November 10, 2010

Microsoft enables Illustrator->HTML5 Canvas

How cool: Microsoft’s Mike Swanson has enabled Illustrator (CS3-CS5, Mac & Win) to export vector graphics as HTML5 Canvas elements. As former Illustrator PM Mordy Golding puts it,

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could generate great-looking and useful HTML5 content (with interactivity, motion, interaction, etc) DIRECTLY from Illustrator? Now you can — with a new FREE plugin for Illustrator.

Here’s a great 90-second demo (no embedding option I can discover, unfortunately). Now Illustrator can create SVG, CSS, and Canvas content, thanks to this plug-in plus the recently released Illustrator CS5 HTML5 pack. Way to go, Mike & Microsoft.

[Semi-pointless historical footnote: the plug-in brings back memories of Macromedia’s ancient Flash Writer plug-in for Illustrator (the system requirements for which still list Windows NT!). Here, I’ll make that same part of your brain twinge again: “DeBabelizer!”]

Posted by John Nack at 11:24 AM on November 10, 2010


  • Mylenium — 12:55 PM on November 10, 2010

    I blogged this 4 weeks ago ;-) –>

    [So did I, but I didn’t hit Publish until now. Believe it or not, I was screwing around, trying to scale down the embedded Silverlight player, but I finally gave up. –J.]

  • Ryan — 2:16 PM on November 10, 2010

    Too bad it doesn’t work on a Mac with CS5. Dragging the plugin to Illustrator’s Plug-Ins folder doesn’t yield anything in the Export dialog.

    I hate to say it, but it’s typical Microsoft.

    • Damien — 9:24 AM on November 11, 2010

      Have you tried in 32 bit mode?

  • George Horst — 7:49 AM on November 11, 2010

    As a Mac user, why would you expect MS to make it compatible. Apple makes plenty of products that are Mac only – you out there complaining about that?

  • Michael Swanson — 9:23 AM on November 15, 2010

    Thanks for the shout out, John. I appreciate it!

    @Ryan: I use it with Illustrator CS5 on the Mac all the time. So do many of the testers I’ve been working with. Drop me an e-mail with more specifics, and I’ll see if I can help diagnose the issue.

    • David Macy — 12:25 PM on November 18, 2010

      Hey Michael, why don’t you add some UI onto it? I know you said that you wanted to make it compatible with multiple versions of Illustrator, but a simple UI that worked with CS5 would make it much more interesting for web designers who don’t want to fiddle with javascript at all.

  • Alastair — 10:32 PM on November 21, 2010

    “would make it much more interesting for web designers who don’t want to fiddle with javascript at all.”
    Such web site designers should be working with somebody who can fiddle with JS I would suggest.

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