Freehand replacement

Buhtwheat

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 6, 2014
14
4
Zanesville, Ohio
I know that I'm dating myself, but I'm still using Macromedia Freehand MX (running on a PPC Mac Mini). I recently purchased a MacBook Pro, and I would like to find an app that does what FH does. I know I could switch to Illustrator, but I don't want to give Adobe 20 bucks a month for the rest of my life. Most of what I do involves tracing things from photographs, and adding appropriate verbage and design flourishes. Any suggestions?
 

DUCKofD3ATH

Suspended
Jun 6, 2005
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I know that I'm dating myself, but I'm still using Macromedia Freehand MX (running on a PPC Mac Mini).
I'm still running FreeHand on a Mac Pro running Mavericks. I'm using Parallels with Snow Leopard Server. Works like a charm!

I also have Adobe Illustrator CS6 but it's too cumbersome when compared to FreeHand!

You might try Affinity Designer; the app imports FreeHand files (except for live text...it's a bug they're working on). They're not far enough along for me to give up FreeHand and AI, but by this time next year, I expect to be switching over.
 

superscape

macrumors 6502a
Feb 12, 2008
930
218
East Riding of Yorkshire, UK
Hi,

I usually recommend Affinity Designer to folks asking that question. Also worth checking out InkScape - probably not as slick, but at least its free.

iDraw used to be quite popular but there are unresolved questions about it now it's been bought (so I hear) by AutoDesk - will it be killed off? Given a boost with an injection of dev time and cash? Turned into a cash-cow? Who knows...
 

Buhtwheat

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 6, 2014
14
4
Zanesville, Ohio
Thanks for the replies. I downloaded the Affinity Designer demo, and it looked promising. Unfortunately, I didn't get to really try to do something with it before the time limit ran out.

I've also thought about loading some version of Windows on to my new Mac, and running FH on that. Is that what you're doing, DUCKofD3ATH? If so, which Windows is it?
 

tomnavratil

macrumors 6502a
Oct 2, 2013
744
835
Czech Republic
For me, Illustrator CS6 works pretty well after some fine-tuning and you can probably buy a licence pretty cheap. As an alternative there Inkscape or Affinity Designer as guys mentioned above.
 

dwig

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2015
696
280
Key West FL
...
I've also thought about loading some version of Windows on to my new Mac, and running FH on that. Is that what you're doing, DUCKofD3ATH? If so, which Windows is it?
DUCKofD3ATH's post sounds like he's running an older MacOSX (Snow Leopard Server) under Parallels rather than a version of Windows.

The Windows version of FH/MX will run on any modern Windows from XP through W10, at least on native PC boxes. I'm currently running it on W10 and a Dell but I don't know if there are any special issues when running on Windows under Parallels.

I no longer use FH very much. My current job relies on the Adobe suite (Ps, Lr, Il, Pm,...) and my previous job was CorelDRAW predominantly. I haven't relied heavily on FH since the years that I was on the FH development team (v5 through v11a, aka MXa). Installing MXa is problematic as Adobe has shut down the licensing servers.

I must say, it is nice to hear users still wanting to run FH. Even with some of the old FH features appearing in Irratator, I still miss FH's smoother and more consistent UI.
 

DUCKofD3ATH

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Jun 6, 2005
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I've also thought about loading some version of Windows on to my new Mac, and running FH on that. Is that what you're doing, DUCKofD3ATH? If so, which Windows is it?
No. I'm running Parallels virtualization software on a Mac Pro with Mavericks OS. There's a new Parallels version for El Capitan if you buy a new Mac.

Buy Snow Leopard Server from Apple for $20 and install it on Parallels. Then you can install FreeHand on Parallels and run it normally. FreeHand works perfectly, and even as outdated as it is, run rings around Illustrator CS6.

Here are details on acquiring Snow Leopard Server:
http://www.amazon.com/review/R3R8E1...el=detail-glance&nodeID=229534&store=software
 

dwig

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2015
696
280
Key West FL
No. I'm running Parallels virtualization software on a Mac Pro with Mavericks OS. There's a new Parallels version for El Capitan if you buy a new Mac.
...
@OP: This would seem a more reasonable solution than running the Windows version of FH via Parallels. The UI in the Mac and Windows versions is very very similar, but they are not identical. Running the Mac version that you are used to would seem best.
 

nico629

macrumors newbie
Aug 1, 2011
2
0
@OP: This would seem a more reasonable solution than running the Windows version of FH via Parallels. The UI in the Mac and Windows versions is very very similar, but they are not identical. Running the Mac version that you are used to would seem best.

Yes, I use Freehand on Snowleopard too. I bought Snowleopard at Amazon and installed over Lion on a mac book pro 2011. You can download the Freehand fix file from Adobe's website and copy and paste it into the Freehand application as it tells you. Then it runs great. I also have Illustrator CS4 but I still use Freehand as well. I am the writer and illustrator of the Earth Tykes books from EarthTykes.com and I need artboards to lay out my books. I can scarcely believe that Adobe Illustrator did not have the multiple artboards fascility before CS4. Freehand was way ahead of Illustrator. If you updated the Freehand tracing engine and fixed a bug on mac computers regarding the grid not showing [shows on Windows] then Freehand would still be ahead of the rest in my opinion. Incidentally, isn't Snowleopard a bit like Freehand, great OS software but they are trying to kill it off?
 
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