When you use Preview's feature to use the Mac's camera to scan your signature for later insertion into documents, it does a fantastic job of digitizing your written piece so that it is rendered smoothly, I assume as vector, not raster.

I need that same feature for other uses, to scan sketches and work on them digitally.

But, of course, using the little signature feature in Preview does not work for most of them!

How can I utilize that same "scan-a-sketch-into-clean-vector-form" feature in a way other than using Preview's signature app?

THANKS --eric


You might want to look at the freeware alternatives to Vector Magic - for example, there is inkscape which includes potrace (formerly a standalone vectorization utility). Can't vouch for the comparison with Vector Magic, but it's free...

  • I will check this out now, as the price issue is key to me... – estephan500 Aug 10 '13 at 5:21
  • having a hard time finding the "scanning" half of my hoped-for requirements... the way that I was able to feel a scanned image to Preview and it would generate the vector from that... – estephan500 Aug 10 '13 at 5:26
  • aha, finding the documentation for Potrace... – estephan500 Aug 10 '13 at 5:27
  • and now I've followed the wiki documentation and figured out how to use potrace and it works. Does the job and it's what I was looking for... thanks much, this one does it! and thanks to the other answerers also... – estephan500 Aug 10 '13 at 5:44

You might want to try Vector Magic, it did very helpful turning my sketches into vector. It needs to be scanned first. We can adjust how detail the vector output.

  • Recommend Vector Magic as well. Works quickly and can deliver good results in a bunch of formats. Clear, high-quality input works best – FeifanZ Aug 3 '13 at 13:13
  • It does seem to do a good job (based on the examples given), but it's terribly expensive! $295 for a desktop license... – Floris Aug 3 '13 at 18:54
  • This is great info, but just as Floris says, $295 makes it sort of prohibitive to use... that is the only thing keeping me from just flat out marking this correct, as it's sort of un-doable. I suspect that if the technology is basic enough to embed inside the "Preview" app, then it might be available in an app somewhere else in a simpler way than the $300 version... – estephan500 Aug 10 '13 at 5:21

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