Posts Tagged ‘Freehand’

Freehand To Illustrator Experience

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

von illustration

Illustrator’s CS3 release makes it much easier for Macromedia Freehand users to transition over from-scratch and legacy artwork. But there are still a few bumps on the road.

Von Glitschka tells about his experience in his blog post: Switching from FreeHand to Illustrator.

His post was written after a year working in Illustrator and goes thru how he creates an example art file and shares a few useful plugins that bring some Freehand-style functionality to Adobe’s flagship vector ap. Von also has a few other cool illustration focused tutorials here.

Script: Find and Replace Graphics version 2

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

ai cs3 logoToday’s script installment is Find and Replace Graphics version 2.

Download script (13k file size).

Please give this script a whirl. Email me with bugs or feature enhancements.

find and replace graphics version 2 demo movie screenshot

Watch a movie demo of the script with voiceover! (2.2 mb)

Important Enhancements:

  1. The find-replace objects now remain on their original layer. No more error alerts about locked layers.
  2. The find-replace object are now in the same z-stacking (object stacking) order as the original.
  3. "Replacing" master object is now deleted once it has replaced all the find objects. Turn this off by changing line 43: var deleteReplaceWithObj = false;
  4. Centered, non-scaled XY placement is default.
  5. If non-proportional scaling is desired change line 37 to: var scaledObject = true;

Future Work:

  1. Proportional scaling in X, Y, or weighted XY that is still centered on the original object’s center point.

To install new scripts you need to:

  • Quit Illustrator
  • Copy the files into the Illustrator application folder’s “Presets” » “Scripts” subfolder
  • After restarting Illustrator you can find the scripts in the menu “File” » “Scripts”;
  • TIP: You can create subfolders in the scripts folder to organize your scripts

Script: Fit Text Frame to Content (Depth)

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

ai cs3 logoThis week will be focused on scripts. I have an entire page devoted to those I have created and promote a few others that I find useful to my day-to-day design and cartography work in Adobe Illustrator (go there), especially as a former Freehand user. These scripts extend Adobe Illustrator’s basic functionality thru a cross-platform JavaScript language.

I’ve updated my fitting script (today’s post) and Make Point Type, Find and Replace Graphics, and will unveil my Tag Cloud generating script.

Fit Text Frame to Content (Depth)

Version 2 Beta 1

Important Enhancements:

  1. The text object now remains on it’s parent layer in the same z-stacking order that it was found in. No more error alerts about locked layers.
  2. Expands the text box to fit overset type (before it only shrank the text box)
  3. Option to set how much “extra” buffer to include at the bottom of the box when it is fitted (measured in decimal lines automatically proportional to the type size)
  4. More intelligent about examining rectangular text boxes only (rotated text boxes still need attention)

Download script (3k file size). Installation instructions here.

Please give this script a whirl. Email me with bugs or feature enhancements.

SneakPeek Pro – Look inside Illustrator and FH files with QuickLook

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

sneak peek pro logoOne of the key new features of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard is QuickLook. This features looks inside files and shows you the contents. So instead of seeing a big Ai icon in the preview, you would see the actual graphic contained in the file. The problem is, QuickLook doesn’t support some key file types. SneakPeek Pro fixes that (go to developer’s site).

This QuickLook plugin allows you to preview Illustrator, InDesign and EPS documents in the Finder, dialog boxes, cover flow, other applications. SneakPeek Pro also allows you to see fonts, images and colors used in many CS3 documents. It also supports looking inside Freehand files!

sneakpeekpro supported file types     

  • Quickly flip through your graphics files in Cover Flow
  • View list of fonts, images and swatches used in Quick Look (CS3)
  • See previews of graphics documents within any open dialog box
  • File previews magically appear on your Desktop and Finder windows
  • Illustrator files preview whether or not they’re saved with PDF compatibility
  • Intelligent parser uses embedded preview for large AI or EPS documents

sneakpeek pro screen grab

White Overprint Problems in Adobe Illustrator

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

When The Washington Post NewsArt department shifted over from Freehand MXa to Illustrator CS2 in 2007 we started experiencing reproduction problems associated with white-overprints and rich-black. When this results in a million confused readers, this can be a major headache.

Example Problem Graphic – Where are the white (reverse) numbers in the bar chart?

problem white overprint

Fixed Graphic – Note white numbers in bar chart on the right.

fixed white overprint


New site, new look

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

In October, I attended the annual NACIS map conference in St. Louis, MO and demonstrated how Adobe Illustrator can be automated via JavaScripting. This can be especially useful for those needing to expand Illustrator’s default capabilities or make Illustrator behave more like the venerable Freehand (may it rest in peace). I created this website to host that presentation, and to capture some of my other projects. Last week Mordy Golding at his Real World Illustrator blog promoted my site and wow, traffic is up. So here’s a new look for a more integrated site.