Freehand heads out to pasture

It’s been years since I’ve used graphics tools on any kind of regular basis, it’s been even longer since I used Freehand, and I was never a real expert in vector graphics tools, but once upon a time I used freehand daily, and it’s with a minor twinge of regret that I note it’s passing in this entry on an Adobe blog posting. Back when the Freehand vs. Illustrator debate was often as acrimonious as the Mac vs. PC debates, and I used to engage in it regularly with my buddy Kevin. I never cottoned to the Illustrator interface was my main issue with it, despite using it years before I became familiar with Freehand. Freehand’s fate was pretty much sealed when Adobe acquired Macromedia a while back, though I guess there was some hope that as in past mergers and acquisitions that Freehand would be sold off to someone, a fate that befell it repeatedly – in fact, Adobe owned it once before. There’s more coverage over on Tidbits if you’re interested, and the two wikipedia entries have a pretty good rundown of the evolution of the tools and the brinkmanship that kept them competitive and steadily evolving over the years. My question is, where’s the pressure on Illustrator going to come from now?

0 thoughts on “Freehand heads out to pasture

  1. Jesse Hamilton says:

    What about MS’s new drawing/painting app, acrylic? Maybe they named it that since it reeks of ammonia, like cat pee. 😉 I’ve never used it – pc only, I think. But yeah, there is basically no competition now. And with CS3, Adobe broke some major functionality in Illy by changing the core drawing method. Curious? Try “outline stroke” or “offset path” in CS2 and then in CS3. Notice about 4x as many points? All overlapping? Helpful? No. Basically will prevent me from being able to upgrade. The new color thing is super cool though, but you have to draw the shapes before you can color them in, right?

    Discussion from Adobe’s forums on Freehand’s death here.

    Lots of strong opinions, as you said… I’ve not used FreeHand all that much. I used to keep a copy of it around just to use the nicer live-trace thing it had, but now Illy has a nicer version of that as well.

    I learned on Illustrator and FreeHand’s selection methods always pissed me off to the point of making me go back over to Illy, but some people swear by them…


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