Macromedia Updates Freehand
Illustration upgrades include new symbol-based spray and brush strokes, the ability to do true contour gradients, and the option of embedding fonts in both Macintosh and Windows EPS files.
Chief among the product's productivity additions are customizable master pages, with which updates to a single page can be achieved simultaneously for all child pages.
Designers already familiar with Flash will appreciate Freehand's new interface, which has a look and feel similar to the Web animation tool, incorporating elements such as shortcuts and toolbars that are consistent across all Macromedia programs. The new version also features an integrated Flash Player window for instantly testing movies within the freehand application.
Multi-publishing enhancements include industry-standard IPTC header file support (required by newspapers, for example), an integrated Flash navigation panel for applying animations and URLs to Freehand projects, and enhanced support for PDF, HTML, and SWF file formats.
Macromedia Freehand runs on Mac OS 8/9/X and Windows NT/2000/ME. The program is expected to ship this quarter at a price of $399. For a limited time, Freehand will be available bundled with Flash as a Studio package for $499. (Macromedia; www.macromedia.com)-JD