right up as PDF on my Mac. They are not Mac files, per se, but Macs are set up to unzip and convert them automatically. They can be unzipped with any unzip program so you are on the right track. Hopefully another Windows user will share how to get EPS files into something that Inkscape can open or import.
karen degraw says
Thanks for getting back to me..I don’t have a clue as to what I did, but I was finally able to send one of the EPS downloads to CorelDraw and was able to save it as a PDF file and exported it to Inkscape..and it OPENED!!! imagine that.. I really don’t know if I could repeat the process, but I now have one! This process is a real trip for someone who doesn’t know what they are doing..Maybe someone with windows could help me in a more direct manner..This one was somewhat of a “let’s just see what this will do” process. LOL..(don’t anyone ask me what I did)
thanks again…will check back later.
Joella Molson says
Oh geez, you have absolutely opened up a whole new world to me! I’ve been trying to figure out how to get EPS vectors into Inkscape on my Mac forever! Many, many thanks.
Erica N. says
Thank you so much for posting this info! I just bought SCAL2 and downloaded inkscape and was getting so frustrated because I had nooooooo idea what I was doing. This helped so much!