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Photoshop Quick Tip 3

Copying and pasting from Freehand MX By Dave Nagel
So you've created some shapes in Macromedia Freehand MX, and now you want to bring them into Adobe Photoshop 7. If you simply want to copy your shapes and paste them as pixels into Photoshop, no problem. But what if you want to paste your objects as shape layers or paths? In this quick tutorial, I'll show you how.

Many of you, no doubt, have discovered the fantastic creative potential of Freehand MX, but you still need it to integrate quickly with the image processing power of Photoshop 7. And the easiest way to do this is with simple copying and pasting. But when you want to paste Freehand MX vector objects into Photoshop as paths or shape layers, you get the following error.

That's annoying. But there's a simple workaround within Freehand itself that might not be immediately obvious. This process is a one-time setup, so you don't have to worry about doing this every single time you try to copy and paste your work from Freehand to Photoshop.

1. In Freehand, choose Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts.

2. This calls up a list of available commands within Freehand. Expand the Edit category, and then the Special subcategory. Then highlight the command called "Copy Special." Assign whatever keyboard shortcut you prefer. I've set mine to Shift-Command-C, which makes sense as an alternate to the standard Command-C copy shortcut. When you're done, click the "OK" button.

Note that if you don't want to assign a keyboard shortcut to "Copy Special," the command is accessible through the Edit menu (Edit > Special > Copy Special).

3. Select your object in Freehand, and apply your keyboard shortcut (in my case, Shift-Command-C). This will call up a dialog presenting you with several format options for your copy.

Of these, the following options will work: EPS, converting CMYK to RGB; EPS, converting RGB to CMYK; or simply EPS. Any one of these options will allow you to paste your Freehand objects--including unexpanded objects (such as extrudes)--into Photoshop as either paths or shape layers. Whichever one you pick will be remembered the next time you use your Shift-Command-C shortcut.

Note: This process works only for pasting into Photoshop as paths or shape layers. For pasting your Freehand work as pixels, use the standard Copy command in Freehand (Command-C).

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