After four years without significant revision, Adobe has confirmed plans to abandon FreeHand, though it will continue selling the MX version of the application for a while longer.
The company is urging FreeHand users to migrate to Illustrator CS3, and has added features to that version of the application it hopes will make the migration “comfortable”.
Writing on his blog, Adobe’s John Nack confirmed the decision, explaining: “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.”
The company has added pages to its website to urge FreeHand users to make the move. Adobe has also introduced two PDFs and one training video to help users make the move.
The FreeHand to Illustrator Migration Guide (PDF) is a manual that clarifies the difference between the applications and explains the different terminology and functions between the applications. The guide is available here.
Migrating from FreeHand to Illustrator: A technical resource (PDF) is a more technical guide for the migration and explains how to move FreeHand content into Illustrator and how to handle different file-related tasks. You can get this guide here.
Adobe will continue to sell FreeHand MX and will offer technical and customer support.
The company is also offering a $199 discount upgrade deal to FreeHand users choosing to migrate to Illustrator.