If you need a vector drawing program, Microsoft Expression Design is free now

For some reason, Microsoft decided several years ago that they needed to market a vector drawing program. It flopped. There may have been several reasons for it, but I’m sure one of the reasons was marketing.

At any rate, they decided to discontinue the product and offer it for free download.

The program requires .NET 4.0. If you don’t have that, the installer will direct you to the correct download page.

I learned to do very basic vector drawing in college using Macromedia Freehand and, later, Adobe Illustrator, but that was a number of years ago. I’m not the best person to evaluate its capabilities, though it seems reasonably capable. I was able to draw shapes and fill them with solid colors or textures, including imported textures. It has the ability to import and export common graphics formats like Illustrator, WMF and EMF, which is important. Sometimes a task that’s hard in one program is easy in another, and this allows your software to work together.

If you want a book on how to use it, I only know of Microsoft Expression Design Step by Step, but fortunately used copies of that book are cheap on Amazon. Additionally, Microsoft has eight tutorials posted at the bottom of this page.


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One thought on “If you need a vector drawing program, Microsoft Expression Design is free now

  • December 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Nice! I downloaded and am installing now, and will play around with it. Another free vector drawing program I have used is Inkscape http://inkscape.org/ (I blogged about it here http://awedmanor.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/cool-tool-tuesday-48/).

    I may keep both of them. It is possible to have too many free programs, but you don’t have to limit yourself to one in each category. I have the four main browsers (IE, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera) to make sure that web pages render well on each. Chrome is my regular browser, and I may end up using the MS program more than Inkscape.

    I really like disk space being readily available.

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