The latest version, Canvas 7, is of particular interest to Web page developers, as well as brochure and presentation designers, because it allows them to combine vector illustrations with other images and typography, all within the Canvas interface. The software also provides a new export interface for GIF and JPG files that provides control over color palettes and other properties, allowing for a precise level of file optimization.
The new version also features some powerful image-editing tools. The program's new sprite technology, SpriteEffects, allows users to apply image-editing filters such as Gaussian blurs and noise to any vector, text, or bitmap object. In effect, this technology permits the blending and blurring of images into more or less seamless compositions.
Canvas 7 also offers a new Lenses feature, which can be used to highlight or magnify an area for insets-useful for technical illustrations, for example. But Lenses also work with SpriteEffects filters to create areas of almost 3D-looking special effects-a region of shine and reflection on a chrome fixture, for example.
Canvas 7 costs $375 (an upgrade is $99), and includes 2450 TrueType and Type 1 fonts, as well as 30,000 clip-art images. A free beta version of the Linux port is available at www.deneba.com/cv7/linux. (Deneba Software; Miami, FL; 305-596-5644; www.deneba.com