Freehand MX (you know, Freehand 11)

porky's picture

Has anyone yet had a chance to use the new Freehand MX on MacOS X yet? I am finding that Freehand 10 on a 500mhz g3 processor a little slow (despite having a garden shedfull of RAM), sufficiently so to be using FontLab's own outline editing tools instead. Is MX faster?

.'s picture

David,
FreeHand 10 is, quite frankly, crap. And this is coming from someone who has been using the software for 13-odd years. Back when it was still Aldus FreeHand. I have kept up to date with the software, and use it quite a bit. The 10 version was the furthest step back I have ever seen in a software program.

But, joy and gladness, FreeHand 11 is a dream. It does just what it should in ways that are smarter than previous versions of the software. I've been using it extensively in the psat two days for - what else? - drawing letters, so have not had a chace to set type in it, or place any images or anything, but one thing I can tell you is this: Exported Generic EPS files import into FontLab 4.5.2 like a dream come true.

So. FreeHand 11 = thumb's up from me.

I will be curious to see everyone else's feelings.

Best,
c

Diner's picture

Does it have any sort of clean up path or nodes at extrema function in it?

I've always wanted that for Illustrator but haven't seen any plug in's that do that.

Stuart :D

porky's picture

Chester, thanks for that. Have you noticed any speed difference tween 10 and MX?

.'s picture

Stuart,
a quick pokeabout in the program does not reveal an extrema function. Simplify is there with just one parameter: how much. There are no other choices.
Of course, lovely and delicious FontLab 4.5 does have the nodes at extremes function, as you would expect from such an application.

Best,
c

.'s picture

David,
speed difference. Forgot to address that issue. YES! Freehand 11 works in real-time, unlike 10, which had some kind of 7-second delay, like radio.

So, yes. And I'm running it on a 500Mhz G4 - yes, I know, it's prehistoric - with 768MB RAM, OS X 10.2.4.

Recap: Speed = yes.

As for FontLab's drawing tools... I like them. Once you get used to the way that selected nodes and highlighted nodes act differently, and remember that the Control key reveals a million fun commands...

Best,
c

porky's picture

Time for me to upgrade. Thanks! :-)

.'s picture

David,
I'd say that you should download the trial and run it through its paces. That's what I'm doing. If I still like it after 30 days I'll kick Macromedia some cash.

c

piccic's picture

FreeHand 10 works best under Os9 (paradoxical, isn't it) and as you both pointed out it's messy under X.

FreeHand MX seems to have been pretty rewritten, it's less buggy and works at lightspeed (and I do mean lightspeed).
I'm using it under Jaguar (10.2.3) with a double-processor new G4 and 512Mb of RAM.

Save often, because it easily quits without notice (maybe a bug fix is on the way).

For the extrema points problem you'll need a short trip to Fontographer (you may use it under OsX installing the non-FPU version).
Then re-open the face in FontLab.
Perhaps FontLab's FontAudit function will underline the need of extrema points but you'll have to insert them semi-manually (with FontAudit bookmarks, that's all).

As for FreeHand: it's my favorite frogram. I started using version 2.02 in 1989 and I can tell you the real solid and good versions (if you need to use an old Mac) are:

1) Aldus FreeHand 3.1
2) Macromedia FreeHand 5.5
3) Macromedia FreeHand 8
4) Mcromedia FreeHand MX 11 (bug fixes appreciated).

Worst, crappy versions:
1) Aldus FreeHand 4 (the Worst!!!)
2) Macromedia FreeHand 7 (Sucks Big Time!)
3) Macromedia FreeHand 10 (mostly under X)
At home I still have FreeHand 5.5 and 8.

At work I have all versions upgraded from v3.1 to v10. We'll soon buy MX upgrade as it's available in Italian.

BTW many OsX programs have printing problems due to the lack of printers' drivers. Not a lack of the programs, but just to let you know.

porky's picture

I bought the upgrade to Freehand MX this week and it seems to be far far far better - thanks for everyone's input :-)

Interestingly, there is a different upgrade cost from 10 to MX than other versions - perhaps as an apology for v10's problems? ;)

hdschellnack's picture

Oh Jesus... just got the German version of FHMX. Wow. Just.. wow. I sure didn't think Macromedia still had that in 'em. The Extrusion Tool is different than, say, Dimension, and in these times of Maya and Cinema4D and 3DsMax a bit retro, but great fun nevertheless and I still LOVE these weird clunky vector-3D-objects. The Effects and the ability to work with Transparency and other

piccic's picture

> [Hi, HD. Actually FreeHand MX and 10 are produced without too much worry about printed production, since Macromedia is worried mostly by the use of FreeHand for web graphics. So, beside the lack of Opentype support, the application is quite solid but still have got quite big problems in dealing with complex documents for print, using various typefaces, and different encodings. This is a thing they probably have no interest in, but along with the lack of driver upgrades for many printers, undermines the use you could have made of Freehand under OsX. And I'm really sorry about that. I was designing simple logos in MX a few days ago and the program quitted unexpectedly some 20-30 times during the morning. Macromedia never provided a bug fix for version 10.0 and this speaks a lot about their policy. Sad.]

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