Importing Freehand Files into Illustrator


When Mac OS X Lion arrived on the scene, Freehand users had to face up to the sad truth that the program they loved would no longer run on a Mac. Apple’s newest operating system eliminates Rosetta, the program that allows old Power PC based applications like Freehand to run on newer Intel based Macs.

For Freehand users who feel left out in the cold there is a limited solution. Illustrator CS2 and above can automatically convert old Freehand files on the fly. Users can open Illustrator, choose a Freehand file and just click open.

1. In Illustrator, go to File, select Open
2. Files available to open will include Freehand files
3. Choose a file, a Freehand Import Options menu pops up
4. Choose desired options and click Ok

Be aware, not everything will look the same as it did in Freehand after conversion. Users will often see text reflow and many items like effects and custom fills can’t be converted. Any Freehand file that is brought into Illustrator will no doubt need some work. Still, with all it’s limitations it is a solution worth considering if you’re a designer with years of Freehand files in your portfolio.

Author: Craig Barhorst