Migrating from Macromedia Freehand to Inkscape

Flesh out your ideas for new or improved Inkscape features before submitting a request.
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:55 am

Migrating from Macromedia Freehand to Inkscape

Postby Lumdingo » Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:09 am

I've been working in Macromedia Freehand since 1993 or so. I am very comfortable with it and use it as the basis for my career as a profdessional illustrator. But as you all know, Adobe bought Macromedia and have discontinued Freehand. I've got thousands of drawings I've done in Frehand and I can easily move to Illustrator and use it (since it opens Freehand files). BUT, I really REALLY don't like Illustrator (It's not intuitive, user friendly and I especially dislike the purchase price!).

So, I'm hoping Inkscape can develop the ability to open .fh11 files. I can't really afford to go through all my Freehand files and export them in a format that Inscape can read. That would take weeks. It would be easier just to move to Illustrator.. but as you can tell, I'm loath to do so.

I'm really liking Inkscape so far. Great program. Easy to use and nicely laid out.

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Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:25 am

Re: Migrating from Macromedia Freehand to Inkscape

Postby neilfein » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:30 am

This is the same issue that's keeping me from switching to Inkscape. Unfortunately, the Filetypes page doesn't list anything about a Freehand converter. Barring action on this, I think I'm stuck using the aging Freehand application and will probably shell out the money for Illustrator when FH finally breaks. (I'm amazed I can get it to even open on an Intel mac under 10.6.)

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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:05 am
Location: Houston, TX USA

Re: Migrating from Macromedia Freehand to Inkscape

Postby BlueCatShip » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:50 am

Hi folks. I'm in much the same boat. Freehand user since either Altsys or Macromedia. Made the Adobe migration. Then watched Freehand support just die. ...And I couldn't get Freehand to install on a new machine last year, because Macromedia.com was gone, so it wouldn't check and wouldn't register. Sigh.

Like y'all, I have many, many Freehand files, mostly .fh9 and .fh11, but Adobe Illustrator will not convert everything, most particularly gradients like logarithmic or contour gradients, and Freehand's lens and transparency effects, and (I think) some shadows. -- This is to the extent that an earlier .ai version would not even show the .fh objects in the converted file. (They were, at that time, there and selectable, but "invisible".)

So I would really, really appreciate a Freehand file import option for Inkscape, capable of at least .fh11 files, and hopefully .fh9 files too.

I am faced with the prospect of trying to go back through hundreds(?) thousands(?) of files, from clients, former clients, volunteer work, personal projects, and salvage whatever I can, however I can. -- Or have to redo things completely.

Adobe Illustrator? Horrendous price tag, the latest and greatest suite upgrade is not something I can do right now. Not for Dreamweaver and not for Illustrator. I am stuck. Way back when Freehand and Illustrator first started, their interfaces were similar. I could use both equally easily. But now? Illustrator's interface is counter-intuitive. There are things I can't find at all how to do. (I do not always have web access when away from home.) There are things that are made (IMHO) very hard to do. -- And here I am, experienced with Freehand for years. I know Freehand had a few weaknesses, but overall, it was a great tool.

One thing I have always wished for was a good, simple way to export the list of colors used in a format that was friendly to the graphic designer and the web designer. RGB in hex and decimal and perhaps percent, HSV or HSB or HSL (I just wish there were agreement on the definition and terms and syntax) because HSV/HSB/HSL is very useful for color harmonies and color palettes, IMHO. CMYK also, because a graphic designer and a printer need those. -- How much easier it would be for workflow to have a drawing's colors stated in a text file for reference, something that could be shared by the CSS file and thus the web pages, shared throughout the project. -- Including the color names. How much nicer it would be, in my opinion, to refer in the .css to something like MegaCorp:Orange (see, there's a domain identifier and a color name there).

Anyway, I really wish there were a file import filter for Freehand files into Inkscape. I am very eager for an affordable, usable alternative to Illustrator.

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