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While Canva offers free graphics and images if you don’t find what you need then searching for online free vector graphics is a perfect solution. The biggest reason most folks don’t use vectors is because many free online editors don’t work with them. Canva won’t even let you upload files unless they are either jpg or png.
That shouldn’t stop you from using vector resources. Converting a vector file is easy with free editors that recognize the vector format.
Why use vectors with Canva or any free editor?
Vectors are useful in widgets, sales pages, sidebars, footers and headers.
I’ve always ended up using vector graphics in some way on every website I’ve created. After converting the SVG, AI, PSD or EPS file to JPG or PNG, the graphic was re-purposed as an icon for services widget, an illustration for a sales page funnel, a graphic for a sidebar, footer or header. Many vector graphics fit perfectly into landing pages, pop-up subscription forms and templates. When you find free JPG and PNGs they likely were created as vector files first and then converted.
They are handy and many available are just as free as the royalty-free stock images most folks search for.
Converted vectors are essential for websites, social media and print, but converting files to web useable formats is necessary. There are free editors that can act as vector converters but converting files depends on the original vector format. It is no different than converting Word docs into a rich text file (rtf). Converting a vector file is just as easy with the right free vector editor.
What exactly is a vector?
Vector files are made by using mathematical formulas; no you don’t need to know the formula to create one as the editor you use does it for you. The vector file uses individual color blocks to create the final image; thus vector files are great for graphics (icons, illustrations etc) that need resizing for various reasons.
An example is a logo. Your logo if made as a vector file can easily be resized to your website, social media profiles, and printed business cards or letterhead documents. Of course in most cases, your logo will be saved as a png or jpg in the appropriate size needed from the vector file.
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You may not know it but all those PDFs you use generally are vector files. Although depending on the program that created the PDF it might be a vector or a raster file. (I’ll skip discussing the merits of raster files here).
Anyway, the point is there are many free vector images, icons and illustrations that can be converted for use. There are at least 4 options to convert free vectors into useable JPG and PNG files besides using the well known Adobe suite of products.
However, there are differences between these vector editors; for example, Inkscape works natively with SVG vectors while GIMP easily handles AI and PSD files. Both understand the universal EPS vector file format.
So first find the free vector you like regardless of the format, then use the one of these editors to resave the vector, i.e, convert it, into a JPG or PNG. After that upload it into Canva or any other editor.
Vector Converter Options
Option 1. INKSCAPE
If the file is an SVG then Inkscape the way to go. Inkscape default file format is SVG although it can import and export to other vector and non-vector file formats. In fact, many of the free vector graphics I edit for my website and social media content are modified using Inkscape. The software is free and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
Want to see how check out this article >>>> Convert Vector Files With Inkscape
Option 2. GIMP
While GIMP isn’t the easiest program to learn it is one of the most popular free vector and image editors available. GIMP doesn’t work well with SVG files but handily manages Adobe’s AI files, PSD and generic EPS file formats. Removing backgrounds, re-coloring images, icons or portions of is fairly straightforward in GIMP.
Want to see how check out this article >>>> Convert Vector Files With Gimp
Option 3. Pixelmator
This pay for program works only on Mac but its feature set is powerful and rivals many of Adobe’s features at a fraction of the price. There is no subscription fee only a one time paid version with updates. Pixelmator does open Adobe files and generic EPS files but its default is to save to the Pixelmator PXM format.
Option 4. Pixlr Editor
There are several versions of Pixlr. The 2 online versions ( original Pilxr Editor & the newer version Pilxr X) don’t understand vector files. However, the downloadable version called Pixlr Pro can handle all kinds of vector files.
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