May 16, 2007

knowhow: Flash-powered help inside Illustrator

"You know more than we do."  That’s the simple, and powerful, thought behind "knowhow," a new Web-savvy part of Illustrator CS3.

Using a Flash SWF file running inside an Illustrator panel (palette), knowhow is designed to provide information about tools and topics right within Illustrator. The feature offers help information for over 100 Illustrator-related topics—including all tools and panels.  As you use various shortcut keys while using a tool, the appropriate hint term highlights in context, making it possible to find more info about it.

The really interesting part, though, is that instead of searching only Adobe-made Help, knowhow queries social bookmarking site del.icio.us.  Anyone can add content to the knowhow del.icio.us page, meaning the Illustrator community can enhance the info available inside Illustrator. That’s a key part of the vision we’re pursuing as we Flash-enable Photoshop and other Adobe desktop tools.

To see knowhow in action, check out the online demo on Adobe Labs, or bring up the panel inside Illustrator (download tryout); it’s under Window->Adobe Labs.   For the full details, check out the FAQ (PDF) and visit the knowhow forum.

6:55 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

FreeHand no longer updated; moving to Illustrator

After a long and storied career, Adobe (neé Altsys, Aldus, and Macromedia) FreeHand has reached the end of its development road. The application has not been revised since Macromedia released MX nearly four years ago, after which the company removed FreeHand from the Studio product line.  Adobe has created an FAQ (PDF) that explains the details of the decision not to rev FreeHand, talks about Illustrator CS3 features added to make FreeHand users more comfortable, and more.  [Note: The official product pages aren’t all updated yet; hence my posting this info on the blog.] Here are the highlights:

Adobe and FreeHand
Adobe does not plan to develop and deliver any new feature-based releases of FreeHand, or to deliver patches or updates for new operating systems or hardware. Adobe will, however, continue to sell FreeHand MX, and will offer technical and customer support according to our support policies.

FreeHand Upgrade Path
A special upgrade to Illustrator CS3 is available to all registered owners of FreeHand for $199 U.S. This upgrade is available worldwide through the Adobe Store and through the Channel. There is no direct FreeHand to Creative Suite 3 upgrade, but FreeHand owners who also own Adobe or Macromedia products that are eligible for upgrade to the Suite can use that path to move to the Suite.

Support for Customers Making the Move
A number of materials are available at no cost to help customers make the move from FreeHand to Illustrator. All of these materials can be found on the Switch to Illustrator pages on Adobe.com and on the Illustrator Design Center.

FreeHand to Illustrator Migration Guideavailable as a PDF and in printed form.
Targeted to designers and illustrators, this four-color manual provides a graphical comparison of the FreeHand and Illustrator workspaces, along with differences in terminology, features, and functions between the two applications.

Migrating from FreeHand to Illustrator: A technical resourcePDF format
Designed for production managers, IT managers and designers, this technical resource provides the best ways to move legacy FreeHand content into Illustrator, handle different file formats, outputting files, and other information.

Migrating from FreeHand to Illustrator with Mordy Golding—(video training)
Video training produced by lynda.com. The CS3 update to this series is completed and will be available shortly.

7:39 AM | Permalink | Comments [237]
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