Canvas 8.0 Professional Edition

The Good Easy to learn; the broad feature set seamlessly integrates drawing tools with image editing, typography, and Web authoring functions.

The Bad Toolset lacks some important options, such as color management, and doesn't match the precision and quality that the top design packages offer; limited support.

The Bottom Line Canvas 8.0 competes with various design programs in several arenas, including image editing and illustration. It's not an industry leader, but for thrifty graphic designers, Canvas presents a cost-effective, one-stop graphics application.

Editors' Rating
8.0 Overall

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Review

Canvas 8.0 Professional Edition

Although heavy hitters such as CorelDraw, Macromedia FreeHand, and Adobe Illustrator dominate the illustration-software market, Canvas maintains a loyal following. Instead of trying to duplicate the competition's enormous vector-drawing feature sets, Canvas combines a solid selection of illustration tools with a variety of image-editing, Web-design, and desktop-publishing functions. Budget-conscious designers may also prefer to purchase Canvas for $399 instead of buying Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Canvas is an easy-to-use, all-in-one graphics solution suitable for all but the most demanding professional illustrators. Although heavy hitters such as CorelDraw, Macromedia FreeHand, and Adobe Illustrator dominate the illustration-software market, Canvas maintains a loyal following. Instead of trying to duplicate the competition's enormous vector-drawing feature sets, Canvas combines a solid selection of illustration tools with a variety of image-editing, Web-design, and desktop-publishing functions. Budget-conscious designers may also prefer to purchase Canvas for $399 instead of buying Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Canvas is an easy-to-use, all-in-one graphics solution suitable for all but the most demanding professional illustrators.

Hit the Canvas running
Canvas gets you up and working quite quickly. Installation flies by, and a few hours with its well-designed tutorials can teach even first-timers basic concepts and common tools. A consistent, easy-to-learn interface lets you double-click to edit any type of vector, paint, or text object. Canvas combines advanced drawing functions, such as the Bezier curve tool, with easier alternatives such as Auto Curve and EasyShapes. To help you organize all of these tools, Canvas stores its diverse array in 26 palettes that you can dock, drag and drop, expand, and contract.

Jack-of-all-trades, master of none
Although Canvas 8.0 still can't match the functionality of dedicated drawing, image-editing, presentation, diagramming, or page-layout programs, this version comes closer than ever. Canvas 8.0 now lets you undo actions in any sequence and provides copious calligraphic drawing tools. Canvas's Ink Manager lets you color objects with patterns (such as gridlines) or textures (such as those for 3D objects) and vector objects (such as rectangles), similar to the way Windows lets you define tiled wallpaper.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $400
  • Brand ACD Systems
  • Category creativity application
  • Compatibility PC
  • OS Family Windows
  • Version 8.0
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