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Adobe latest FreeHand MX upgrade, Would you pay?

Apr 19, 2008 11:26 AM

  Latest reply: Kaiser Chow, Oct 6, 2013 7:09 AM
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2012 6:03 AM   in reply to Jack PNG

    I've done exactly the same thing...all Macs up to date and happily running Freehand fine at work and at home, no plans to change anything anytime soon :-)

    Would so love an update though....

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2012 6:10 AM   in reply to julesinchaos

    Exactly the same here just purchased 3 8core machines with Snow leopard I have used freehand since 1 (still have all the discs and serials for every version in between) lion is a SAD day for us.

     

    I use Indesign (great program) Photoshop (indispensable) Obviously Acrobat (pdf's made our lives easier) but what are Adobe thinking with Illustrator it is SO clunky and hard to use.

     

    I am sick and tired of getting styleguide files with what appears to be 1million unamed layers.

     

    I will continue with Freehand as long as I can, but I have no Idea what I will do when the inevitable happens!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2012 6:16 AM   in reply to tmagames

    After 35 years in the business....I'll be due a career change....

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2012 6:25 AM   in reply to Jack PNG

    Same for me. I've always done my best installing the last OSX. But now I prefer to calm down with Snow Leopard just to keep my FreeHand

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2012 6:38 AM   in reply to FH Addict

    Yes, me too. We have 4 Macs and will not go anything else but 10.6.8 until a solution is available to run FreeHand on newer OS X.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2012 6:45 AM   in reply to thumahawk

    I've got 3 at work and 2 at home so Apple might be short of a few sales from me too...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2012 7:29 AM   in reply to Jack PNG

    Same here, perfectly using Mac OS 10.6.8 with Freehand MX and no plans for upgrading. Looking forward for a new solid alternative, I wrote the other day to know a bit on future plans with iDraw http://www.indeeo.com/idraw/ (OS X and iOS platforms), for us Freehand users might look like a newborn (missing tons of pro tools), but pretty sure will make adobe sweat in the near future. By the other hand I'm also waiting for news on the Freefreehand.org development team and their App.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2012 7:57 AM   in reply to tmagames

    While I have Lion on a MacBook, I also am running 8-core Mac Pro. I went back to Leopard for only one reason, the system-wide font menu of YouControl:Fonts (also FontCard and Fontsight). I use that utility so much and if any developer were to figure out how to jigger it for 10.6 and 10.7, I'd be thrilled. My workflow apps are the same as tmagames; ID, PS, FH, with QXP and AI as needed. But on to other news, a court-ordered mediation is set for next Tuesday with FFH (and our lawyers) meeting with Adobe and their lawyers. Wish us luck.

     

    — Mark

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2012 7:51 AM   in reply to Jack PNG

    I just up graded all my Mac's last year to two IMacs and two new Mac Book Pros and at that point had to upgrade from CS2 that stopped working to CS5. Will stay with Mac OS 10.6.8.

    to keep Freehand working.  I have 26 years of Freehand files for my screenprinting business that I will never convert over to Illustrator.  The only reason I have Illustrator at this point is to open & convert

    Illustrator files over to Freehand.  A lot of graphic artists that I work with can not believe that I still use Freehand, a lot of them were forced to convert over to Illustrator by the companies  they work for.  99%

    of them have used Freehand in the past and hate having to be forced to use illustrator.  At this point I wish Adobe would just give the all graphic artists the freedom to chose illustrator or a up-dated Freehand. Long live Freehand,

    Long live FreeFreehand

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2012 9:00 AM   in reply to maeric

    Mark,

     

    You're already in our prayers, but we'll give them a boost for Tuesday!

     

    Keep the faith

     

    Head

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2012 9:33 AM   in reply to FH Addict

    Same here. I've always been an early adopter of most Apple OS but haven't wanted to touch Lion because of the FreeHand issue. I've also held off upgrading everyone at my studio, too. They must be missing out on quite a few upgrades.

     

    Feeling a little pressure now because of the fact Apple are removing MobileMe in June, which means no wireless syncing of your calendars, contacts and me.com emails, etc. unless you're on iCloud through Lion. I do know that you'll still be able to tether with 10.6.8, so looking at workarounds. I'll also be transferring my copy of FreeHand to a spare machine we have in the studio tomorrow so that I don't face any issues if I'm forced to upgrade.

     

    I've been forced to use Illustrator on a client project these past few weeks and it's the longest I've ever had to endure working in the program. It's been ridiculousy time-consuming and laborious and complete took the fun and enthusiasm out of the project. I can't believe so many users settle for such a piece of poor quality, mediocre software. FreeHand all the way for me. Ai just doesn't compare.

     

    Mark - that is very interesting news. Good luck and I'll be rooting for you guys on Tuesday.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2012 9:55 AM   in reply to cyclopsdx

    How do you all deal with transmitting printer files? I'm encountering more resistance from service bureaus and printers to accepting FH files.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2012 10:02 AM   in reply to pidseattle

    Carefully exported pdfs, tweaked in Acrobat Pro or even Illustrator if necessary. In rare instances, a high res tiff, but then I do exhibits, not multipage, handheld print material. There is a little more latitude when the viewer is a couple or more feet away.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2012 10:17 AM   in reply to pidseattle

    You can still export as a pdf open in acrobat and run through distiller.

     

    But to be honest I just use it as a drawing tool I have never actually sent FH files to the printer always sent pdf files or back in the day eps files.

     

    Freehand is a great drawing tool but best used in conjunction with other software

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2012 10:21 AM   in reply to pidseattle

    I'll try any of the above, or import a FreeHand .eps into Quark or InDesign (although I find, surprisingly, that InDesign doesn't work as well as Quark ;-) ) and export a PDF from there which I'll supply to production houses and bureaus.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2012 10:23 AM   in reply to Jack PNG

    I sometimes have 20-40 page brochures incl. whole page photos, export as PDF and send it to print. Some fonts have to be converted to outline before doing that. Or (for one or few page stuff, specially when Pantone colors are used) I export EPS, open in Preview, save as PDF, open in Acrobat Pro for compression.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2012 10:31 AM   in reply to thumahawk

    I use Indesign and Photoshop I have Freehand open to one side. You can draw shapes objects anything you wish in Freehand and simply drag across into either IN or PS open docs. They come over as editable graphics. (text is automatically converted to paths)

     

    That way I get the best of all worlds quick, easy intuitive drawing in Freehand (including dielines) great illustration editing in Photoshop and /or great final output control with Indesign.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2012 10:35 AM   in reply to Jack PNG

    I use Indesign and Photoshop I have Freehand open to one side. You can draw shapes objects anything you wish in Freehand and simply drag across into either IN or PS open docs. They come over as editable graphics. (text is automatically converted to paths)

     

    That way I get the best of all worlds quick, easy intuitive drawing in Freehand (including dielines) great illustration editing in Photoshop and /or great final output control with Indesign.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 23, 2012 4:25 AM   in reply to pidseattle

    pidseattle said:

    How do you all deal with transmitting printer files? I'm encountering more resistance from service bureaus and printers to accepting FH files.

     

     

    Like most folk here, we also never give FreeHand files to bureaus or printers.

    But you can see here that there are many valid ways of working through this.

     

    Our solution is the same as that of cyclopsdx:

    -  export from FH as a Mac EPS file (no need to convert fonts to outlines);

    -  place EPS into QuarkXPress;

    -  export high resolution PDF from Quark (or export as PostScript and distill) ;

    -  send PDF to the printers and your done.

     

    As we use Quark almost exclusively for document layouts, we print almost everything this way - the process is straightforward and never fails.

     

    For info, we're using QuarkXPress 8.5.1 and FreeHand MX (11.0.2) under Snow Leopard on 3.33GHz Xeon MacPros.

     

    Cheers,

     

    Head

     

     

    Oops, we're off topic again

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 23, 2012 8:23 AM   in reply to Head

    Not sure why Quark would be needed. I've been outputting PDF's from FreeHand directly since Snow Leopard was released.

     

    - Just create a virtual printer in the system preferences and make sure it has the Acrobat PPD assigned to it.

    - Hit print inside FreeHand and choose "Save as Postscript" which saves to a .PS file.

    - Distill in Acrobat Distiller and you'll have a perfect PDF.

     

    It's that simple!

     

    Raster effects inside Freehand can be tricky though. They are technically only good in RGB mode, but we've found we can use them for CMYK work as long as the effect is not on top of a color that has black in the CMYK mix. That's a little bit of a pain, but you can usually find a different CMYK mix without black to work around it. This goes for effects on top of photos containing black as well, but obviously it's harder to remove black from a photo.

     

    Hope that helps.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 23, 2012 8:43 AM   in reply to stevo5555

    Not that simple if you're running Acrobat 9 under Snow Leopard, I think.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 23, 2012 8:49 AM   in reply to Head

    Works perfectly in every version/update of Acrobat 9 I've used with Snow Leopard. Multiple machines running like a champ.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 23, 2012 9:17 AM   in reply to stevo5555

    I didn't say it wouldn't work, just that it may not be that simple, at least for some.

     

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Acrobat 9 itself removes the Adobe PPD from Snow Leopard; so first you have to find a copy and put it back in the right place. Easy for some, not that simple for others.

     

    Then you presumably have to download and install a virtual printer, such as 'CUPS-PDF' or 'Instant PDF'?

    Do you use one of these?

     

    We've never gone this route simply because all our FreeHand work is integral to the documents we produce, which are all laid out in QuarkXPress. Thankfully for us, QXP has continued to process EPS files exported from FreeHand without issue. Apparently the same can't be said for InDesign.

     

    Cheers,

     

    Head

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 23, 2012 10:07 AM   in reply to Head

    Nothing in getting Freehand to work in Snow Leopard has been easy, I think most would agree. But anyone can set up this solution in 5 minutes. You don't have to download CUPS-PDF or Instant PDF. If you're a professional in the print/design industry I can't imagine you don't have the Acrobat PPD handy.

     

    To create a virtual PostScript printer (Mac OS 10.5 and 10.6):

    1. Open System Preferences, and select Print & Fax.
    2. Choose the + sign to add a new printer.
    3. Choose IP.
    4. In the Protocol pop-up menu, choose Line Printer Daemon - LPD.
    5. In the Address field, type in localhost.
    6. After Generic PostScript printer displays in the Print Using field, click on it and choose Other... from the pop-up menu and choose an Acrobat PPD from your hard drive, then click Add.
    7. Close out of the Print & Fax preference or Quit System Preferences. You're done.
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 23, 2012 10:24 AM   in reply to stevo5555

    I had the same problem as Head - I can't remember when it occurred (I think it was a background update with CS4or CS5) but somewhere down the line my entire PPD folder was automatically removed because Snow Leopard is built to write PDFs directly through the software you're using and (from what we could ascertain) Distiller was no longer supported. We started PDF'ing directly through Illustrator and InDesign, although Quark took a little longer to get up to speed. Typically, FH wasn't even considered during the direct PDF export option introduced in other Adobe products so we were left to fend/fudge for ourselves when it came to production output and we found (ironically) Quark to be the better option for handling.

     

    And - staying on topic! - despite the issues and workarounds we faced and still face, I still prefer FreeHand and would definietly pay for an upgrade - even if the only changes were updated OS compatibility and working PDF exporting options!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 23, 2012 11:20 AM   in reply to Jack PNG

    Export files from freehand as eps and just drop onto Distiller as a batch? No problems I've found as yet :-)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 24, 2012 1:03 AM   in reply to stevo5555

    steveo5555 said:

    If you're a professional in the print/design industry I can't imagine you don't have the Acrobat PPD handy.

     

    But that's the thing -  it's easy for those of us who've been in the business as long as we have to assume this would be the case. Yet there are probably hundreds of thousands of highly skilled artists, designers, editors, etc., who just expect to be able to boot up and do their stuff, and maybe don't have the technical support or mindset to help them get past these issues. It's certainly the case that the changes Adobe made to it's PDF routines in Snow Leopard caught many people out.

     

    Your step-by-step guide to overcoming this with a virtual printer installation is excellent though, and is exactly the kind of information that many folk never come across for themselves, so don't feel at all that you are being patronising by spelling this stuff out - loads of folk will find this stuff really helpful.

     

    And if anyone thinks they've lost their Adobe PPD, it can easily be recovered, at least in Acrobat Pro 9, by choosing 'Show Package Contents' from the contextual menu and then go to Contents > MacOS > SelfHealFiles > AdobePDFPrinter > PPDs > Contents > Resources > en.lproj. From there you can just make a copy to use as needed.

     

    Hope this is also helpful, and thanks again Steve for your valuable input.

     

    Cheers,

     

    Head

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 24, 2012 4:52 AM   in reply to Head

    We have not upgraded( to Lion) for the very reasons given in this discussion (we have some 20 years of work in Freehand and many many maps) so redoing all that work in another program would be out of the question. So we too have workarounds. One of our number has retired but she still uses Freehand EVERYDAY for her pro bono work on her 'old' G3 powerbook with separate monitor.

    Il. may be OK in what it does, but it does not do what Freehand excels at.

     

    so thanks: quote ...and thanks again Steve for your valuable input. unquote

     

    We hope for the best for the forthcoming event.

    Regards

    Fran

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2012 11:04 PM   in reply to Marian Driscoll

    Wow! This is my first time here and never knew there was such interest in Freehand. I am one of those who used Freehand when Macromedia acquired it from Altsys and through its demise at Adobe. I still use the last version on an older Mac just for it. Adobe's intent was to "sunset" Freehand someday since the application was part of the package deal when Adobe purchased Marcomedia Director and Dreamweaver (the target technology they really wanted) since they already had Illustrator as their vector application. I'm sure there was an agreement to continue Freehand development for several years into the future, but I'm quite sure Adobe transferred any usable code to Illustrator and maintained a small FH dev team. Freehand was never part of the Adobe plan or mission, but they needed FH as part of their Dreamweaver efforts until they could integrate their applications into a platform... think Flash. And we all know how successful the Flash platform has been for Adobe. Through the years longtime users feared the "last day" would come.

     

    Freehand is just a great and sensible application, but has little or nothing to do with Adobe's mission, but with HTML5, etal and the lanscape changes in technology, Freehand does have relevance today like infographics, presentations, web graphics, illustrating, and supporting "cloud" web applications. FH doesn't need to integrate with a suite of applications, it just needs to be a stand alone application that can import and export formats.

     

    It's an ideal application for Apple or Windows online stores. Rather than bad mouth Adobe about its responsibility to continue Freehand, I think it's more appropriate to license FH to a "company" to continue developing and sell it while paying Adobe royalties. It's about money and resources, perhaps Adobe understanding that someone or a group somewhere is willing to dust off FH and do the things that need to be done might be receptive as a gesture of goodwill. I am sure most of the people who have FH also have other Adobe products or suites they use in their daily life.

     

    As far as lawsuits, it would be frivolous and time consuming. Any money would be far better spent to fund life into FH by a thrid-party and not to lawyers. Any lawsuit would take 2-5 years to resolve, then add appeals and the costs associated with such effort. Finding a third-pary and negotiating a license is much more realistic and hopeful.

     

    If Adobe is reading this forum's post, please let someone know that there is the prospect of licensing FH as a gesture of goodwill. And one more thing, if licensing is doable, make it and keep it simple.

     

    Just my 2 cents....

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 6:25 AM   in reply to david_imanaka

    Hi David,

     

    Thanks for joining us. If you'd been part of this group for the number of years it's been talking about Freehand, you would know that all of your ideas have been attempted on a number of occasions. Adobe ignores or outright rejects all overtures. They purchased Macromedia for its other applications, and as a bonus were able to eliminate their main competitor in the process. I don't know American law, however, it looks to me like they have created a monopoly, which I was under the impression is against American competition laws.

     

    If you go to the freefreehand.org site, they have a lot more information on the rationale behind the lawsuit, ad the attempts at reasoning with Adobe that proceeded it. (As Adobe refuses to sell, lease, license or or in any way let Freehand resurrect itself, there are only two options left. Force them through the courts, or develop and entirely new program from scratch. As I understand it, the Free Freehand group are pursuing both options.)

     

    It would be helpful if you joined the cause, rather than disparage it.

     

    Keith

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 10:40 AM   in reply to Keith thirgood

    Hi Keith- I think "disparage" is very wrong and a crock of crap. I did join freefreehand.org a long time ago with the hopes that something might be done. The reality is that there are so many vector based applications that the waters are quite muddy to withstand a monopoly challenege. The courts don't give a darn, but look at the impact of the collective applications as a whole against Adobe.

     

    They can keep Freehand in the closet for many many years, far longer than any of us will be around by nudging it back and forth in the courts. And if they lose in the end, it'll be several more years before Freehand reaches the market and will Adobe deliver a quality product? Unfortunately, there are no longer any FH evangelists inside of Adobe and if there were, I'm sure they're all long gone by now. So, any traces or remanents are locked in a vault, stagnent CRM data, and dusty inventory in some warehouse.

     

    The problem is Freehand is such a good product and Adobe recognizes this and won't sacrifice (albeit lame) its own child (perception) in the process. There might also be some core IP in Freehand that Adobe doesn't own as well. But then again, they're abandoning Flash (throwing out the baby with the bath water) in order to survive the migration to HTML5 and mobile. Stranger things have happend I suppose.

     

    I wish and support like you for Freehand to be available. You can be critical of me and others as you wish, however, it doesn't change the landscape here nor at Adobe.

     

    David

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 11:28 AM   in reply to david_imanaka

    Hi David,

     

    I don't want to get in an argument with you. You said, "As far as lawsuits, it would be frivolous and time consuming.", which reads to me as a disparaging remark. If you didn't mean to disparage the efforts of the folks at freefreehand, then great.

     

    Occasionally, this discussion gets comments by people who's main agenda seems to be to tell everyone how stupid and fruitless our desire to resurect Freehand is. I'm glad to know you're not one of them.

     

    Keith

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 12:08 PM   in reply to Keith thirgood

    Thanks Keith- I read about a small company who spent their assets after 14 years of litigation with a major corporation. The company defended and won all through the appeals process, however, the corporation appealed to the Supreme Court, the small company had exhausted all its wealth and were unable to defend their lawsuit in the end. They won yet lost. I think I articulated my rationale about costs and time consuming. The two costs are my basis for "frivolous" in light of how the legal system works.

     

    I don't think anything I've mentioned is disparaging, but couched in historical reality (the mentioned case was published by the Harvard Law Review).

     

    Adobe will defend their position at all costs, not only to protect themselves, but for other large corporations as well to maintain their "face". MS is still working on their negotiating/compliance for OS and browser crap with the EU after many years. It took the whole European Union and millions of dollars to convince Microsoft that its actions were detrimental.

     

    They don't care, they don't have to. At the end of the day, I hope all of us produce good or great work with or without Freehand... that's what is important.

     

    David

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 12:08 PM   in reply to david_imanaka

    David, I rather like what you have to say in your posts and glad to see you found this community of like minds. I understand your concerns about the present situation but more important you appear a clearly deep-seated and longtime user of FreeHand and want it to have a continuing life. Nothing you wrote was overly surprising or disparaging to me, partly because I’ve heard it ALL from other folks; some on this very thread. 

     

    My question to you (and others here) is whether you are keeping up on the latest news? The recent Court Order regarding Adobe’s Motion to Dismiss the class action came out recently. This news article covers it: http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/02/14/43888.htm Or see the Judge's written Order in its entirety: http://www.freefreehand.org/images/denies-motion.pdf 

     

    Personally, I find it gratifying that this much enthusiasm is alive and kicking for FreeHand after so many years. It’s a testament to the engineers of FHMX to include features and tools ahead of its time in 2003. I’ve been using Ai on a lot of projects lately but my appreciation for the “great and sensible” FreeHand is more apparent.

     

    — Mark Gelotte

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 3, 2012 10:33 AM   in reply to Keith thirgood

    I have been a Freehand user for many many years and I too will miss it when it has gone. BUT... I have just upgraded to CS5 and lo and behold..so far I have been able to open all my old Freehand files, not import, but OPEN using the Open command...and there is an option to make the interface "like Freehand" I have to admit using Illustrator in the "like Freehand" mode is pretty much like working in Freehand..an updated Freehand...so far I think I owe Adobe a BIG apology.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 3, 2012 10:41 AM   in reply to Keith thirgood

    Wow I just have to say it again..I just opend up a Freehand doc from 2004, very complicated illustration..opened GREAT in fact even better all my grouped objects are automatically in separate folders and layers all organized for me...!!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 12, 2012 9:25 AM   in reply to Jack PNG

    YES, YES YES!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 12, 2012 9:29 AM   in reply to tmagames

    BUT CAN YOU WORK IN IT- Such as effects with type and drawings, and Coloring?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 12, 2012 10:12 AM   in reply to aphouse

    Works perfectly, I am happily using it as much as I was the old Freehand, we do Adobe an injustice.

     
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