updated 10:00 am EDT, Thu May 17, 2007
Adobe abandons Freehand
Adobe has confirmed it will abandon Freehand, the popular illustration tool acquired as part of its merger with Macromedia. Although the company continues to sell Freehand MX -- last updated more than four years ago, it is now urging current Freehand users to migrate to Illustrator CS3, and says it has added features to that version of the application it hopes will make the migration "comfortable," according to a blog posting on the company's website: "Adobe does not plan to develop and deliver any new feature-based releases of FreeHand, or to deliver patches or updates for new operating systems or hardware. Adobe will, however, continue to sell FreeHand MX, and will offer technical and customer support according to our support policies," Adobe's John Nack wrote.
Adobe has also created a Migration FAQ (PDF) that explains the details of its decision not to update FreeHand, and talks about those Illustrator CS3 features added to make FreeHand users more comfortable.
The company is providing a special upgrade to Illustrator CS3 for registered owners of FreeHand, offering the newly released vector tool for $200. The upgrade is available worldwide through the Adobe Store and through the Channel; however, there is no direct FreeHand-to-Creative Suite 3 upgrade.
In addition, the company is offering several resources to help users migrate to Adobe Illustrator. The FreeHand to Illustrator Migration Guide -- available as a PDF and in printed form -- is targeted to designers and illustrators: the four-color manual provides a graphical comparison of the FreeHand and Illustrator workspaces, along with differences in terminology, features, and functions between the two applications.
The more technical Migrating from FreeHand to Illustrator is designed for production managers, IT managers and designers, and offers tips and suggestions for moving legacy FreeHand content into Illustrator, handling different file formats, outputting files, and other information.