Friday, January 21, 2011

FreeHand MX on Mac OS X 10.6

A designer client of mine just bought a screaming fast 12-core Mac Pro. She'll be using it to run the usual design apps: InDesign, Photoshop, Bridge, Premiere Pro, Soundbooth, etc.

But she doesn't like Illustrator.

She wants to run her ancient copy of FreeHand MX 11.0.2 on her shiny new mac. :~(

I warned her that it probably wouldn't install or run on this new hardware and OS. And I was right. It installed, but wouldn't launch. But lo and behold, there's a tech note and solution buried on Adobe's Web site. Installing Rosetta, and then installing the Freehand Registration file included in the technote makes it possible to launch and run Freehand!

Adobe makes the following disclaimer:

No updates to FreeHand have been made for over four years, and Adobe has no plans to initiate development to add new features or to support Intel-based Macs and Windows Vista.

Freehand requires Rosetta to be installed. Rosetta provides PPC code emulation allowing applications containing PPC code to run on Intel based Macs.

Your mileage may vary. Who knows how well it works, or whether it can print/save/export/create PDFs successfully. But I thought this might be of use to someone else.

Now, time to starting learning Illustrator everyone!


rylee said...

I'm running FreehandMX on 10.6.6 and other than a bit of colour wierdness when printing to pdf (now sorted), it's working fine. After using Illustrator back in the day and then making a full switch to Freehand, I'm still much more comfortable with some functionality within Freehand, so was delighted that MX would run. CS5 Illustrator is fine and I'm learning all the time with it, but MX is rock solid for my type of vector work and I find it an easy program to use.

Adrian said...

Why oh why did Adobe trash Freehand!!!!!! I have been designing on it for years and it is so fast, solid and edears itself to the creative process, it is the exact opposite of illustrator which is slow clunky and a shear pain to work with!
I will use this program to the end of time on my new mac with rosetta.
Adobe hang your head in shame!! and I hope the god's of design rain terror on you for this awful decision!!

Sigurdur Armannsson said...

I for one would love to see a list of the things die-hard users of FreeHand name as a reason not to move over to Illustrator.

Andy C said...

I've used freehand for years producing literally hundreds of full vehicle (truck, bus and car) cutaway illustrations, that back in the day illustrator would just chug with. I've tried and tried to get to grips with illustrator but find even doing simple things overly complex, difficult and ultimately frustrating. Rectangles with rounded corners, try changing the corner radius. Paste inside. Path operations like punch, and then modify the resultant shape (if I want to remove a bit of my shape I don't need to see it like it was).
And gradient fills. So many thing so overly complicated to do in illustrator. I spent hours in Illustrator cs5 the other day just trying to do some logo visuals for a friend, after many hours of frustration and searching the not very useful help, and menus etc. I gave up and went back to freehand and it was job done in 30 mins. I just couldn't make illustrator do what I wanted to do an there seemed no way to do it either. Stuff which I knew was easy!

It was a dark day when Adobe bought Macromedias products, they certainly haven't improved them much and killed off perfectly good ones. They could at least release freehand to the community....

Anonymous said...

OMG! I am going to try this. I am a die-hard Freehand MX user. I have a brand new Imac sitting at my desk that I watch movies on while I work on my old G5. But, my G5 is crashing. I brought a freehand file into CS5 Illustrator and could not even figure out what I could do with it. If Rosetta works, I will be one happy girl!!!

Chris said...

I'm running Freehand 11.0.2 build 92 on OX 10.6.6 with only a little weirdness with fonts and printing (PDFs are fine, tho). I've been using Freehand since it belonged to Aldus, and ditto all the Illustrator comments.

My other escape from Illustrator was Canvas, that I used for many years. But now it's Windoze-only.

It that IT???? A supercomputer sitting on my desktop and I have to settle for unworkable Illustrator or a nearly-dead Freehand? Disgusting.

Mark said...

I came across your article today and see there are a number of FreeHand users here. If you all haven't heard the news, Macworld reported this a week or so ago:

FreeHand users sue Adobe for 'killing' the application

Check it out. Over 5 pages of comments.

cose66 said...

i was running freehand mx on os 10.5.8, and after
running the trial version of mac keeper, mx doesnt
work anymore...what gives!!!!!!