1 2 Previous Next 48 Replies Latest reply on Jun 24, 2016 1:15 PM by maeric

    Opening Freehand files

    stickleback6 Level 1



      I saee that my Illustrator CS5 has a script which is for opening Freehand files  - I click and it saks me to select the FH file to open - but they are all greyed out... is this s a problem with Lion or is there a workaround?



        • 1. Re: Opening Freehand files
          DocPixel-BMW Level 2

          In Illustrator CS5 you can just open the files, no need for a script.


          As for Illy CS6: it will no longer open Freehand files of any kind. They must be first saved as an EPS from Freehand, then open in Illustrator.


          TIP: for people with Macs, better keep an old system running as long as possible on Snow Leopard with CS5. Freehand is officially dead

          • 2. Re: Opening Freehand files
            Gustavo Del Vechio Level 3

            Hi stickleback6


            Illustrator CS5 supports opening Freehand formats *.fh7, *.fh8, *.fh9, *.fh10, *.fh11, *.ft11


            Illustrator CS6 has no support any longer for Freehand formats.


            What´s the Freehand´s version of the file your are trying to open in Illustrator CS5?


            • 3. Re: Opening Freehand files
              maeric Level 3

              Gustavo, how do you know this for sure?

              • 4. Re: Opening Freehand files
                Wade_Zimmerman Level 7

                Gustavo is a community professional and besides the specifications of Illustrator CS 6 are out and you can check this out for yourself by downloading the trial version of Illustrator CS 6 and try opening any Freehand file.

                • 5. Re: Opening Freehand files
                  Les ONeill Level 3

                  I too would like a definitive answer for this. Is it true that CS6 has dropped support for opening FreeHand files? Is it OS related (I'm still running 10.6.8 because of Apple's decission to drop Rosetta in Lion)? If true, can someone (preferably an Adobe employee) please explain the reasoning? and why have I seen nothing about this until this thread?




                  • 6. Re: Opening Freehand files
                    DocPixel-BMW Level 2

                    Sorry I wasn't able to reply earlier.... but yes it is true, Illustrator CS6 does NOT open Freehand files any longer. I know this as fact since I'm working with Illustrator CS6 this morning (Germany) in another window as I write this.



                    a) if you try to open a Freehand file through the dialog box, all Freehand files are greyed  as "All readable documents".

                    b) if you click on the list menu, Freehand is truly no longer there as a supported format.

                    c) if you drag and drop a Freehand file on the Illustrator icon in the dock, you will receive an error dialog: The file "Logo_Multi.fh11" is an unknown format and cannot be opened."


                    My version of Freehand is MX 11.02 --- Just go up to the Freehand Menu and choose "About Freehand"... the version number appears in red for about a second before the credits start to roll.

                    • 7. Re: Opening Freehand files
                      Les ONeill Level 3

                      What OS are you running DocPixel?

                      • 8. Re: Opening Freehand files
                        DocPixel-BMW Level 2

                        @Les -- OSX Snow Leopard 10.6.8

                        • 9. Re: Opening Freehand files
                          Les ONeill Level 3

                          Thanks Doc, me too, so will need to keep 5.1 on board for the forseeable future. I just can't believe Adobe kept stum on this issue when it clearly is crucial information for so many people's workflows.




                          • 10. Re: Opening Freehand files
                            Bob the Sign Guy Level 2

                            I don't understand why Adobe would drop File>Open/Import support for Freehand. More than a few experienced Illustrator users migrated over from Freehand and have old FH-based art files they might want to use from time to time. For example, certain versions of Freehand had fairly decent collections of vector-based clip art while Adobe has never really put much effort into bundling similar goodies into Illustrator.


                            I wonder if the move to 64-bit code forced the elimination of Freehand support. Did Adobe drop File>Open/Import support for any other notable applications in Illustrator CS6?

                            • 11. Re: Opening Freehand files
                              Gustavo Del Vechio Level 3

                              "Did Adobe drop File>Open/Import support for any other notable applications in Illustrator CS6?"


                              No. Just Freehand support.


                              Illustrator CS6 also added to support for opening Idea files (made by the Adobe Ideas App).



                              • 12. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                Bob the Sign Guy Level 2

                                I don't know too much about the Adobe Ideas app other than my Android phone might not be big enough for me to create little sketchy things good enough to bother importing into Illustrator and/or Photoshop. Obviously the app is geared for tablet use. The "work on up to 10 layers for no extra charge" thing scares me a little. It has me thinking of a scenario where I'm smearing my finger on the screen and suddenly run into a scenario where I have to break out the credit card in the middle of a mobile improv creative session. Tablets are popular with a lot of people, but I don't have much use for them given all the limitations in storage capacity, connectivity, etc. I'd rather use a notebook with full computer functions rather than something primarily built for media consumption. I can plug my Wacom tablet into a notebook.


                                The rival CorelDRAW application still offers Freehand import support. However, the mileage varies on how well Freehand artwork is imported. It's already challenging enough making CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator play nice in how they trade files between each other. For instance, neither one knows how to properly import each other's interactive gradient fills. Other apps besides Freehand are arguably lapsing into obsurity or dying. Neither Illustrator or CorelDRAW can import ACD Canvas art files, Canvas was formerly developed by Deneba. Micrographix Designer was (sort of) turned into Corel Designer -the last couple or so versions are really modified builds of CorelDRAW rather than the old Micrographix product.

                                • 13. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                  Les ONeill Level 3

                                  I would still love to hear from a Senior Adobe employee on this issue. I have about 23 years worth of FreeHand files that I continue to use/update as I go forward (and yes I am converting to Ai as I go) but I can't just sit down and go through the thousands of illustrations that I've done in that time and convert them all in one sitting! I need to know that Adobe will continue to offer the ability to 'convert as required' going forward.



                                  • 14. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                    DocPixel-BMW Level 2

                                    @Les --- Well, all I can say is welcome to the "Old Club". I also have some 400k + Freehand files from over 23 years of using it. Fact is, I doubt any Senior Employee is ever going to reply here satisfactorily, and even if they did, it would boil down to, "live with (without) it".


                                    I will say again: hope you can keep your current Mac running smoothly on OSX 10.6.8, and also keep your last version of Illustrator, whether CS5 or below.


                                    TIP 1: you should know that you can have both the new CS6 and any older version installed at the same time on your Mac.


                                    TIP 2: if you need to purchase a new Mac, you won't be able to "downgrade" to Snow Leopard, HOWEVER... you could virtualize Snow Leopard and/or Win7 and Freehand in Parallels 7. Google it for instructions (Hint: http://forums.macrumors.com). You "could" also Screen Share to your old Mac if it's still running.


                                    Summary: whether we like it or not, Freehand and it's files are officially dead moving forward, and there is nothing it appears that any of us can do about it. I've been a member and donor to FreeFreehand.org for a few years. While they are currently in "moderated" talks with Adobe after filing suit against them, I seriously and realistically don't expect a positive outcome for quite a while... if sadly to say... ever.

                                    • 15. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                      Les ONeill Level 3

                                      @Doc__ Well, I refuse to lie down and take a kickin' over this. We know they know how to implement this functionality, as the last 2 iterations of illustrator can attest to. So I think if enough of us yell long enough & loud enough maybe, just maybe they will reinstate that functionality again! (I'm endeavoring to be a glass half full kind of bloke here!).

                                      • 16. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                        DocPixel-BMW Level 2

                                        @Les -- I admire your outlook... however, as I mentioned, FreeFreehand.org with a membership of some 10,000 (?) has been trying to wrangle something out of Adobe for some 3-4 years now. Technically speaking, Freehand is STILL the better vector program, even though Illustrator can "do more", it's only because Freehand has cease to be updated since 2006. For layout stuff and working with text, it is far and away still better than Illustrator CS6.


                                        Just sayin': Illustrator CS6 by itself is 630mb, where as Freehand is only 44mb. It's amazing how much and how many logos and projects over 20 years I/we have produced with that "little" but extremely powerful program. Very sad to see it die like this.

                                        • 17. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                          Les ONeill Level 3

                                          @Doc__But I'm not asking them to resurect FreeHand! I'm merely asking that they reinstate a functionality that I, perhaps naively, assumed would be ongoing, so that the people who emigrated from FreeHand (the 'old' country) to illustrator (the 'new world') would still have recourse to their work from a previous life!


                                          Couldn't agree more, with all your other sentiments

                                          • 18. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                            Gustavo Del Vechio Level 3

                                            Can anyone send me please 1 freehand document to make a test?




                                            Thank you


                                            • 19. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                              DocPixel-BMW Level 2

                                              ...OK 3 simple boxes in a simple A4 page.




                                              BTW: you CAN open Freehand files, but they have to be saved as Freehand Editable EPS first, OR exported as legacy .ai files. But that's not the point. "Native" Freehand files with the extension .fh(xx) will not open.


                                              Also, we often used a trick to get certain elements into Illustrator from a FH document by using "Copy Special" as "EPS" or "EPS for Photoshop 4/5". Illustrator no longer recognizes or parces the contents of the clipboard.


                                              This is on OSX 10.6.8... may be different on a Winbox(?)


                                              Have Fun

                                              • 20. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                                Gustavo Del Vechio Level 3

                                                Thank you Doc



                                                • 21. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                                  madameblossom Level 1

                                                  DocPixel-BMW, When you say 'you should know that you can have both the new CS6 and any older version installed at the same time on your Mac.', does that mean that if I upgrade to Lion (from 10.6.8) and CS6 (but keep CS5.5) that even within Lion I will be able to open Freehand files using CS5.5?

                                                  Thanks, and in hope...

                                                  • 22. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                                    Wade_Zimmerman Level 7

                                                    I think it is surprising that in all this time Macromedia did not embrace pdf like Illustrator so that one could open the files almost anywhere/


                                                    Corel Draw as well.

                                                    • 23. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                                      DocPixel-BMW Level 2

                                                      @madameblossom, Simple answer: yes. You can update to Lion, and if CS5.5 is already installed, it will be there when Lion reboots. Then install Illustrator CS6 or any other suite program.


                                                      However, in another thread, there appears to be some problems with Illustrator CS6 and some Macs, both on Lion and Snow Leopard. With that said, many people are applauding the speed of CS6 when it it's working properly.


                                                      For now I'm advising my clients not to upgrade just yet. None of the new features will appeal to them anyway (mainly 2-3 color packaging). I get paid to be the guinea pig... and have fun doing it... so no big deal. Production people hate bugs, hiccups... and most of the time their jobs as a whole... so...

                                                      • 24. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                                        DocPixel-BMW Level 2

                                                        Wade_Zimmerman wrote:


                                                        I think it is surprising that in all this time Macromedia did not embrace pdf like Illustrator so that one could open the files almost anywhere/


                                                        Corel Draw as well.

                                                        Uhm... in "all this time"?


                                                        Freehand was updated last in 2003 by Macromedia, and was bought in 2005 by Adobe.


                                                        If Freehand was ever to "embrace PDF", it would have been logical that Adobe would be the one to do it "in all this time", or? But no: they decided to discontinue updating Freehand instead.


                                                        BTW: Freehand did and still does export to PDF. A somewhat large number of my clients do it close to a 100x a day. As for CorelDraw, it also exports to PDF.


                                                        And just FYI: Illustrator documents are ONLY able to be opened by other Creative Suite (CS) programs... IF... in the Save dialog, " Create PDF compatible File" is checked. Well you say, "that should always remain checked"... however, that little checkbox decides how many disk drives and backups drives you need if you have literally hundreds of 1000's of files, as I and my clients do (600k+ personally and 8mil +! at one of my packaging partners).


                                                        Example: simple box layout 16x6x24cm with one-color 240dpi image front and back, the rest text and vectors.


                                                        1) With PDF checked: 8,4mb -- full previews work in OSX and Bridge, and openable in Acrobat Pro;

                                                        2) Without PDF: 356kb -- preview is actually the icon, in both OSX and Bridge, and not openable in Acrobat Pro;

                                                        3) Freehand: 397mb -- preview full-size in OSX (Quicklook-spacebar) using 1000x1000, 75% JPG in FH prefs (user definable)... which explains the larger file size. Naturally nothing from Adobe, whether Bridge or AcroPro can open the native file.


                                                        Size difference: ~21x or over 2000% from FH to AI/PDF. That's more than 40x more hard disk capacity needed incl. 1 (one!) backup!


                                                        Tell my clients that, or tell them we could continue to use FH, but at some point we have to move to Illustrator, but with reduced efficiency (Quicklook is THE most used function of OSX around here)... or buy and build out a new server room for PDF viewing. Care to guess what the money guys answer? I'll help: "...uncheck that D*** box!!!"


                                                        NOTE: I personally like and use Bridge... but most of my clients hate it, considering it's still rather unstable and crashes often when viewing folders with lots of images, PDFs etc. Not on all Macs, but some... and that's the killer when trying to implement a team-workflow.

                                                        • 25. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                                          DocPixel-BMW Level 2

                                                          @ W_Z: we've had this run in before re: FH vs. AI. I've adapted... but I can't always say that about my colleagues.


                                                          Especially when struggling with simple things in AI like selecting a stroked line (without an Outline Stroke effect)... or adjusting rounded corners (without an effect AND less control on individual corners as in FH... or easy visual identification of grouped objects... or... here it comes: Paste Inside(!)


                                                          The "niggling" thing in my colleague's and my mind every day is, "...could I be doing this project faster in Freehand?" That is the basic question and objective... and in our industry... as the managers will tell everyone... is the only thing that matters. Get it done... yesterday... and if you use pen and paper, we don't care.


                                                          I've done a simple poll over the last couple of years after the writing was on the wall re: FH's eventual death, as to what we "need" from FH in regards to an update. Here it is:


                                                          1) Better PDF compatibility and Export options with PDF 5.1 standards (how ironic!)

                                                          2) Data names and recognition of linked file names with more than 32 letters in their name or path.

                                                          3) The ability to place PSD's, compressed layered TIFs, and PDFs as linked files.

                                                          4) better font previews and font family organization (negligable, because even AI doesn't do it from the Control Bar)

                                                          5)... possibly a better drop shadow function... but not really necessary. IF we have to we open the data in AI or PS for "advanced" photo functions, and place it back in... see #2 why that would be needed... no problem.

                                                          6) better transparency and recognition of transparent layers from placed data or inside FH.

                                                          7) ... naturally, made compatible with current hardware and no need of Rosetta.


                                                          That's all. No new interface, features, functions, plugins or changes. * All of the above are less than a team of 5 and 1-year-away possible I would think.


                                                          Oh... and BTW: you can keep your Mercury engine: FH is faster at everday live preview editing than ANY of the CS programs, incl. PS-CS6. Imagine that?!


                                                          * Pardon us for dreaming.

                                                          • 26. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                                            vickyjs-2007 Level 1

                                                            Does Illustrator CS6 still open freehand files that have been saved as .ai rather than .eps? (I know each page gets saved as an individual .ai file but can live with that) The 'export' option is to save as an illustrator .7 version on my copy of freehand MX (version 11 I think)


                                                            Wondering what to do as my old macbook is falling apart, I'm still using freehand, need a new mac but can't run freehand on the new mac OS so will finally have to change to illustrator and trying to decide wether to go for CS5 or CS6 - just don't know what to do? I work for a small non profit organistion so money is a huge issue and I need to make a good choice. I somehow need to salvage the freehand work but upgrade for the future.


                                                            Any advice would be much appreciated PLEASE


                                                            • 27. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                                              Wade_Zimmerman Level 7

                                                              >ai files are .ai files and as far as I know any .ai file can be opened by AI CS 6.


                                                              I you wish to have someone open one of the files you save as .ai v7 post one and I will open it on my Mac. And let you know.

                                                              • 28. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                                                madameblossom Level 1

                                                                I have Freehand v 11.0.2 and CS Illustrator 5.1, and have managed to save the Freehand file as an .ai file and it works fine. I can also open my Freehand file from within Illustrator.


                                                                As DocPixel-BMW said earlier, keep CS5.5 when upgrading to CS6 and open Freehand files with CS 5.5.


                                                                What I am wondering is whether I will be able to open Freehand files (through CS5.5) when I have upgraded my OS from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion (I never did upgrade to Lion).


                                                                Does anybody know?



                                                                • 29. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                                                  DocPixel-BMW Level 2

                                                                  You should have no problems opening FH7 - FH11 files using Mountain Lion and AI CS5.


                                                                  However as before, it is still recommended that somewhere, you have a functioning Snow Leopard installation, also with FreeHand and AI-CS5 installed and working.


                                                                  If you only have one computer, may I make the following suggestion(s).


                                                                  Before upgrading to Mountain Lion on your current machine, purchase a 500gb or 1tb FireWire hard drive, and then "clone" your entire Mac installation drive to the new drive. Afterwards, you can boot from that drive by going to System Preferences => Startup Disk, and choosing the FW drive.


                                                                  It's not a bad idea to clone your installation from time to time anyway...and not only with Time Machine. You can then easily reinstall SL, just in case Mountain Lion doesn't appeal to you. NOTE: please be sure to repair permissions using the Disk Utility BEFORE cloning(!)


                                                                  It MUST be an exact bootable clone, and I suggest Carbon Copy Cloner from very good past experience. Also, don't even try booting from a USB drive: it's painfully slow(!)


                                                                  When it comes to the day that you have to purchase a new Mac, where SL and the drive that you cloned will no longer run, you should look into purchasing Parallels Desktop, and a **Snow Leopard Server** installation disk. You can "virtualize" SL Server and migrate your clone drive programs to that.


                                                                  ** There are ways to virtualize the normal Snow Leopard client, but they are somewhat for the tech-experienced because Apple "technically" doesn't allow SL-Client to be virtualized. You may want to Google it anyway, just as an alternative


                                                                  ** Trying to use SL on a new Mac may ... or may not... actually work, due to missing drivers. I really can't say at the moment. I will be trying to do this shortly for a client, and I will report back my experience.


                                                                  ** Last but not least, you CAN still make use of your Parallels Desktop purchase if SL doesn't work, by installing Windows 7 and a purchased license of FreeHand MX (eBay). Actually, you can install as many "virtual OSes" as you like, from WinXP to Win7 to Ubuntu... and even SL "Server"... all at the same time. I have one client that runs all of those simultaneously due to being a web developer.

                                                                  • 30. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                                                    vickyjs-2007 Level 1

                                                                    My problem is that I am actually going to have to upgrade to Illustrator CS6 not CS5! as Charity / Education versions of Illustrator are no longer available in CS5 (I have tried VERY hard to get a copy and have now given up and ordered CS6) and a full retail version of Illustrator CS5 isn't in the budget even if it would make my life a lot easier!!!


                                                                    SO…I will have to save all my freehand files as individual .ai pages and just work with that.

                                                                    On my version of FreeHand I can save as Illustrator 7 which gives the .ai so I am hoping that will work.


                                                                    Is that the best way to save them or is there another option?

                                                                    (eg. In Inkscape, Freehand files saved as .pdf files are editable but I hate inkscape and the X11 thing are there other ways of saving and opening FreeHand files in Illustrator?)


                                                                    My work is pretty simple stuff compared with most (little booklets for kids, text and line drawings mostly)  so I just need to keep the bare bones of drawings and layouts and if I need to re use or change stuff I can fix it as I go along.


                                                                    A new macbook is on the way (I'm assured) I will be able to keep my old mac for a while whilst I switch over but eventually it will go elsewhere so I will need to make the break.

                                                                    • 31. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                                                      Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional



                                                                      On my version of FreeHand I can save as Illustrator 7 which gives the .ai so I am hoping that will work.


                                                                      Many things are quite different, and at least live Type will be shattered by crossing the AI CS line (and even later), so I hope there is another solution so that you can keep your current AI version alive.

                                                                      • 32. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                                                        DocPixel-BMW Level 2

                                                                        Not so sure what you're saying with "live type will be shattered" i.e. broken?


                                                                        If what you're saying is that "sometimes" type will flow differently within a text frame... or that sometimes the text is broken up into many little pieces, those inconveniences are quite easily dealt with.


                                                                        a) text flow: expand the frame and/or change the type size to (often is the case) just 0.5 smaller;


                                                                        b) shattered little pieces of text: select all text pieces => copy => paste into a new text frame or on a single text line.



                                                                        IF you're talking about certain styles added to text.... yes, those are fully broken and understandably don't translate.


                                                                        NOTE: the busted little pieces of text problem is most often seen if you have adjusted the letter-spacing of the text in FH, or if you have properly kerned your text. Also if it is nested at least twice within groups, and then resized later. This creates problems for most programs, including all from Adobe, not just Illustrator.

                                                                        • 33. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                                                          DocPixel-BMW Level 2

                                                                          Did you check on eBay or CraigsList? I hear that you can get used/deactivated software there. Unfortunately I'm in Europe, or I'd check for you

                                                                          • 34. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                                                            DocPixel-BMW Level 2

                                                                            One last note: the translation from FH data to Illustrator has always been tricky, and especially so if you use deeply nested groups.


                                                                            That means with for example: 3 squares grouped, then grouped with a picture, then grouped again adding Text, etc. etc.


                                                                            The most problems with such nested groups comes from the resizing of those groups in your FH project. When translated (opened) in illustrator, that is (mostly) when text breaks up or flows differently, and often line-widths are wrong, etc.


                                                                            If you have such a problem with any FH file, it is advised to go back to FH, and ungroup everything.


                                                                            It is a pain once back in Illustrator, HOWEVER... if you have the FreeHand specific (*not found in AI yet) preference checked "Remember Layers Info", and you previously had layers set up before grouping, FH will ungroup and place your objects back into those layers for easy selection once opened in AI.


                                                                            * FH's "Remember Layer Info" is not the same, and is far more useful, than AI's simple "Paste Remembers Layers". You can group to your heart's content, Ungroup later, and you'll have the same multi-layer document you started with. That is if you actually "use" layers. FH was so easy to sub-select things, many people only worked on one layer. This is NOT advised in Illustrator


                                                                            <added> PS. Makes ya wonder when all of the 64-bit goodness of Illustrator is going to be able to do the lowly "little things" that the woefully and worthless 16 and 32-bit FreHand could do for decades...?

                                                                            • 35. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                                                              Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional



                                                                              I was (woollily) referring to all the different issues, and hoping that most could be avoided by keeping at least one of the lower CS versions alive, rather than downsaving to 7.


                                                                              I like your suggestion of buying a used one, which may save a lot of work and agony, especially if it can live long.

                                                                              • 36. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                                                                DocPixel-BMW Level 2



                                                                                I lost track of what you're replying to truthfully.


                                                                                I was (woollily) referring to all the different issues, and hoping that most could be avoided by keeping at least one of the lower CS versions alive, rather than downsaving to 7.

                                                                                Actually, I am suggesting keeping at least Illustrator CS4 or CS5... somewhere... if you plan or need to open Freehand documents.


                                                                                If you have Snow Leopard or a SL compatible machine: keep it if you can. If it dies, check eBay for a replacement.


                                                                                Tip: not only Mac Minis, but you can also look for a cheap, *busted up MBP with a broken screen, keyboard, etc. Because you can install with a BT keyboard and/or attached external monitor, and later run it "headless" as they say. Meaning: as long as it starts up, you can control the machine from your main Mac through Screen Sharing. I advise, speed-wise, that you have a "cabled Ethernet connection" between the 2 machines rather than Wifi... but that depends on your Wifi router and speeds.


                                                                                * naturally it still has to work, and not been thrown from a cliff... or at someone, then hitting a wall and bouncing down 3 flights of stairs (true story!)


                                                                                As for down-saving: I don't, and actually continue to save from FreeHand as normal .fh11 documents. I never found it useful to down-save, especially not as far down as AI-7(!).


                                                                                NOTE: Just because Freehand is no longer available on Lion or Mountain Lion, doesn't mean that the files disappear or that you can't open them with your program of choice, *as with any document of any type for that matter.


                                                                                Just in case someone doesn't know this, this will force FH documents to always open with Illy CS5

                                                                                a) Mac: you can "Get Info" (Cmd-I) on any FH document type; from the "Open With" drop down, choose "Other.." if AI CS5 isn't listed, choose AI (the program, not the folder); then click  "Change All" before closing the window.

                                                                                b) Windows: right-click the document, choose Open With =>  Choose Default Program.


                                                                                Summary: don't get discouraged... there will be a way to open FH docs. Just have to get "creative" sometimes


                                                                                ALTHOUGH: it would be very nice of Adobe if they could include the function with CS6 at some point in the near future(!) I would like to stick being "creative" with my graphic work and tools, rather than with my tech-support.

                                                                                • 37. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                                                                  Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional



                                                                                  From post #30 I was assuming that Vicki has a version (somewhat) lower than CS5, so I really believe you suggestion of buying is the best possible advice. It was the mentioning of downsaving to AI 7 in the same post that worried me and suggest a solution to avoid it.


                                                                                  The woolliness referred to all the issues you mentioned in post #32, shattering being a woolly way of indicating disaster and redoing of work.


                                                                                  I apologize for my being obscure. In the past it has earned me a Huh? every now and again.

                                                                                  • 38. Re: Opening Freehand files
                                                                                    vickyjs-2007 Level 1

                                                                                    Ok so just to be clear I don't have any old versions of illustrator at all - only Freehand MX,  I don't have spare Mac's lying around and I only get one chance at this upgrading thing and I just wondered if anyone had any simple advice.


                                                                                    The macbook I'm using now will go to someone else in a few months and a new macbook pro will arrive for me this month along with Illustrator CS6 which I will have to get to grips with somehow and make the best of a bad situation! I'll have a month or so to salvage what I can in whatever formats seem most useful.


                                                                                    My work is very simple illustration and layout for training resources, (eg. I'm not big on layers or complicated fills) and I really want to salvage illustrations which I often adapt and reuse in different forms, if text goes a bit wonky then the world won't end I'll just have to stock up on migraine tablets.


                                                                                    I save important stuff as PDF files anyway but I would like to save freehand stuff also in a format that I can edit and pick bits off if I need them in the future. I'm not expecting a seamless transition. I am going to make the break from Freehand this time - I should have done it 5 years ago and didn't!




                                                                                    Just for interest / info in Freehand MX I can export documents in these formats:

                                                                                    (some of these are a mystery to me!)


                                                                                    Illustrator 1.1,88,3,5.5 and 7

                                                                                    ASCII text


                                                                                    DCS2 EPS

                                                                                    FreeHand 10, 8,9

                                                                                    Generic EPS



                                                                                    Mac EPS

                                                                                    Macromedia Flash (SWF)

                                                                                    MS-DOS EPS


                                                                                    Photoshop 3 EPS, 4 & 5 RGB EPS, 5



                                                                                    Quark EPS

                                                                                    RTF text



                                                                                    And I can save as a FreeHAnd Document, FH template or an Editable EPS

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