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. A rasterization engine uses this information to determine how to plot each line and curve at any resolution or zoom level.
Contrast that to bitmap (raster) graphics which is always bound to a specific resolution and stores an image as a grid of pixels.
Inkscape can import and display bitmap images, too. An imported bitmap becomes yet another object in your vector graphics, and you can do with it everything you can do to other kinds of objects (move, transform, clip, etc.)
While Inkscape does not have all the features of the leading vector editors, the latest versions provide for a large portion of basic vector graphics editing capabilities. People report successfully using Inkscape in a lot of very different projects (web graphics, technical diagrams, icons, creative art, logos, maps).
Add a control point to the centers of rectangles, circles/ellipses and stars to make it easier to move them and to align them in a precise way.
DPI Change: Command line option --dpi-update-method=[none|scale-viewbox|scale-document] to batch-process legacy files.
Improve selection chemistry z-stack ordering.
Rework the object panel, including making shortcut handling respect user-defined shortcuts.
Add ability to generate one path from multiple paths with LPEs in them.
Automatically fix baseline spacing of <flowDiv> flowed text elements when importing legacy documents.
GUI: Fix file preview on Windows when using the native file open dialog.
Printing: Fix crash when printing on Windows.
Text: Fix tiny font size for sub/superscripts.
Text: The default style of the text tool can now be changed when nothing is selected.
GUI: Window position/size was often wrong on startup and when opening new documents.
Symbols: Fix loading of Visio Stencils from .vss files with special characters in file name.
SVG import/export: Special characters in the document's "title" field could result in invalid SVG output and prevent re-opening the file on Windows.
EMF/WMF import/export: Fix many issues that occurred when the system's locale was set to a language using comma (,) as decimal separator. Notably text was often positioned wrongly after import and the export option "Convert gradients to colored polygons series" made Inkscape crash.
LaTeX+PDF export: Fix export for text inside a masked or clipped group.
Extensions: The attribute xml:space="preserve" for INX Parameters of type description was ignored but they were untranslatable without it. The attribute is now respected and translations work properly in all cases, however please note that this might change formatting in cases that were broken before, i.e. whenever omitting the attribute. To maintain visual appearance please add the attribute.
Import: Fix many issues with importing large files. Many files that could not be opened before (especially those containing large raster graphics) should import fine now.
Fonts: Do not load fonts with illegal characters in font family name which caused a crash.
Inkview: Fix loading files with non-ASCII characters in filename.
Fix "Shift" modifier being added incorrectly for many user defined shortcuts (making them unusable).
Allow to set shortcuts with characters that need to be escaped (e.g. "&", "<", ">").
Fix crash when exporting user defined shortcuts on Windows.
Improved performance of shortcut list in preferences.
Fill and Stroke: Fix HSL color selector sometimes showing corrupted colors with a non-functioning 5th slider.
Fix occasional crash when closing Inkscape or saving the document.
Fix tearing and glitching while moving objects. Don't stop() the rubberband until it has actually been started.
Fix various memory leaks.
Fix temporarily disappearing transformation handles.
Fix bug on rotate copies with one line vertical input.
Fix nodes reverting back during editing.
Fix crash when moving objects by null-checking return from sp_svg_transform_write.
Don't block data entry into the text-tool font-size entry widget after an empty entry.
Reduce overall height of the options dialog.
Fix unfilled rectangles missing when importing WMF.
Fix extraneous numbers inserted with color rename.
Fix --export-latex crash with a svg file.
Fix EMF export glitch with GDI clipping, by starting it with a COPY instead of an OR.
Fix linking of duplicated text on paths.
Fix stroke width of edges for extrude extension.
Fix incorrect scaling in extensions when document units are not px.
Fix hang in linked flowed text when setting outer line-height to zero.
Fix displacement of text when moving a selection of frame and text-flowed-into-frame.
Fix crash when trying to move svg symbol.
Fix crash on editing path created by the rotate copies LPE.
Fix crash loading files with certain LPEs such as mirror symmetry.
Fix link for FAQ entry on DPI change.