Drawing and Painting Software?

What are your preferences? What are your needs?

I have tried LibreOffice, NeoOffice, and Graphic, but with my photosensitivity, I need something less flashy.

I am a tabletop game designer, and need good drawing software, for counter design.

I need to be able to align objects. I need to be able to easily add and align text. I need to be able to assign distinct colors to each of 20 factions.

I also need to be able to do this without severe migraines. Unfortunately, flashing triggers my migraines. In LibreOffice and OpenOffice, both text cursors and object selections flash. In NeoOffice, I can use a hack to keep text cursors from flashing, but I can’t keep object selections from flashing. In Graphic, object selections don‘t flash, but I can’t keep text cursors from flashing. So with my photosensitivity getting more severe, I can’t use these apps.

I also need to be able to do this despite coordination problems. Fortunately, most apps contain alignment tools which help.

I want to be able to ensure that the color combinations won’t be problems for colorblind players either. Unfortunately, I need to use some red pieces and some green pieces.

Any suggestions?



I use GIMP and (briefly) Paint.NET. GIMP suffers from load times and has a loadbar animation. I’ll have to give Paint.NET a spin again before I can confirm it’s photosensitive-safe


I went and offered cookies to the Google. I got this as a response.

Drawing, Painting, ART!!!


It might be easier to control the cursor behaviour from your operating system. There should be a setting or plug-in to make it behave consistently across the board. I know Windows has this; I’m not sure about other operating systems.

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Is there readable documentation for Gimp? I can only find this: https://docs.gimp.org/2.8/en/

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I’m using a Mac, after a lot of hardware and driver issues using Windows machines with Linux.

There should be. Perhaps surprisingly, there is not. I can’t install wider scrollbars. Apart from the Dock, I can’t move menus to the sides of the screen. I can only disable blinking cursors in NSText-- and apparently NeoOffice text cursors are NSText so writer is usable while other blinking objects are not so the other tools are largely unusable-- LibreOffice blinking cursors aren’t NSText, making LibreOffice writer unusable too.

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Inkscape is supposed to be good, but I can’t find adequate documentation: http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL/html/Customize-Preferences.html

I’m supposed to install it to find out what’s in the preferences and whether I can use it???

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Could you expand on what isn’t readable about those docs? They look rather complete, while having very plain-language section headings covering specific potential needs.

There are also tutorials available through the main documentation page, as well as links to books, man pages, etc: https://www.gimp.org/docs/

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It’s a web page. It’s a web page with orange text on a black background. I have a lot of fixes to make them more readable, but they’re all kinda unreadable, even this one. Even pdfs are more readable.

And the secnd link just leads back to the same web page. I can’t find a downloadable version.

Here’s a PDF version someone put together.



Thank you! I’ll look at it later today.

Gimp is intended for image manipulation. I can’t find much about whether it supports graphic design, but it would be a secondary function, or whether it supports my accessibility needs. The preferences allow users to change the speed of MARCHING MIGRAINE ANTS, but that’s no guarantee they allow users to kill the accursed MARCHING MIGRAINE ANTS, and it’s a bad sign that the application includes MARCHING MIGRAINE ANTS.

Conversely Inkscape is intended for graphic design. I can’t find much about whether it supports my accessibility needs.



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Can confirm that “marching ants” can’t be completely killed (at least not through the preferences, I’m not sure if a gimprc edit would have more flexibility). The speed control is in milliseconds, and the maximum is 10000, which causes them to only move by one pixel every 10 seconds.

On graphic design, Gimp’s a full-featured paint program, similar in toolset to Photoshop. But if you have needs that can’t be done in a paint program like Photoshop, then…


I don’t use Photoshiop, I don’t know what it can do. But I know that it’s intended for image editing, and that isn’t what I need to do.

I installed Inkscape. I actually got it working this time! If I can debug Inkscape, then I’ll see if it can do what I need to do.

Google sketch up.

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Hope Inkscape works out for you.

Perhaps I’m misunderstanding you, but these kinds of programs are made for image creation, color management, digital painting, etc. Image editing is just the thing most of the masses use them for. For example, here’s a tutorial showing techniques for creating icon images in gimp.


I thought I was clear that I personally need drawing software, not painting software. I figured if other people want to ask about painting software, I should leave the door open for that. But I’m getting a lot of answers about painting software, none about drawing software.

I created these game pieces using LibreOffice and NeoOffice. I need to be able to create other readable game pieces.

Tatchanka Counters 11-19

Tatchanka Counters 11-19 2

1st 2 of 4 pages, exported from odg.

P.S. I’m waiting for approval from the Inkscape forum. Then I’ll be able to ask my debugging questions there.

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It might help if you try to provide some specific differences you see between “drawing” and “painting” software. I use gimp frequently with my tablet, with its pen tool, to “draw”. I can also use the spraypaint or other tools to “paint”. In the definitions I commonly use, there isn’t much difference between the two.

Based on your mentions of libreoffice… are you specifically talking about diagramming, presentation, or layout software? Because that’s a completely different kind of beast.

I’m pretty sure the game pieces you’ve shown here could easily be created using any of the software that’s been suggested so far. If I were making these in gimp, for instance, I would mostly just use the square selection, flood-fill, and text tools for most of them. The small handful of more complex shapes look like they could also still be done with either multiple applications of the square select, or possibly using the free select tool for the triangles. Alignment would be done using the draggable guidelines that you can place at precise positioning on the rulers at the top and left of the image.

However, it sounds like you’re more wanting something that follows a specific workflow that you’re familiar with, rather than just general software that can do this.

[edit] If you’re just wanting something more akin to diagramming/presentation software, there’s also google docs slides available, which doesn’t appear to flash selections, though the text cursor will blink in it if you have a text object in edit mode.



I create one counter. First, I create one box with the background color. I may add symbols. I will add text, sizing the text boxes to fit the background color, often giving the text boxes their own color, and aligning everything background box. I create one group for that counter, so all the parts stay together and stay aligned.

I copy that counter, as needed. I may switch in different symbols. I may switch the colors. I will probably need to change the text.

If I have to create everything from scratch, that’s a problem.

So I need to be able to work with separate objects, arrange them, group them, and arrange groups. I need to be able to snap objects to grid lines, and I need to be able to match colors to specific pallette options.

The way I learned it, drawing software usually used vector graphics, and separate objects, with tools for precise alignment and the like; painting software usually used raster graphics, and treated the whole project as one object, with tools for spraying stipples and the like.

I can usually deal with the occasional blinking text cursor, but not hundreds of blinking text cursors in the course of each project, and not the blinking text cursors in Inkscape.


What kind of output do you need? (File format)