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Converting Freehand to Illustrator or to InDesign. - Macromedia Freehand

First off I would like to start off by saying that I started several post last week about the future of Macromedia Freehand and cannot even imagine that my hunch was so close to this news release. Just my intuition I guess. But I can't believe it. I have been reading post from here and Adobe's forums and have yet to hear many comments about conversion of Freehand to Illustrator or to InDesign. If Adobe decided to kill Freehand for ever, you would think they would have to..or want to offer some kind of converter for the FH users who ...

  1. #1

    Default Converting Freehand to Illustrator or to InDesign.

    First off I would like to start off by saying that I started several post last
    week about the future of Macromedia Freehand and cannot even imagine that my
    hunch was so close to this news release. Just my intuition I guess. But I
    can't believe it. I have been reading post from here and Adobe's forums and
    have yet to hear many comments about conversion of Freehand to Illustrator or
    to InDesign. If Adobe decided to kill Freehand for ever, you would think they
    would have to..or want to offer some kind of converter for the FH users who
    have multiple page doents. A simple illustration is one thing but multiple
    page layout would take one forever to convert.

    One other angle is you would think that if someone else was going to purchase
    Freehand from Adobe they would be doing that very soon instead of after Oct 1.

    I have to tell you I use both FH and Illustrator and this news has shook me up
    so bad that I am going to start converting my doents to Illustrator much
    sooner than Oct 1. So then Oct .1 comes around and Adobe decides to sell
    Freehand to someone else. I would have now converted all my doents to
    Illustrator or InDesign. Why would I even take a chance of converting them
    back.

    From this angle Freehand looks like a dead horse to me, and I do not think it
    is wise to just sit around and wait to see what happens.

    Just curious as to how many users feel like they need to start converting as
    of yesterdays news? I am feeling really paranoid I guess.

    Jere12345 Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Converting Freehand to Illustrator or to InDesign.

    I started creating in Illustrator around the time that Illustartor CS came
    out, did not wait, I saw the writing on the wall. I am not worried about my
    legacy FH doents as long as the EPS format is retained. I will be waiting
    patiently for Illustrator 13 to incorporate some of FH's features or for MS
    to acquire FH and merge it with Expressions and give Adobe a run for their
    money. Although I have a feeling MS is more worried about how to compete
    with PDF and Flash right now than about some illustration software.

    mg


    "Jere12345" <com> wrote in message
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    Oct 1. 
    me up 
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    Martin Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Converting Freehand to Illustrator or to InDesign.

    Jere12345 wrote:
     

    Umm ... I don't understand the urgency to convert your files. Even if
    FreeHand is no longer developed, the current version is not going to vanish
    from your computer on Oct 1. It will keep running as long as your OS
    supports it, which is usually years, not months.

    Judy Arndt

    Judy Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Converting Freehand to Illustrator or to InDesign.

    Judy...I have read through these forums and found you to have great admiration
    for FH. I look at this from a little different perspective at a Mac admin
    level. Here is a Positive: First thing I think of is, lets say for example I
    have 10 users who have Freehand MX installed on their machines. Freehand
    disappearing from my list of software upgrades that I would have purchased per
    year would at least be $1100. That is the only positive thing for me I can see.
    As an admin, I upgrade Computers on a 3 year cycle, design software and Mac OS
    yearly. The Negative: Lets say I take your advice and keep designing in
    Freehand with 10 users creating lets say 1 file a day for 52 weeks that is
    about 2600 files in a a year.
    2 years from now lets say OSX has some weird thing it has changed in it's OS
    and Freehand does not work anymore. I would have then created 5200 files that
    possibly might need to be converted. Can you guarantee me this will not
    happen. Does it not make more since to start migrating now?
    I already have Illustrator...I already have InDesign. Somebody please give me
    some examples as to why you would not start to convert now and I will gladly
    listen.

    Jere12345 Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Converting Freehand to Illustrator or to InDesign.

    You say in your example that you upgrade your hardware on a two year cycle. If MacOS changes to the point of being unable to read freehand files, why not keep one of your old machines around with a working copy of Freehand?

    It seems to me that if you have invested that many files in the format, the collection would be worth keeping a box that can run it. If you start converting now, you will be investing a large chunk of time (i.e. money) on the speculation that 1.) MacOS will in fact change to that degree, and 2.) each file *can* be accurately converted to .ai or whatever, and 3.) each file you convert is in fact going to be needed at some later date. If you hold off on converting them, you can decide when the time comes to keep a FH capable box around, you can convert as needed so as not to waste time (money) messing with all the files you'll never use, and you'll have access to the originals in case the conversion is less than perfect.

    Not an elegant solution to be sure, but I do think it would be a cheaper and more reliable way to protect your investment.

    --
    Bill
    FHMXa/WinXP/Athlon2500+/1GB

    On Tue, 19 Apr 2005 21:13:40 +0000 (UTC), Jere12345 <com> wrote:
     

    Bill Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Converting Freehand to Illustrator or to InDesign.

    If anyone wants Freehand and Fireworks to survive write now to
    com. Things are buzzing like this on Fireworks, Flash and
    Dreamweaver Forums. If you love this software write them everyday at the above
    address. Bill

    Bill Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Converting Freehand to Illustrator or to InDesign.

    have been an avid freehand user for years. but recently have switched to cs (actually export it to ilustrator once completed) but illustrator just es me off. I guess we're probably a dying breed
    dougless Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Converting Freehand to Illustrator or to InDesign.

    Jere12345 wrote:
     

    My use of FH has less to do with admiration or more to do with choosing a
    practical set of tools for the kinds of jobs I do. If AI can do your work
    just as efficiently as FH, and you're prepared to invest all that time into
    converting files and workflows, then I won't dissuade you. Make sure you
    stock up in advance on headache pills.

    FreeHand handles spot color finding, naming and swapping vastly more
    elegantly than AI does. I design lapel pins, medals, screen printed items,
    etched glassware, embroidery, decals and other promotional items. It's not
    unusual for a metal and enamel lapel pin to have 8 to 12 spot colors. Try
    this series of tasks in AI and see how long it will take you -- Name all
    colors, Find & Replace Colors (in a selection), Find & Replace Styles, Find
    and Replace stroke weights. You'll need third-party scripts just to get you
    started!

    I'm going to wait and see what the newly amalgamated Adobe/MM team has to
    offer. At very least it should give us a robust file conversion utility that
    will preserve kerning, word spacing, text on paths. I see no reason why
    simple graphic and text styles cannot be translated. Some kind of logical
    solution for multi-page FH files needs to be found.

    James Talmage's proposal of a new, from-the-ground-up drawing application
    that combines the best of AI and FH might only be wishful thinking, but it
    would be an excellent solution for those of us who find AI's tool set
    seriously lacking.

    FHMX will continue running under OSX for the foreseeable future, so I can
    afford to wait and see.

    Judy Arndt

    Judy Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Converting Freehand to Illustrator or to InDesign.

    Judy, you are my hero! But its not just colour management... Thanks for
    expressing exactly what has been buzzing around in my own head. I don't think
    that a large part of FreeHand's user base has any idea how powerful it is... I
    cant even imagine trying to create packaging and complex designs that require
    substantial paper engineering in Illustrator and Indesign. I think over the
    last few years people have been brainwashed by Quark and Adobe into thinking
    everything conforms to a standardised sheet size. FreeHand is the only tool
    that accommodates solving complex non-standard solutions efficiently within the
    one work space. Should my FreeHand suddenly stop working my file count is going
    to increase exponentially and my productivity will halve. Additionally I have
    had too many opportunities to see Agency studios designing substandard print
    ads due to the box/grid mentality that Quark and Indesign inspire through there
    lack of flexibility... hey do you remember the big fuss when Quark could attach
    text to a path! I know Indesign has made up some ground in this respect but its
    not even close to FreeHand with regards to flexibility in layout and design. I
    guess we can look forward to a future of using two tools to do the job that one
    used to... half as efficiently to boot. Anyway thanks for having such a good
    understanding of my favourite tool... its good to know someone else understands
    the gravity of our predicament. Cheers eliptus

    eliptus Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Converting Freehand to Illustrator or to InDesign.

    After reading through several more forums throughout yesterday and today I am
    not seeing much hope left for the survival of Freehand. There is an adobe
    ysis over on maccentral if anybody cares to read. It is definately worth
    reading.

    One more scenario I did not mention before about continuing to create more
    files is this. This just happened to me a few weeks back.
    We do some training manuals that sometimes need to be updated for re-print.

    I had created this training manual in Quark 4.0 in 1999 it took me
    approximately 2 months to complete it. I have not had a version of Quark
    loaded on my machine since InDesign 2.0. Quark is not loaded on any of our
    machines because we can convert those 4.0 files with InDesign. If I did not
    have something to convert it with, I would be having to reload Quark and use in
    Classic Mode through OSX to open the doent and make changes in Quark 4.0. I
    would have then just updated a manual in Quark 4.0 in 2005 That does not seem
    to be very smart. Then lets say 6 years down the road they come back and
    wanted to make another change. Now guess what maybe Classic does not run under
    OSX anymore. Luckily my InDesign will convert the file. My point is why put it
    off? Why create more files with a software that will not be supported. We can
    all talk about what Freehand does better now, than AI or ID but what will be
    better about it 6 years from now? I am probably one of the lucky ones because
    I do not have many multiple page doents mostly single page illustrations.
    For these several hundred files still being used and modified regularly I think
    I will start to convert sooner than later. A bit of advice I read on another
    forum that seems to work if anybody is interested. A conversion tip..Is save
    your FHMX files back to FH9 and do a file open in Illustrator CS. This helps
    preserve text breaks and will help with some of the text formatting issues that
    will occur when you open in Illustrator. I regret that this has or maybe will
    happen to Freehand. I am by no means a Pro Illustrator fan, I just have a
    survival spirit that wants to stay on top of things and look towards the
    future. How does that saying go...
    "Why put off what you can do tomorrow what you can do today"

    As stated from many people I think the only hope we have is that some of
    Freehand's important features are carried over to Illustrator.

    I did have some hope that Adobe might sell off Freehand to Apple or Quark...
    you know they would definitely not sell to Microsoft. But why would you sell
    off a product that was a competitor when you could just take some of it's
    patent features and put into its own product.

    I am sure I will wait another month or so before I start to convert some of my
    doents to see if there are any reasons I can find not to do this. But until
    then I will definitely be looking for conversion tips as to make this easier.

    Jere12345 Guest

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    Default Re: Converting Freehand to Illustrator or to InDesign.

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