1 2 Previous Next 48 Replies Latest reply on Jun 24, 2016 1:15 PM by maeric Go to original post
      • 40. Re: Opening Freehand files
        DocPixel-BMW Level 2

        vickyjs-2007 wrote:

         

        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.

         

        We have tried, wouldn't you agree?

        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.

         

        I don't want to discourage you in the least(!).... however, giving yourself only a month to learn the intracacies and differences working with AI vs. FH... it's cutting it tight. Even experienced graphic pros have their difficulties and experience a learning curve of about 2-3 months from my experience training them. Real productivity comes at about 4-6 months, similar if not even better than FH for some things.

        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.

        Tip & Warning: You just might want to rethink "not being big on layers" when switching to AI.

         

        See below for re-using "vector-based" illustrations.

         

        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!

         

        That bolded line above, is what caused me to warn you about your learning expectations of a month.

         

        Breaking apart PDFs in AI... which I have a lot of experience with... is quite difficult if you don't know the ins-and-outs of AI and it's toolset and functions. Text is mostly easy... save your Aspirins for doing illustration conversions from a PDF!

         

        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

        BMP

        DCS2 EPS

        FreeHand 10, 8,9

        Generic EPS

        GIF

        JPEG

        Mac EPS

        Macromedia Flash (SWF)

        MS-DOS EPS

        PDF

        Photoshop 3 EPS, 4 & 5 RGB EPS, 5

        PICT

        PNG

        Quark EPS

        RTF text

        Targa

        TIFF

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

        Only the red items should be considered, just as you guessed in your first post.

         

        a) The rest are either platform or software - specific export formats not "normally" associated with AI (many you can "Place" but not edit with vector tools);

         

        b) PDFs have their own unique set of problems you will face (see above); and the rest will save as "pixel-based formats" and will no longer be "vector-based";

         

        c) Again, you can "Place" many of them (TIF, JPG, etc.), but editing takes place in Photoshop for example.

         

        Considering that you're stuck with only 1 computer and 1 vector software package due to your employment... I'm thinking we're going to be hearing a lot from you in this forum in the near future. Not sure if that's good....? Although we enjoy your company

         

        As a consultant to the industry, and considering your level of knowledge at this point (just an assessment!-NOT derogatory!), I can't state enough that I think you're going to have a really tough time doing this as planned.

         

        Especially that you will be trying to learn a completely new OS (yes, it is different enough from SL to say this)... AND a completely different software program than FH. I am NOT saying that FH was better or worse... just stating the facts as I see them.

         

        Summary: I would tell any client, "No. Don't do this to yourself!" Consider one of the "alternatives".

         

        NOTE: I assume your Org is purchasing the CS6 - Design Standard package(?) If so when you find the time, you might want to look into doing your books with InDesign rather than Illustrator. Too many reasons to go into here... just watch some free AdobeTV or YouTube videos.

         

        You might also consider getting up to speed with the (subscription) training videos at Lynda.com.

        • 41. Re: Opening Freehand files
          madameblossom Level 1

          DocPixel-BMW, you are a star! So helpful and patient and knowledgeable. I shall keep this info for when I upgrade to CS6 and Mountain Lion, so that I will know how to open my old Freehand files.

          Just one thing though, not sure why I will still need Snow Leopard (on a separate drive). If I keep CS 5.5 (as well as having CS 6) surely if I am on Mountain Lion I will be able to open my FH files using CS 5.5?

          Thanks again for all you help.

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

            madameblossom wrote:

             

            DocPixel-BMW, you are a star! So helpful and patient and knowledgeable. I shall keep this info for when I upgrade to CS6 and Mountain Lion, so that I will know how to open my old Freehand files.


            <Blush!> Thank you... but no... not a star... just being helpful.

            Just one thing though, not sure why I will still need Snow Leopard (on a separate drive). If I keep CS 5.5 (as well as having CS 6) surely if I am on Mountain Lion I will be able to open my FH files using CS 5.5?

            Yes. You will be able to open your Freehand files on Mountain Lion using CS5.5.

             

            However, I'm a "cautious" type... possibly over cautious.

             

            I have always cloned a working system before upgrading any OS, incl. Windows. More than a few times it has saved me from unforeseeable problems or snags. Such as printer drivers not working (yet) or a "must-have" program not being available (FH for instance), etc.

             

            In the case of the "never to be used again Freehand", I consider that short-sighted. I don't know how many FH files you have, but I have north of 600,000 at last count. Any one of these may be needed at short notice.... and it never fails to follow Murphy's Law... that it is exactly that one file that won't translate/convert well when opening in AI.

             

            In that case, I open up the file in FH, do the ungroup everything trick and try again. If that doesn't work, than Copy Special from FH to AI and rebuild the file, or pull only the pieces I need and paste to AI.

             

            No Snow Leopard = No Freehand == embarrassing excuse to a customer. Can't afford that, or often the time it would take to recreate the job from scratch.

             

            So you see... just dumping out the "ability" to open a FH file natively, might not be the best choice, hence: keep a drive around with your last updated Snow Leopard and Freehand.... just in case Murphy's Law bites ya

            Thanks again for all you help.

            Your very welcome!

            • 43. Re: Opening Freehand files
              manachox Level 1

              I have Mac OSx 10.8.1, CS6 and My Freehand MX os not longer working with these OS. I'm stuck with Thousands of .fh11 files that cant be opened on Illustrator CS6. Its unbelievable that ADOBE create these inconvenience to people who is finally switching to Illustrator. Do I have to downgrade my OS?

              • 44. Re: Opening Freehand files
                PrintFusion45 Employee Moderator

                Sorry about that experience manachox. You might want to look into this document: http://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/kb/freehand-mx-11-file-type.html .

                • 45. Re: Opening Freehand files
                  Wade_Zimmerman Level 7

                  I am also sorry you are having problems but to be air to Adobe about this issue it has been a long time since they drop the development of FH and the writing was on the wall for a long time as well.

                   

                  I myself have posted many times here on the Forum tht it is inevitable that support for FreeHand has to come to an end. For one thing you stated quitel well yourself. Do I have to downgrade my OS?

                   

                  Because the OS is continuing to evolve as are the applications the older versions will be obsolete and not workable on modern computers and a modern OS and thatt the sooner you switch the better becasue if you don't then you will be left out in the cold.

                   

                  The thing to do is to fid someone or simply rent a computer running and older system and open the files and save them as .ai files but you can just open some of them ou have to open all of them and save them a ai files.

                   

                  If you do not do tht then in the future you may not be able to find a computer tht is even capable of running an older OS, so there might be no way to get these old files ecept to redraw them.

                   

                  In case you don't understand why there might not be computers capable of opening these files in the future, let me explain, the older computers will eventually breakdown and there are no parts to replace the old ones and even if those parts are found those will eventually give way and that will be the end of it for good.

                   

                  You need to convet now before it is too late. Even if you downgrade your OS that too will not last for ever and the support for that OS will cease at some time and those computers will also become obsolete and unusuable.

                  • 46. Re: Opening Freehand files
                    nilodorinc Level 1

                    If you can open the file in Freehand and export it as an illustrator 5.x file (no other version will work), it will open the file in any illustrator and with editable text blocks.

                    • 47. Re: Opening Freehand files
                      cadibob Level 1

                      Hi,

                      I use an external HDD ssd running on SNOW leopard with FreeHand MX.

                      When I need to work on FreeHand I restart on it.

                      My computer is a 24" iMac running on Lion, I think that ANY osx (Yosemite for example) will run fine.

                      Have a nice day.

                      • 48. Re: Opening Freehand files
                        maeric Level 3

                        roberts59099742 wrote:

                         

                        Hi,

                        I use an external HDD ssd running on SNOW leopard with FreeHand MX.

                        When I need to work on FreeHand I restart on it.

                        My computer is a 24" iMac running on Lion, I think that ANY osx (Yosemite for example) will run fine.

                        Have a nice day.

                        Same here.

                        My SSD is wicked fast to open and I use a menu app called QuickBoot that jumps from Yosemite to Snow Leopard. My finished FreeHand work can be dropped onto the Desktop of my main drive to use Ai-PS-ID CC apps.

                         

                        I save my individual FH files as PDF to open in Ai or use Tensai's plugin to batch-open FreeHand files in Illustrator CC.

                         

                        FreeHand | Twitter

                        1 2 Previous Next