I used to use Xara products 10 years ago, and they were great and fast, but since I no longer do web design, just hosting I'm not sure if those products kept up.
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Well i know gimp is the go to , but even though it was designed for a different purpose adobe illustrator is quite handy for use of editing , of course it doesn't give you the more complex functions of graphics like layer masks but im thinking maybe you dont need that, oterwise gimp , but gimp to me ist that user friendly and Photoshop has massive online support