General Software

First Look Review: Canvas 9 Professional Edition-Multifaceted Design Illustration

28 Feb, 2005 By: Ron LaFon

There's much to be said for an all-in-one approach, and Canvas 9 says it well.

It's difficulit to know where to begin when describing the features and capabilities of Canvas 9 Professional. It's a dual-platform application that incorporates image editing, page layout, Web graphics and presentation features. Though this is more than enough for a single application to accomplish, these capabilities form a base to which other, more specialized functions can be added. Canvas 9 Professional has a decided slant toward technical illustration and supports more than 50 file formats, including PDF, EPS and DXF.

Canvas 9 is a cross-platform technical drawing program that integrates image editing, page layout, Web graphics and presentation features.
Canvas 9 is a cross-platform technical drawing program that integrates image editing, page layout, Web graphics and presentation features.

System requirements for the Windows version of Canvas 9 Professional Edition are relatively modest: a Pentium III-class PC running Windows 2000/XP with at least 128MB of RAM installed (256MB is recommended) and 100MB of free hard disk space. Canvas requires a 16-bit or higher color display that operates at 1024X768 or better (true color is recommended). Users need the basics, plus a CD-ROM, DVD driver or Internet access to take advantage of the clip-art library. A scanner is useful for importing and editing graphics. As with many, if not most, graphics applications, you'll get better performance with systems that have faster processors, faster graphics cards and more RAM.

Canvas 9 professional edition
Canvas 9 professional edition

CANVAS 9 Professional Edition is targeted at technical professionals in business, science and engineering—an orientation that's reflected in the tools available, the level of precision possible, and the libraries of symbols that ship with the product. This release incorporates double floating point 64-bit precision for illustrations with higher accuracy. Many technical drawing features are new, and the document page size has been expanded to 2,000 X 2,000 miles, which is supported by virtually unlimited zoom capabilities. There's much to be said for an all-in-one approach, and Canvas 9 says it well.

Pricing for Canvas 9 Professional Edition delivered electronically is $349.99; when delivered in the box with printed manuals, the price rises to $399.99. Upgrade pricing is available for licensed users of prior versions, as are competitive upgrades and educational pricing. A trial version is also available for download. Once users acquire the basic license for Canvas 9, a variety of add-ons can expand the base version for different disciplines and purposes. Canvas 9 Professional Edition includes the CD-ROM with the application installer and a Canvas 9 Extras DVD. Available add-ons include a GIS+ Edition, a Scientific Imaging Edition and CGM*PIP, which adds direct support for petroleum industry profile for computer graphics metafiles to any edition of Canvas 9. For those who already own the standard GIS Edition, the GIS+ Edition includes all the features of the GIS and mapping edition as well as support for even more file types and features such as wide-format printouts, PDF files and Web content. Presentations can be created easily without the use of additional software. These additions extend Canvas 9 to cover a broad array of uses beyond the considerable basics provided by the Professional Edition alone.

For a more extensive look at the features and capabilities, as well as a gallery of work created with the product, visit the ACD Systems Web site. By the time you read this, a new version of the software should be available.

Ron LaFon, a contributing editor for Cadalyst, is a writer, editor and computer graphics and electronic publishing specialist from Atlanta, Georgia. He is a principal at 3Bear Productions.

About the Author: Ron LaFon

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