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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
    Mar 12, 2012 10:16 AM   in reply to tmagames

    I think the issue is beyond import/export functionality, but how FH was "sunseted", user interface, and workflow.

     
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    Mar 12, 2012 10:24 AM   in reply to david_imanaka

    Do not take me wrong  I have been using Freehand since v1 in 1998 and I am sad to see it go.

     

    But, personally, I just want to be able to open my old documents, and have software that had an interface like Freehand, the new Illustrator in "like Freehand" mode works like that.

     

    In fact, as I mention earlier, it is like Freehand would be if it had been allowed to evolve.

     
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    Apr 18, 2012 7:24 AM   in reply to tmagames

    tmagames,

     

    How do I enable this "like Freehand" mode of which you speak? I have Illustrator CS3 (Mac) at work, and Illustrator CS5 (Windows) at home, and can't see such a feature in either of them.

     

    Thanks!

     
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    Apr 18, 2012 7:36 AM   in reply to Cygnify

    When you have CS5 open up at the top right, to the left of the search maginifying glass there is a drop down menu (it is long since I changed this but I think the default says "automation") in this drop down menu is the option "Like Freehand"

     

    Let me know how you get on, there are a couple of quirks/changes but if you think of it as a freehand upgrade these are no more than expected. Trust me I have used Freehand from vs 1 and I find this very acceptable.

     
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    Apr 18, 2012 7:45 AM   in reply to tmagames

    Thanks for the very quick response!

     

    Just tried it. Looks good, but does it affect anything other than the panel arrangement?

     
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    Apr 18, 2012 8:00 AM   in reply to Cygnify

    The main thing is try opening a really old Freehand file! (open from within illustrator)

     
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    Apr 18, 2012 8:08 AM   in reply to Cygnify

    Artboards (pages) can be rearranged and named. You can paste a objet in multiple artboards and they preserve their relative location in the artboards too (imagine this feature with titles, ornaments in a long document, page numbers,etc.)

    You can draw INSIDE and object. It has perspective grid (exactly like FreeHand)…

     

    And at last, but no at least, InDesign CS5 has pages with multiple sizes.

     

     

     

    You can also batch convert whole folders of old Freehand files: File menu->Scripts->FreehandToAI

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2012 8:26 AM   in reply to tmagames

    I agree that Illustrator's importing of Freehand files is quite good. I frequently use Illustrator for making PDFs of Freehand files. My dislike of Illustrator has always been based on its inferior general usability, not its feature set (which is actually very good, particularly in terms of file handling).

     

    Having said that, thank you for all your tips! Hopefully they'll help me utilise Illustrator a bit more from now on, although I doubt I'll be completely transitioning away from Freehand any time soon.

     

    I work for a guy who still frequently uses Freehand 3.1 (released in 1991) on a Mac G4 running OS9. By that measure, maybe some of us will still be using Freehand MX in 2024 (and beyond)!

     
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    Apr 18, 2012 8:35 AM   in reply to Cygnify

    I fully agree with you1 What annoys me is the pressure put on us to constantly upgrade, whether that be from freehand to Illustrator or just within a single software.

     

    I have to work internationally with major studios, they send you a styleguide or art to work with, in the next generation of software, you have to upgrade simply to work with them. I still have one G5 in the office with ONLY Freehand on it ... still go there in a panic. But what I am saying is that at least Adobe have made some concessions and we can use our old Freehand files, there was a danger at some point that they were all going away.

     
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    Apr 18, 2012 11:34 AM   in reply to tmagames

    tmagames, It's been interesting to read your transition to Illustrator and now that you have been working with it for several weeks, I'm curious to know what incident causes you to run back to FreeHand (in a panic)?  For that matter, I ask this of all reading this thread that spend time in both applications. What does FreeHand do for you that AI still doesn't?

     

    b_s_84 said above:

    its inferior general usability, not its feature set (which is actually very good, particularly in terms of file handling).

    CS6 is coming out with a colored interface option, gradient on path feature, and pattern tiling feature; is this what FreeHand users are looking for? ...rhetorical question...

     
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    Apr 18, 2012 11:45 AM   in reply to maeric

    There are many many things, some I agree are hard to distinguish between, ease of use and familiarity. but some that stand out the ease at which you can change the document measurement set up i work in the US but am British and have european clients I can look at/change the document units on the fly as I work. The step and repeat is superior. The command+ (clone) is invaluable. Clone/move/repeat...very fast when say drawing a checkerboard or something ... the ability to easily change the size AND CORNER RADIUS of an object after you have drawn it as the work progresses.. there are more!

     
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    Apr 18, 2012 11:49 AM   in reply to maeric

    Aha I just noticed your CS6 comment ... the question should be who can afford another upgrade to access such a feature, the Graphic design world is struggling as it is I have had to upgrade my CS suite 3 times in 2.5 years, and now there is another. Adobe do not reward loyalty much .. oh wait they don't have to, they have a monopoly!

     
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    Apr 18, 2012 2:51 PM   in reply to tmagames

    tmagames wrote:

     

    Aha I just noticed your CS6 comment ... the question should be who can afford another upgrade to access such a feature, the Graphic design world is struggling as it is I have had to upgrade my CS suite 3 times in 2.5 years, and now there is another. Adobe do not reward loyalty much .. oh wait they don't have to, they have a monopoly!

     

    AI-CS6 should be out in the next month or two. This is what I've seen it offers us:

    http://tv.adobe.com/watch/adobe-design-center/adobe-illustrator-cs6-sn eak-peek-pattern-creation/

    http://tv.adobe.com/watch/adobe-design-center/adobe-illustrator-cs6-sn eak-peek-gradients-on-strokes/

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2012 3:17 PM   in reply to maeric

    Don't know why they don't create plug-ins or add-on components rather than having all users buy through upgrades features one might never need or use. Or, at least create various versions customers can buy based on "need" not what we think we might "need". If these new builds are customer based, perhaps their customer "wishlist" sampling might be a bit narrow.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2012 1:15 PM   in reply to david_imanaka

    If I upgrade from FreeHand MX, will I be able to export text effects with embedded fonts, such as bold, to pdf documents, which Freehand will not do?

     
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    Apr 22, 2012 7:47 PM   in reply to Steven Schreiner

    YES!

     
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    Apr 23, 2012 7:43 AM   in reply to Keith thirgood

    David

    This is the 3rd reply I have sent in support of Freehand upgrade. I have been using freehand since the getko. I have tried Illustrator, as far as I am concerned freehand is so much easier to use. Much luck in your efforts.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 23, 2012 9:09 AM   in reply to aphouse

    Just to switch gears a bit, but has anyone looked at Adobe's CS in the "cloud" subscription application services? As much as it looks affordable in the "short" sense, if you're like me who upgrades every 2- 4 years, the cost seems to escalate to new highs. It's a metaphor like your local drug dealer feeding a bad monthly drug habit for life. Has anyone looked at the real costs for the average user?

     

    I am really trying to like Illustrator using the Freehand UI option within, but am struggling with it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 23, 2012 9:20 AM   in reply to aphouse

    Yes.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 25, 2012 4:50 AM   in reply to david_imanaka

    'Like FreeHand' option in Illustrator - I do use it but really can't see the similarities myself. Anybody care to expand on exactly what it is that makes it 'Like FreeHand'? Palettes and Tools are still all over the place, files are sluggish and file sizes are still huge, so can't see where the similarities lie!

     

    'Like FreeHand' in Illustrator? No.

     

    Like FreeHand? Yes. Would I pay for an upgrade? Yes.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 25, 2012 9:13 AM   in reply to cyclopsdx

    I am trying to adapt and like the FH option, but it is very different and not very pleasant. I'm just not so sure about the CS6 "cloud app." thing. I'm going to "run" some numbers based on my usage and upgrade cycle to see how expensive it is for me. D.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2012 8:02 AM   in reply to david_imanaka

    I have upgrade my computer to Windows7 and reinstalled my copy of Freehand MX.  There are some font issues addressed in updates 11.0.1 and 11.0.2.  According to Adobe website, I should call customer support for this issue.  I did, got passed aroud and on hold with India help desk for 30 minutes and finally got customer support manager.  She kept insisting Freehand support is not supported and then disconnected me.  I had to call Adobe offices in San Jose to get this file and it was anything but easy.  Adobe - please get that Illustrator is NOT a substitute for Freehand.  I use Illustrator for some stuff, but it also corrupts some of my FH eps files and makes it a lot more work to do my job

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2012 9:54 AM   in reply to cyclopsdx

    Choosing "Like Freehand" in the Application bar only changes the Workspace layout, and possibly a Keyboard commands... nothing else.

     

    CS6 doesn't open Freehand files any more, and there is no script to open them either. This very well could be because on a Mac at least, running Lion or in the near future Mountain Lion, Freehand no longer works at all. IBM refused to license Rosetta to Apple (if you're wondering).

     
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    May 7, 2012 2:12 PM   in reply to MapMakers

    How do I find out what version of Freehand MX I have, whether it's 11, 11.0.1 or 11-0-2? When I click on help/about Freehand, it doesn't show anything, just a scrolling credits roll that goes on forever !!!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2012 3:07 PM   in reply to Steven Schreiner

    on OSX it's on the startup splash graphic when Freehand is starting up, version and build number,

     
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    May 7, 2012 5:45 PM   in reply to Robert Philpotts

    Thanks Robert, I'll check that out on Windows. Anyone know if it's the same for windows?

     
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    May 7, 2012 6:48 PM   in reply to Steven Schreiner

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7IrqPTZqsTo/TaSc9gDswpI/AAAAAAAAHq0/Iy4aj3_8x5c/s1600/mx.png

     

    See lower right corner of splash screen for version #. Although in the "About FreeHand" panel it is stuck above the © 1988-2003 on the left.

     
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    May 8, 2012 12:07 AM   in reply to Jack PNG

    YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! No matter what it costs!

     
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    May 19, 2012 7:52 AM   in reply to DocPixel-BMW

    Has anyone found a workaround to open FreeHand files in CS6? I've been opening them in AI CS5.5 as needed, but if they don't open in CS6, then I think I need to spend some time and convert all my old FH files to CS5.5 now. I did finally accept that FH is dead forever no matter how hard and often people wish otherwise.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2012 8:46 AM   in reply to kcfi

    I just spoke with Adobe customer service and they told me there is no longer any upgrade options for Freehand or Pagemaker users for any Adobe products. They have now left us all out in the cold. Even if we wanted to upgrade to Illustrator, InDesign, Creative Suite, there are no options for us any longer. We will have to pay full retail price!!! So, they have bought us out, discontinued support and updates for us, and now left us out completely!!!

     
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    May 19, 2012 11:11 AM   in reply to kcfi

    I found that copying from FH and pasting into AI or ID works great. I recently had to convert an old FH doc into ID and it worked pretty smoothly. Shame though!! I loved FH!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 20, 2012 5:03 AM   in reply to nina peci

    OK folks... copying and pasting into Illustrator CS6 DOES WORK... but for some reason is inconsistent(?)

     

    You need to go to the Freehand Edit menu and choose "Special > Copy Special" and choose "EPS" in the dialog box. Now paste into Illustrator... HOWEVER... here's the kicker: it only works some of the time... and if there is something wrong (bug?), that if you have already copied something to the clipboard in Illustrator, that object will over-ride your copy from Freehand(???).

     

    I Just went through (almost?) every conceivable combination of copying FROM and pasting TO: Illustrator CS6, Photoshop CS6, and InDesign CS6.

     

    Here's the results when copying TO the respective programs FROM the Freehand Copy as EPS:

     

    1) Illustrator: works as many times as you need as long as there is nothing else from Illustrator in the clipboard (see above);

     

    2) InDesign: from the EPS copy, you receive an "EPS import: undefined error"... HOWEVER, copy from FH normal with Cmd/Ctl-C, and everything pastes correctly as vectors (huh?!!!);

     

    3) Photoshop: paste only works as " Pixels" or "Shape", not "Path" or "Smart Object" (logical)... as it always has.

     

    Now, when choosing the pasted FH object from inside InDesign that you pasted previously, you can NOW paste it into Illustrator CS6 just fine (OK);

     

    5) you can also paste the copied object FROM InDesign, INTO Photoshop as a Smart Object (automatic), and then double-click the icon to open in Illustrator to edit and/or Save out as an Illustrator file.

     

    The above are the down and dirty "How-to-quickly get a logo or object into Illustrator from Freehand" trick.

     

    I would suggest saving difficult or complicated files as Freehand Editable EPS files, rather than a normal Freehand (*.fh11) file. If illustrator still doesn't like the file, you may try exporting it as Illustrator EPS or PDF.*

     

    *PS. I can't be expected to go through every possible combination, I've got work to do.

     

    *PSS. I'm currently working on an Applescript that will go through a folder of FH files, open them and save them out as FH Editable EPS files. As I stated earlier in the thread, I and my clients have literally, millions. No other way to do this then let the computer, compute.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 20, 2012 5:31 AM   in reply to DocPixel-BMW

    OK... this is getting rediculous!!!

     

    I just tried my above trick, copying from a pasted object in InDesign and pasting into Illustrator CS6: NOT WORKING!

     

    Also: copying text from inDesign also doesn't work when trying to paste into *ILL: Illustrator over-rides everything with the last copied object from within Illustrator.

     

    Some of you guys need to try this, and report back... did we find a bug?

     

    *ILL = that's what this is making me right now!

     

    After a quick shutdown of CS6 and opening Illustrator CS5 to test: no problems with anything copy/paste/clipboard related.

     

    I'm calling this a bug, and it probably is related to the "memory leak" that many other users are experiencing in regards to screen redraw, clicking and dragging objects, etc.

     

    PS. Yes I tried the different toggles within the Preferences > File Hhandling and Clipboard... no difference in CS6.

     

    PSS. I trashed the prefs as well... no change. Illustrator "Clipboard Object" over-rides everything!

     
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    May 20, 2012 5:38 AM   in reply to DocPixel-BMW

    Please help me understand. Are you working in FH and then you want to save as AI CS6? Have you tried dragging and dropping your FH file on the AI icon (Mac)? They open that way of me with CS5.5.

     
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    May 20, 2012 5:59 AM   in reply to kcfi

    I don't have CS yet just CS5 but this works with CS5...just "get info" and change the extension to .ai, this also works with really old FH files some of which do not have an extension on them.

     
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    May 20, 2012 6:17 AM   in reply to kcfi

    kcfi wrote:

     

    Please help me understand. Are you working in FH and then you want to save as AI CS6? Have you tried dragging and dropping your FH file on the AI icon (Mac)? They open that way of me with CS5.5.

     

    CS6! Copying to ILLUSTRATOR CS6 does not work, nor does opening of Freehand native *.fh11 files (with or without an extension)!

     

    We all know that you can copy and open FH files in *CS5 (Version 15.1.0), and/or drag and drop on the icon, whatever... NONE of this works with ILLUSTRATOR CS6. We are looking for a work-around!

     

    *BTW: there is no Illustrator 5.5. Adobe didn't update Illustrator on the .5 upgrade. It is still considered "Illustrator CS5".

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 20, 2012 6:22 AM   in reply to tmagames

    tmagames wrote:

     

    I don't have CS yet just CS5 but this works with CS5...just "get info" and change the extension to .ai, this also works with really old FH files some of which do not have an extension on them.

     

    Changing the extension in any way only "forces" Illustrator to "see" the file. It does NOT change the internal file at all if it's unopenable, because Illustrator can not interpret the code that makes up the file. There's a thing in every file called a "header" and "creator" of the file itself. Changing only the extension does absolutely nothing to change those 2 very important pieces of data.

     

    I've been a printing tech for well over 20+ years, trust me... your getting lucky, especially in regard to "very old files" (FH3, 5, 7, etc.).

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 20, 2012 6:34 AM   in reply to DocPixel-BMW

    Are you still working in FH? Wouldn't it be best to convert all of your old FH files to AI CS5, and then they would open (I assume) in CS6.

     
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    May 20, 2012 6:35 AM   in reply to DocPixel-BMW

    "You're" probably correct, but I can only tell you what works for me ( Freehand user from the very beginning  mac user since 1986) even where some old FH3 files are just showing a terminal icon, even when Freehand will not open them, changing the extension to .fh11 WILL allow FH to open them and changing to .ai will also allow Illustrator to open them.. I must be incredibly lucky because it works every time!

     
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    May 20, 2012 6:38 AM   in reply to DocPixel-BMW

    Just a "smart comment" here:

     

    If there are any "old folks" here, they may also remember the old saying, "NEVER upgrade on even-numbered software". Funny how it looks like this "old tech myth" is still in effect today.... with all kinds of software, but notably graphics applications and anything Microsoft.

     

    That's why above in my reply you don't see "FH 2,4,6,8, or 10". Just like Win-XP (5) vs. Vista (6), and Win7 now. See the uproar re: Win8/Metro on the horizon... doesn't look good.

     

    By all appearances, Adobe wont be the company to break the myth, because I just found a number of bugs in CS6 *Photoshop and InDesign to go along with more than a few dissappointments in Illustrator.

     

    * Since it relates to Illustrator CS6: Photoshop CS6 doesn't recognize the size of the object copied from Illustrator, when calculating a new document (Cmd/Ctr-N) from the clipboard. Previous versions of PS always automatically did this... and still do.

     

    CS7 will be the killer suite. Should have known better from experience.

     
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