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ACD Ships Canvas 9

Three new versions add 16-bit color support, expanded toolset By Dave Nagel
ACD Systems has released Canvas 9. Canvas is an illustration and photo manipulation tool previously sold by Deneba, which merged with ACD back in April. The new version of Canvas offers workflow and functionality enhancements and is available now for Mac OS X and Windows.

Canvas is an application that offers illustration, technical drawing and photo manipulation tools, as well as page layout and Web design functionality. The new release has been split into three versions targeted different areas of design. Canvas 9 Professional is geared toward designers; Canvas 9 GIS Mapping Edition is tailored for users of Geographic Information System data; and Canvas 9 Scientific Imaging Edition offers additional tools for measurement and image analysis.

The new version adds support for 16-bit per channel color (and 32-bit floating point in the Scientific edition), including the ability to import and export 8- and 16-bit TIFFs. Filters supporting the new color depths include Gaussian Blur, Average, Add noise, Median, Dust, Despeckle, Sharpen, Sharpen more, Sharpen edges, Unsharp mask, Maximum, Minimum, High pass, Hue saturation, Levels, Curves, Brightness/contrast, Color balance and Invert. Other new imaging tools include:

  • One-step Image Crop and Scale command;
  • Advanced Red Eye reduction tool;
  • Eyedropper functionality added to the Levels image filter;
  • New Image measurement filter for quantitative analysis.

For vector illustration work, Canvas 9 adds a new double floating point, 64-bit coordinate system and expands the maximum number of objects to 2 billion per document. It also expands the limit on control points per polygon or Bezier curve to 2 billion.

In the category of general enhancements, the interface in Canvas has been completely overhauled. It's been given a new look and has an new Properties bar and Smart Toolbox, which tracks and displays drawing tools related to the last tool chosen. Other interface enhancements include:

  • New tabbed interface;
  • Attribute History strip added to the Presets palette;
  • New Attribute Styles palette;
  • Docking bar can be moved to the top, left or right;
  • Maximum document size increased to 2,000 x 2,000 miles (yes, miles);
  • Maximum zoom increased to 114,000 percent.

Canvas 9 also includes enhancements to scripting, with access to bits per channel, new filters and print options. And it gains improved file support, including enhanced EPS and PDF import; SVG export; improved import of DXF, DWG and CGM files; and QuickTime (Mac) and AVI (Windows) export. Canvas 9 also includes numerous enhancements for technical drawing, which are detailed on the company's site.

Canvas 9 Professional is available now for Mac OS X and Windows for $349.95 for electronic delivery and $399.95 for the boxed version. Competitive upgrades are also available for $249.95 to $299.95. The GIS and Scientific editions each run $549.95 to $599.95, depending on delivery method. For more information, visit

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Mac OS, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at [email protected].

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