Sharing files between Mac and PC - Illustrator

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by teebag, May 14, 2010.

  1. teebag macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    #1
    Hi,

    I have a freehand 11 file done on a Mac that I want to import into Illustrator CS3 on a windows PC.
    Illustrator just won't recognise the file though - any thoughts :confused:

    Thanks
    T
     
  2. smurfjammer macrumors 6502a

    smurfjammer

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #3
    Just export the file as a AI from FreeHand and convert the font to paths if you don't need to alter the text and if you don't have access to FreeHand just post the file and I'll convert it for you.
     
  3. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Location:
    A World of my Own; UK
    #4
    Yeah ... the native Freehand file format was unreadable by any other application (whereas at least .ai has the PDF-compatibility option). You can export as EPS, PDF or .ai from Freehand and Illustrator should be fine with it.

    Cheers!

    Jim
     
  4. teebag thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    #5
    Thanks for the replies - to read Freehand files then, on a PC, would we need to have Freehand on the PC ? Can you still buy it ?

    The file came from our design agency who only use Macs - we only have PC's at work and really need to be able to make minor alterations to the text. At the moment, we alter the .pdf's, but it doesn't always work out, and the document starts to get messy
     
  5. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Location:
    A World of my Own; UK
    #6

    Illustrator CS3 and higher claims to be able to open Freehand 10 and Freehand MX files, but I've never tried it so I don't know how faithful it is. My experience of handling Freehand files in Illustrator several years ago was: not very faithful at all, but that may have changed.

    A quick look on eBay suggests that you can pick up a copy of Macromedia Freehand MX secondhand, but it's still popular with quite a lot of designers and has retained its value.

    Cheers!

    Jim
     
  6. teebag thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    #7
    Ok, our designers have sent an .ai file from the original Freehand which opens up ok in Illustrator CS3. (Apart from some fonts and images being missing, but I expected that much)

    The major problem is that Illustrator CS3 is single page only (I wonder if that's why it refuses to import the multiple page FreeHand file in the 1st place)
    It looks like it's possible to use a huge page, tile it in Illustrator, and import each page, but this whole thing is getting to be a real mess.
    All we want is to have text control over the documents we have had designed for us.

    What do people use when migrating to Adobe from Freehand ??
    Is it a one-way process ? ie, can we save back to FreeHand so the agency can still do their bit ?

    I'm not really that keen on the idea of buying a 2nd hand copy of FreeHand off the 'net. Any advice welcome !

    Cheers
     
  7. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Location:
    A World of my Own; UK
    #8
    My mistake. Although the product is discontinued, you can apparently still buy it directly from Adobe.

    However, I would suggest that you go back to your agency and point out to them you are the client and the fact that they are using software that has been discontinued for three full years is causing you a massive headache and could they please update their workflow so that it's in the same decade as everyone else ...

    Cheers!

    Jim
     
  8. teebag thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    #9
    :D You're quite right and it would be crazy for us to go buy FreeHand only for them to start using something else.

    I'll see what they have to say :eek:
     
  9. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #10
    This is the key point. Did you discuss this with your designer beforehand or did you spring this on them after the design work had been completed? It makes a huge difference in how the files should be set up and determining who is responsible for this big "mess".

    If I were to make a bet, I'd bet that you hired a designer to do some work for you and that after the work was completed you decided to save some money and asked for the files so you could make changes to the text. If this is the case then it's not the designer's fault. They were hired to delivered a product and were free to use whatever tool they preferred so long as it produced a satisfactory result.

    Imagine the designer's dismay to hear that after all their hard work their client decides to take their files (which never "belonged" to the client in the first place) and make changes to them. Then the client starts putting demands on the designer, taking their billable time, because the client is having trouble converting the files. Are you paying for the time the designer is taking to help you through this? I certainly hope so.

    If on the other hand, you had talked to the designer from the beginning and told them of your plans to make text updates to the design then many of these problems should have been avoidable. Fonts would have been chosen that were cross-platform compatible. Files would have been formatted in ways to make these updates easy. Style guidelines would have been developed so your design would remain consistent regardless of who was updating the text.

    So which is it? Are you the client from Heck reaping your just rewards for not communicating with your designer? Or are you the victim of a "designer" who didn't know what they're doing and causing you unnecessary heartache?
     
  10. teebag thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    #11
    While it may seem like we're being that customer, it's not the case at all. This is an ongoing relationship with the designer who does all our design work.
    We've been using this agency for many many years, and the documents have been around for a few years as well.
    The way of working has evolved over time without any guidelines or expectations being set out- I've quite happily been making alterations to the .pdf's for the marketing dept. and everyone has been ok with the situation.
    Looking at it now, it's apparent that the content needs modifying quite regularly and will have a major yearly update of the graphics and layout. I feel we should be able to control the minor changes more effectively and have the agency do the yearly updates.

    It appears that import and export of FreeHand from Illustrator is not great..
    So, moving forward, if we were to have the documents done from scratch, which software should we specify ? ie, one that will run on PC's and Mac's and share (multi page) designs without any problems ?

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  11. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #12
    I'd recommend Indesign.

    Installing it will include a number of fonts that are Opentype and therefore cross platform compatible.

    I currently use Myriad Pro as my go-to sans serif font.

    BTW, thanks for not being that client. :D
     

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