FreeHand fans fight on despite Snow Leopard

Fans of vector tool FreeHand are fighting on despite the application struggling to perform fully under Apple's recent Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard update.

Some bugs when running FreeHand 11.0.2 in OS X 10.5 and 10.6 require complicated workarounds.

Some examples include:?
• PDF export does not support overprint colours or bleed.?
• Gradients often break: gradients within an EPS export may contain white lines, gradients within a PDF export may get breaks at the edges.?
• Fonts often don't print correctly (requires conversion to paths prior to printing).
?• Does not run natively on Intel Macs.

The bugs have been noted by the FreeFreeHand Organization, a group dedicated to keeping the application alive, who point out the application will still work for those running Snow Leopard, after installing Rosetta, the binary translation software that makes PowerPC-based applications run on Intel Macs.

The group was formed earlier this year by the designer and illustrator Thomas Thü Hürlimann, former Art Director of Macworld and Computerworld Switzerland, who has worked with FreeHand since 1987 (Aldus version 1.0), and Jabez Palmer of Bez Design, Seattle , whose first experience with MacDraw on a Macintosh Plus in 1986.

The FreeFreeHand Organization aims are to ensure updates are made available and the current owner agrees to release FreeHand code and licensing to the opensource community for maintenance and further development for an agreed-upon price. The group currently has 1777 members. Full details of the campaign can be found at

FreeHand is an award winning tool for creating vector illustrations, which was discontinued when Adobe bought Macromedia. Adobe claimed the application was similar to Adobe Illustrator and one had to go.

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