May 16, 2007

It's official: No new versions of FreeHand.

I think that we've all known this deep inside for quite some time now, but finally, Adobe has made their decision known about the future of FreeHand.

Adobe does not plan to develop and deliver any new feature-based releases of FreeHand. Adobe will, however, continue to sell FreeHand MX, and will offer technical and customer support according to our support policies.

Adobe further states:

While we recognize that FreeHand has a dedicated user base, we encourage you to migrate to Adobe© Illustrator© CS3. As a loyal FreeHand customer, you’re entitled to special pricing for Illustrator CS3, along with free access to special resources to help you make this move.

Adobe's special upgrade pricing for FreeHand users is $199 US (and all English versions). It's 199 EU for the International English version, 249 EU for localized versions, and is 24,762 YEN in Japan.

To be even more clear, Adobe said it has no plans to provide maintenance releases, patches or updates for FreeHand MX, nor any plans to deliver native Intel-Mac or Vista versions either.

Adobe is offering assistance for users making the move from FreeHand to Illustrator by offering a variety of resources in the way of documents and videos, which are available at www.adobe.com/illustrator/switch.

My own opinion is that I'm glad Adobe has finally spoken about this. Adobe did a huge disservice in my opinion, by avoiding any word on this issue for so long, making it difficult for both individual users and large organizations to decide on how to proceed. Yes, the writing was always on the wall, but as most anyone will tell you -- not knowing is a lot worse than knowing.

That being said, I'm happy that Adobe took the first step by starting to add some FreeHand-like features to Illustrator in the recent release of CS3. I can only hope that they will continue to do that in future versions.

Full details from Adobe here.

6 comments:

Gary Spedding, Ph.D. said...

I never used Freehand but perhaps you can review here some features of it that should be appearing in Illustrator. In otherwords what are we missing as Illustrator users that can only thus far be done in Freehand? What, if any, workarounds are there until they are covered in Illustrator?

Jeremy said...

Took them bloody well long enough for pete's sake!

Oh well its over now. Time to move on.

Gary, there are many features to consider to answer your question. Probably now the most glaring ommission in Ilustrator would be no multipage support. Some of us really like to work with multiple pages. Nested layers can work in this vein all be it not anywhere as elegantly.

I am sure others will chime in with other features.

Cheers,
Jeremy

Anonymous said...

good riddance. I learned everything in Freehand years ago, then migrated over to Illustrator when I could see the writting on the wall. Which for the record, was in 2002.

mleavitt said...

I used FH for years, avoiding using illustrator. Finally made the switch 3 years ago - though I still keep FH loaded on my system.

Off the top of my head, here are some features in FH that Illustrator needs, in my opinion:

•Multiple pages (I know just tell me to use ID)
•Being able to slice circles as a non-destructive edit (like making it a pie piece)
•Dragable handles on gradients inside shapes

Jeremy said...

I agree with mleavitt on all accounts. But I would add that the non-destructive methodolgy exists for more that pie circles. You can modify shapes and objects on the fly with alot of other parameters. For example a simple rectangle. You can at any time round the corners of that rectangle via the object inspector as opposed to redrawing a new one in Illustrator. I would like to see Illustrator move to this methodology as its much more efficent in my view.

Gradients in Illustrator and colour managament in general remains my largest frustration moving forward with Illustrator. I simply hate it in Illustrator. The whole fill/stroke swatch thing (in the tool pallete) bites. I never used it in Freehand and I am trying not to in Illustrator. I miss my tints palette in Freehand. In fact I would love to see the Appearance pallete in Illustrator go on steroids. Why in the name of god for example can you not set the stroke width there? The more thats editable and moved there the better.

Not having a gradient tool to adjust gradients is embarrassing. Even the new Firewworks has one. Shame on you Adobe!!

Anyway as I continue to move forward I am sure I will have much more to complain about :) heheheh

cheers,
Jeremy

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