Adieu, Freehand

Aldus/Macromind/Macromedia/Adobe Freehand is no more.

For many people (myself among them) Freehand was the very best of the “illustration” programs on the market. While long-time users might miss its pen tool the most, it has much more to offer itself. While Illustrator is just a cog in the machine, and virtually requires a copy of InDesign (or another page layout program) to develop a layout, Freehand’s support for multiple pages (even different page sizes) made it an ideal tool for illustration-heavy page layout, provided your document was relatively small.

As I’m no longer heavily into design, this really affects me very little, but I remain sad to see the sun set on Freehand. If nothing else, there’s no longer any real competition in the illustration space (just as there isn’t in photo editing).

But, at the same time, there are some up-and-coming inexpensive illustration programs coming out on the Mac and in open source that may yet prove to be viable alternatives to Adobe’s offerings.

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Written on May 17, 2007