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FreeHand export to SVG - tips!

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FreeHand export to SVG - tips!

Postby Handsfree » Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:54 am

As a graphic artist, I cannot live without FreeHand for both speed and ease of operation. Its simplicity hides its enduring usability, which is a go to tool for graphics professionals not wanting Adobe overkill and bloat. So I am glad FreeHand Forum is maintained to share hints and tips. One of which I am finding invaluable today.

I often convert and make icons for game design. Since Flash has been dropped, SVG format has become the new standard for high quality web based graphics. I use FreeHand as my initial design tool and - when ready, use INKSCAPE as a Free Vector graphics tool with a wide range of options (and must be said a horrible interface) which works quite well in importing PDF FreeHand files which can be edited or exported in all other formats -including SVG.

One caveat is that INKSCAPE uses SVG (natively) as the default format to save and edit files. So you need to ‘save’ as the other option ‘plain’ SVG.

Using ‘plain’ SVG which then export the graphic, - and not the whole page. Also when exporting from FreeHand you need to select your graphic and then EXPORT to PDF by ticking ‘Select objects only’ when exporting to INKSCAPE.

So that’s it really. You now have the best of all worlds. It keeps FreeHand current and INKSCAPE seems to import all the colours and vectors are maintained. Fonts may need to be checked for kerning and accuracy (its not as good for text edits due to leading mismatch). But as a back end file saver this keeps FreeHand bang up to date.

To date I have produced two published books using primarily using this technique.
INKSCAPE is well maintained, and can be used on its own, however it is no match for FreeHand ease of use. But the two together solves a lot of problems.

Finally thank you for keeping the freehand forum open. I hope this helps all us old professionals who prefer the FreeHand usability.

I Use it on Elementary os LINUX, (on an iMac) and also another on my old G5 PPC (there is an old Power PC version I use on TIGER 10.4). There are versions for most systems. Mac, Linux, and Windows (both 32 bit and 64 bit) are all supported.

https://inkscape.org/
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Re: FreeHand export to SVG - tips!

Postby FFH Mark » Sun Nov 07, 2021 12:20 am

This is good information. SVG is universal now and most web vector graphics are SVG. That includes clip art sites where I sometimes need a stock graphic for a job.
I have InkScape on my Mac and forget to use it. I've also been using Affinity Designer and the speedy vector app, Graphic v.3 to convert from or to SVG.
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FFH Mark
 
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Re: FreeHand export to SVG - tips!

Postby Handsfree » Mon Nov 08, 2021 10:35 am

Yes, you can import clip art as SVG into Inkscape and 'save as' PDF. I can then 'import' or open that PDF in FreeHand MX usually, so its a big 'plus' on that front. And for really old clip art (picture jpeg of gif files), I still use the 'old' Adobe Streamline v4. to convert to vector (ai) format, (for accurate clip art conversions and logo heads) into FreeHand for high end editing.. 'Streamline' is now 'built-in' to Adobe Illustrator but its lost its usability. I found a better better autotrace in SILOUHETTE old Mac PPC osx only), which is even better than Streamline, I now rely on that. Its free (abandonware) and will only work on Mac Tiger os 10.4 PPC. Even so it works really well on all clip art I have used...

https://www.macintoshrepository.org/618-silhouette-1-8-2-and-1-9-4

Alternatively for those more 'bang-up-to-date':
i.e. vector magic, autotracer, vectorizer, coreldraw etc. although never needed any of them, yet.
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