FreeHand 7 release notes (Windows)

October 1996

Welcome to Macromedia FreeHand! In this document, we've included contact information and late-breaking news to supplement the manual and online help. For a summary of new FreeHand 7 features, see "Introduction" in Using FreeHand.

On the CD you'll find over 10,000 pieces of clipart, 500 fonts (Type 1 and TrueType), and FreeHand template files.


FreeHand supports Windows NT 3.51 (build 1057 or later), Windows NT 4.0 (build 1381 or later), and Windows 95. FreeHand no longer supports Windows 3.11.


FreeHand can be installed over a network, for organizations that purchase multiple copies. Drag the installer files into a directory on your network hard drive. Double-click or run SETUP.EXE to begin the installation.

When it is necessary to install FreeHand on an NT system where some users will not be logging on with Administrator rights, it is recommended that an Administrator install FreeHand. On NT 4.0, this allows the entry created on the Start menu to be visible to all users, provided either the default entry is accepted or an existing common entry is selected during installation. On NT 3.51, Common Program Groups are created or used in a similar manner.

For more installation information, refer to "Getting Started" in Using FreeHand.


When creating a disk set of FreeHand from the CD, DISK 1 must contain all files except for DATA.2 through DATA.10 and DISK2.ID through DISK10.ID. Copy the respective DATA and DISK files to each disk thereafter: only DATA.2 AND DISK2.ID on Disk 2, only DATA.3 and DISK3.ID on Disk 3, etc. Use double-density disks.


The FreeHand Preferences file named FHPREFS.TXT is located in the C:\Program Files\Macromedia\FH7 directory. To restore the default preferences, exit FreeHand, delete the Preferences file, and relaunch FreeHand.


Using some system fonts may result in truncated FreeHand panel names. To correct this problem, we recommend that you select the MS Sans Serif font and that in the Control Panel\Display Properties\Appearance dialog, you set both the Active Title Bar and the font size to their minimums: 16 for the Active Title Bar and 8 for the font size.


Included with FreeHand is a program that enables Windows FreeHand PostScript files to print across Macintosh printer drivers to printers, such as imagesetters. See the ReadMe file named PS2MAC.TXT in the C:\Program Files\Macromedia\FH7 directory for more information.


Uninstalling FreeHand or another application that uses color management may disturb color management for the remaining applications. If this happens, reinstalling remaining applications may be necessary. If reinstalling FreeHand, first uninstall it. To retain FHPREFS.TXT, DEFAULTS.FT7, and any custom color libraries, first copy them and then paste them back to the appropriate locations after reinstalling FreeHand.


FreeHand 7 supports many 32-bit Photoshop(TM) filter plug-ins. Although most filters currently produced are 32-bit, like Kai's Power Tools 3, some older filters are 16-bit. To run 16-bit Photoshop filters in FreeHand 7, copy the files MMPSF16.DLL and MMPSF32.DLL from the CD\Goodies\Support directory to the C:\Program Files\Common Files\Macromedia\Xtras directory. Because other 32-bit Macromedia products such as Director and xRes use the same filter support, those DLLs may already be present in your Xtras folder.

Use of these DLLs may cause some incompatibilities with newer 32-bit filters. Unless you have specific 16-bit filters that you plan to run, we recommend that you do not place files MMPSF16.DLL and MMPSF32.DLL in the Xtras folder. If you are experiencing problems with 32-bit filters, you should remove files these files from the C:\Program Files\Common Files\Macromedia\Xtras directory.

To use the 32-bit filters that ship with Photoshop 3.x, the Photoshop directory must be in your system's PATH variable. If your installed Photoshop 3.x filters do not appear in FreeHand's Xtras menu, copy the Plugin.dll from your Photoshop directory into your Windows directory or consult your operating system's documentation for instructions on modifying the PATH variable.


With Macromedia Common Scripting (MCS), you can use Java-based Xtras to perform common functions across different Macromedia products. Use the Script Editor to create new scripts. A collection of Xtras and the Script Editor are available at Macromedia's web site at FreeHand supports these new scripting advances.


The Multi-Color Fill Xtra is installed but disabled by default. Use the Xtras Manager to turn it on. This Xtra is intended for editing imported FreeHand 5.x files containing these older style fills. Unless you intend to export to FreeHand 5 format for further editing in FreeHand 5.x, use the Fill Inspector set to Gradient to create Multi-Color fills in FreeHand 7 documents.

FreeHand will print successfully with many PostScript printer drivers, but for best results try these:

*For Windows NT 3.51, we recommend Microsoft's

PostScript Printer Driver 3.5.

*For Windows NT 4.0, we recommend Microsoft's

PostScript Printer Driver 4.0.

*For Windows 95, we recommend PostScript Printer Driver

4.0, jointly developed by Microsoft and Adobe.


Uncheck the Use PPD checkbox in the Print Setup dialog to set up your printer to use manual feed.


After switching from one printer to another without using a PPD, FreeHand uses the previous printer's orientation until you click OK in the Properties dialog. This happens regardless of whether Automatic Orientation in the Paper Setup tabbed panel of the Print Setup dialog is turned on or off.


If you are having trouble printing colored text to a PCL or QuickDraw printer, turn on the hidden preference "ConvertTextNonPS" to improve your output. Open the FHPREFS.TXT file, located on C:\Program Files\Common Files\FH7 and change the (No) to (Yes), following the text "ConvertTextNonPS."


FreeHand may show the following PostScript error when used with a Linotronic Imagesetter.

%%invalid access [offending command: put] for postscript evel 1 Rips
%%invalid access [offending command: findfont] for postscript level 2 Rips

To fix this, re-download all the fonts to the RIP's hard drive using the Linotronic Font Downloader 2.5.4 or later. You only have to do this once. Be sure to use the TIME button instead of SPACE.

Linotronic imagesetters using the RIP 60 may cause the yellow plate to posterize upon separation. To correct this problem, set the maximum color steps to 255 in the Output Options dialog.


FreeHand 7 continues to improve its conversion of CorelDRAW 5 and CorelDRAW 6 files. FreeHand does a good job at converting most CorelDRAW elements, but the conversion process is not perfect. In fact, since FreeHand and CorelDRAW do not have an exact feature set correspondence, a perfect conversion of every file will never be possible. Nevertheless, we expect to support even more components of CorelDRAW files. FreeHand no longer supports the CorelDRAW 4 file format.

Paths, text, colors, strokes, and the most commonly used fills convert exactly into FreeHand with no noticeable differences. But certain other effects and information, including the more esoteric fills which have no FreeHand counterparts, will not appear in FreeHand. When one CorelDRAW format yields unexpected results, try using the other format.

For your reference, we have included this list of known file conversion limitations. We hope that awareness of these issues will help you determine which of your files will make the transition from CorelDRAW most easily.

  • When importing text from CorelDRAW without replacing missing fonts, text may not draw properly.
  • Most object and text style information does not convert.
  • Custom arrowheads convert to a standard FreeHand arrowhead.
  • Colors automatically appear in FreeHand's Color List, but in CMYK values with default CMYK names. Redefine spot colors within FreeHand after you have converted your Corel document.
  • Fills with multiple colors convert as two-color fills.
  • Powerlines convert to fills, typically separated into smaller sections. In some cases, using FreeHand's Join command may remedy this.
  • Lens effects convert to solid fills.
  • Objects with bitmapped fills, full color pattern fills, PostScript fills, conical fills, and vector fills convert to objects without fills.
  • In some cases text on a path converts as a path and a separate text object. To rejoin these in FreeHand, select both the text block and the path, and choose Text > Attach to Path or click the Attach to Path button on the Text Toolbar. This semi-automatic approach was taken because FreeHand's retention of typographical details results in line breaks different from those in CorelDRAW. Text may require some manual adjustment.
  • Columns, tabs, underlines, and indenting will convert most of the time, but in some cases, text converts without these attributes. Text styles, some special characters, and enveloped text do not convert. Text may require some manual adjustment.
  • Most embedded BMPs and TIFFs will make the transition. However, EPSs and 32-bit BMPs will not.
  • Slanted guides do not convert.
  • Multiple pages of a Corel document import in reverse order.
  • Depending upon page setup options in CorelDRAW, some objects may appear off the pasteboard in FreeHand. To view all objects, choose Edit > Select > All in Document and drag the selection to the center of the pasteboard.
  • Do not use Pattern fills when exporting EPSs to use in CorelDRAW 6.


When you open or place CGM files in FreeHand, filled objects with a small stroke of the same color appear to have a stroke of a different color; the stroke and the fill are actually the same color. This is due to the dithering of the color of the stroke. At high magnifications the color no longer dithers, so the stroke and the fill appear the same. If you select the stroke color and drop it into the Color Mixer well, it will have the same CMYK values as the fill color. Furthermore, printing the document yields a stroke and a fill of the same color.


FreeHand supports the multi-file DCS EPS 2.0. but not the single-file version. Placing the single-file version in FreeHand results in low resolution or empty spaces when printing.


Changing the number of undo's in File > Preferences > Editing > General does not affect existing documents until you close them and reopen them.


FreeHand is a great asset to your work or entertainment. Let us know if you have any suggestions, praises or complaints...we're committed to keeping a firm step ahead, and that will only happen if you pass along your comments. Thank you for purchasing FreeHand.

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