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Macromedia FreeHand Support Center - Release Notes
Macromedia FreeHand MX Release Notes
This document addresses late breaking information not discussed in the FreeHand MX documentation and may be updated as more information becomes available.

System requirements
Issues for both Windows and Macintosh
Windows-only issues
Macintosh-only issues
Documentation Errata
Reporting a bug to the FreeHand team


System requirements
Windows    Macintosh
300 MHz Intel® Pentium® II processor or better    Power Macintosh® G3 processor or better
Windows® 98 SE, Windows Me, Windows NT4 (Service Pack 6), Windows 2000, or Windows XP    Mac® OS 9.1 and higher, or OS X 10.1 and higher
64 MB of free available system RAM (128 MB recommended)    64 MB of free available system RAM (128 MB recommended)
70 MB of available hard-disk space    70 MB of available hard-disk space
1024x768, 16-bit (thousands of colors) color display resolution or better    1024x768, 16-bit (thousands of colors) color display resolution or better
Adobe® Type Manager® Version 4 or later for use with Type 1 fonts (Windows systems 98, ME, NT 4)    Adobe® Type Manager® Version 4.6.1 or later for use with Type 1 fonts (for Mac OS 9.1 and higher)
Postscript Level 2-Compatible printer or higher (Recommended)   Postscript Level 2-Compatible printer or higher (Recommended)
CD-ROM drive   CD-ROM drive
    QuickTime® 6.0 (for Mac OS 9.1 and higher)


Issues for both Windows and Macintosh

FreeHand Compatibility Readers - FreeHand MX installs readers for Macromedia Flash MX and Fireworks MX. After Installation these readers will allow Flash MX and/or Fireworks MX to import FreeHand MX files.

  • FreeHand MX Reader for Fireworks MX - The FreeHand MX Reader for Fireworks MX allows Fireworks MX to open or import files that are stored in FreeHand 9, FreeHand 10, and FreeHand MX file formats only. If you have FreeHand files which are stored in the format of FreeHand 8, you will have to update those files before reading them into Fireworks MX. To update the files, open them with FreeHand MX and re-save the file as a FreeHand MX native file.

    The Mac OS 9.x version of Fireworks MX has not been updated for Carbon. As a result, Fireworks MX on Mac OS 9 cannot use the FreeHand MX Reader for Fireworks MX. To open FreeHand MX files using this component on the Macintosh, you must be running Fireworks MX on Mac OS X 10.1 or later.

    These changes have been made to the Fireworks Quick Export menu for FreeHand:
    • The Export to FreeHand… command has been renamed to “Export to FreeHand 10…” because this functionality is specific to older versions of FreeHand. FreeHand MX can directly open Fireworks PNG files.
    • The Copy command will now copy Fireworks PNG data for FreeHand MX, preserving more object and image fidelity between the applications. If you are copying from Fireworks MX to older versions of FreeHand, you will receive vector information only.
    • The Launch FreeHand command has been updated to launch FreeHand MX if its installed on the system
  • FreeHand MX Reader for Macromedia Flash MX - The FreeHand MX Reader for Flash MX allows Flash MX to import files that are stored in FreeHand 8, FreeHand 9, FreeHand 10, and FreeHand MX file formats only.

    Installation of FreeHandMX or the Readers on a Mac OS - Before installing on the Macintosh, please unmount any connected iDisk volumes. Leaving your iDisk mounted may result in an unnecessarily lengthy installation process.

    Multiple Installations of the Readers on a Mac - Please note that if you have multiple installations of either Flash MX or Fireworks MX on a Mac, the FreeHand MX installer will pause and ask you which one to update. The FreeHand MX installer will also leave a reader installer for both Fireworks MX and Flash MX, one for each, in the FreeHand application folder. You can run these manually, at any time, to update additional installations. These are also useful if your Fireworks MX and Flash MX installation is on another machine. After installing FreeHand MX, simply copy the appropriate installer to the machine where Fireworks MX and Flash MX is located and run it there.

    Reading FreeHand MX's Multiple Attributes - Please note that neither Flash MX nor Fireworks MX cannot recognize FreeHand MX’s new multiple attributes. Also, neither can interpret everything that FreeHand MX can do with paths or text. Consequently, the results of importing FreeHand MX data (either by importing a file or by copy/paste), in Flash MX or Fireworks MX will sometimes result in in either more or fewer objects being created than were in the original FreeHand MX document.

Trial Downloads - Trial downloads of Macromedia products are available on the Macromedia Downloads page.

Xtras - Xtra Tools and Xtra Operations have been fully integrated into FreeHand MX. The Xtra Tools are located within the tool families available in the main toolbox. Access Xtra Operations though the main Modify or Xtras menus. Enable the floating toolbars for Xtra Operations and Xtra Tools though the Window>Toolbars menu. Because all tools and operations are available at launch time the Xtras Manager is no longer available in FreeHand MX.

On the Macintosh, third party Xtras may be added to the Xtras folder located in the main application folder. On Windows, add third party Xtras to the Xtras folder located in the program language folder. To activate these Xtras, restart FreeHand MX after adding these files to the Xtras folder.

Default Templates - New in FreeHand MX: The default templates that FH uses to create new documents now include a large number of Styles, Brushes, and Graphic Symbols used by the Brushes. These new defaults provide a larger range of selections in a new document without the user having to manually import libraries. Many users may feel that they do not want these new additions as part of every document they create. To accommodate those users, FreeHand MX also ships with a set of “Basic” templates that more closely match the templates FreeHand has used in previous versions. Switching between templates is easy. Simply access the Documents section of Preferences and select a template from the dropdown list labeled “New document template:”.

Network License Detection and Firewalls - Upon launching a Macromedia application, users who have firewall software installed may get a firewall alert saying that the application is attempting to access the Internet. This alert is caused by Network License Detection code operating across a local network. No information is sent to Macromedia during Network License Detection.

The purpose of Network License Detection is to prevent a single-user license from being used simultaneously on multiple computers. Network License Detection will detect a license violation and prohibit an additional copy of the application from launching.

Consult the documentation for your firewall software to determine how to prevent this alert from appearing upon launch.

Documentation Errata

Displaying Type Attributes - In the Help, and on page 248 of the Using FreeHand MX manual, the procedure that tells you how to display type attributes is incorrect. The first three steps of the procedure read as follows:

To display type attributes in the Object panel:

1 Select Window > Object to open the Object panel if it’s not already open.

Do one of the following:

  • Using the Pointer tool, select a text block in the document.
  • Using the Text tool, select a range of text.
  • Select Edit > Select > None to deselect all objects in the document, then select a text style in the Styles panel (Window > Styles).

3 Click the Text property in the Object panel Properties list. It’s the property with an A displayed beside it.

However, a text style's text property (as displayed in the Object panel) occurs on the line below the "property with an A displayed beside it."

Thus, the third step should be rewritten to say:

3 Click the Text property in the Object panel Properties list. It’s the property with "Text:" and the style's font name and size next to it.

Windows-only issues

Resource Allocation Issues - You may experience resource problems on Windows 98 or Windows ME when running more than two applications at the same time. If you are experiencing redraw problems with the user interface, such as icons disappearing, decrease the number of applications currently running. No amount of hard drive space or increase in RAM will correct this problem, as it is due to limitations of the operating system.

FreeHand MX Clipart Viewer - On Windows, the FreeHand Clipart Viewer has been removed. The FreeHand installer now adds an extension to Windows Explorer enabling the user to view FreeHand files containing a preview (FreeHand 8.0 though FreeHand MX). This viewing capability is available on Windows 2000, Windows ME and Windows XP only.

Macintosh-only issues

Type 1 Fonts - On the Macintosh, Type 1 fonts are often represented as two files on disk, one file contains the information about the outlines of the glyphs in the font, the other contains a bitmap representation of the font. (these fonts are also called LaserWriter fonts).

In previous versions of FreeHand, the application would include Type 1 fonts in the
font menus even if the outline files for those fonts could not be found on disk. When these fonts were used in a document, if the font was not permanently downloaded to the printer, the printer would substitute Courier for the incomplete font.

FreeHand MX includes a preference labeled"List incomplete fonts" which allows you to control whether or not incomplete Type 1 fonts are included in the application's font

The Preference is unchecked by default. When unchecked, incomplete Type 1 fonts will be missing from FreeHand's font list.

When the new Preference is checked, FreeHand 10 behavior is restored. All fonts, including incomplete Type 1 fonts display in FreeHand's font list

FreeHand MX File Viewer - The FreeHand Clipart Viewer has been replaced with the FreeHand MX File Viewer on the Macintosh. The viewer allows the user to view FreeHand files that contain a preview. The viewer installs with the application and is not available on the CD.

Issues specific to Mac OS 9.x -

  • CarbonLib 1.6 - FreeHand MX requires the CarbonLib version 1.6 system extension. This extension will be installed in your Mac OS 9 extensions folder for you. After installing FreeHand on Mac OS 9, you should restart your computer to activate the new version of CarbonLib. You can verify the version of CarbonLib installed on your system by locating CarbonLib in the extensions folder and using the "Get Info" command to examine the version number.
  • Older Versions of CarbonLib - If FreeHand MX finds that CarbonLib 1.6 has been replaced by an older version, it will display an alert dialog and refuse to run. If this happens you will need to reinstall CarbonLib 1.6 to allow FreeHand MX to run. You can do this by re-installing FreeHand MX. CarbonLib update installers are also available from Apple through Software Update and on their web site.
  • QuickTime 6.0 - FreeHand MX requires QuickTime 6.0 to correctly handle transparency in images and raster effects.
  • Adobe Type Manager - In order to use OpenType fonts with FreeHand MX, you will have to install Adobe Type Manager (ATM) version 4.6.1 or later.
  • Open Type Fonts - FreeHand MX Supports OTF fonts but does not provide access to advanced typographic features or extended character sets. On Mac OS 9, ATM 4.6.1 is required in order to use these fonts.
  • Multiple User Account Licensing - The FreeHand MX license entitles the purchaser to install and use FreeHand MX on a per-machine basis. If you have installed FreeHand MX on a machine with multiple user accounts you may use the same serial number for all users on that machine, but each user may be prompted to enter the serial number for the installed version of FreeHand MX the first time they launch the application.

Issues specific to Mac OS X versions 10.1 and higher only - FreeHand MX runs as a native application on Mac OS X, taking advantage of many available features, like improved support for virtual memory and system-supported double buffering. We have identified the following problems which you may encounter when running FreeHand MX on Mac OS X:

  • Quartz 2D - The Quartz 2D drawing model that underlies the Mac OS X operating system may not support all of the PDF features available in the latest version of the PDF specification. As a result, the PDF export feature in FreeHand MX may generate files that Quartz 2D cannot render properly. This can be a problem if you are trying to re-use those PDF files in other Mac OS X applications. If you have trouble getting the PDF files generated by FreeHand MX to work properly with other Mac OS X applications, try using the PDF export options to generate files that are compliant with older versions of the PDF spec.
Reporting a bug to the Macromedia FreeHand team
Found a bug? Your first step should be to contact Macromedia Customer Support. They can help you resolve issues and they can also log bugs. If you are no longer eligible for support, please use the Macromedia Software Feature Request and Bug Report form.

Note: Due to the high volume of e-mail we receive, we are unable to respond to every request.

Thank you for using Macromedia FreeHand MX, and for taking the time to send us your feedback!