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This article was published on January 5, 2010

    Remember Freehand? It’s still around, and now it’s got a movement.

    Remember Freehand? It’s still around, and now it’s got a movement.
    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
    Story by

    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

    Founder & board member, TNW

    Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

    FreehandOnce upon a time me and my friends argued over who used what software. This was way before the browser wars or the whole Windows VS Mac discussions. The question at the time was whether you were using Freehand or Illustrator.

    Back then (1990-2005) you used the intuitive, easy-to-learn Aldus Freehand OR Adobe’s more technical Illustrator. I was originally a Freehand user which meant I had to make the switch to Illustrator later in life. That transition was about as awkward for me as getting into a car in the UK. You sorta recognize everything but it works exactly the other way around as from what you would expect.

    Seems I might have jumped ship a little early. I just found out that there are thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of people who hung in there and still use Freehand.

    And now there is a whole movement who wants to persuade Adobe, who got Freehand when they bought Macromedia, to either start supporting it seriously or open source the code so it can be developed by volunteers. Both options seem unlike to every play out, but I felt some sympathy for the movement nonetheless.

    If you have fond memories of using Freehand and would like to see it opensourced or updated do sign up at FreeFreehand.org now. They have  4000 members now and they are growing fast.