CNET Editors' review
Canvas 14 from ACD Systems is an enterprise-class technical illustration program. With it, you can create, refine, and publish sophisticated illustrations, animations, and documents.
It combines the drawing and illustrating features of a premium graphics app, the 3D modeling and drafting capabilities of CAD, and the collaborative capabilities of a productivity suite in one surprisingly intuitive package. A quick-start guide, copious documentation, and a helpful sidebar called the Canvas Assistant made getting to know this capable but complex software easier than we expected.
To try Canvas 14 for free, you must select that option during installation and complete the process via e-mail notification, but it's quick and painless. The program's user interface is efficient and attractive, with a crisp and businesslike layout blending the look of an image editor, office application, and Web browser; it's easily customized, too. Canvas 14 opens with an optional Startup Dialog that let us quickly create a new Illustration, GIS Document, Publication, Animation, Presentation, or user-defined Custom Document. This dialog also offers a series of quick-start guides that open a detailed browser-based users' manual.
We started small by creating a new illustration. Our blank document opened in the main window in a split view with the Canvas Assistant, which provides context-specific information and help at each step. Canvas 14's floating tool palette and layers will be familiar to Photoshop users, as will the tool and brushes themselves and many other features. Canvas is the equal of top-class illustration and design tools, though, and it takes a bit of time to learn its many unique features, such as the SpriteEffects filter tool, or its productivity and collaboration features such as flowcharts and publishing. There's even a spell-checker.
Canvas 14 now includes advanced GIS features like positioning and tagging, plus the ability to import and export GIS information and to visualize GIS data. Canvas 14 shows again why premium tools are worth their price in the face of stiff competition from freeware, especially in a business setting, where efficiency, power, and support are reflected in documents and the bottom line.
From ACD Systems:
Canvas 14 is how engineers and technical graphics professionals illustrate and communicate with confidence. Canvas' minimum precision levels and powerful object illustration and image editing tools ensure that the accuracy of your data is maintained from import right through to publication and beyond. Accelerate and streamline your technical illustration workflow from initial import and design to final presentation, facilitate collaboration, and improve your overall productivity with this complete technical illustration software solution. With Canvas, you can work with both vector objects and raster images in the same document. And you have access to a larger range of enhancement tools for any kind of graphic, rather than being limited to certain enhancements on vector objects and others on raster images. As a Canvas user, you have the ultimate in flexibility, with the ability to import existing graphics from over a hundred different standard and specialized formats.
What's new in this version:
- Create dynamic charts - Create and customize visually appealing dynamic charts and tables in a variety of formats using data inputted directly into Canvas: no need to import a static, pre-created chart from an external spreadsheet program.
- Preserve Canvas data in PDF files - Convert your Canvas 14 document to a PDF file for sharing or storage, and the native Canvas data will remain imbedded in the file. Re-open your file in Canvas for further editing, with no loss of your data o... See all new features
More Products to Consider
- Create, visualize, document, and share your CAD projects.
- Print to PDF from Windows applications and optimize the PDF out...
- Create 3D models and upload them to Google Earth.
- Open, view, and print any PDF file.
- View DWG, DXF, and DWF drawings.
- Simplify design process and gain better control over placement ...
- Transform any printable document into PDF format.
- Convert PDF to Word file format.
- Create, animate, and render 3D images on your PC.
- Open, view, edit, and save PDF files without Adobe Acrobat.
- Open, view, and convert Adobe PDF files.
- Create advanced 3D graphics, animations, and dynamic broadcast ...
- Create Adobe PDF files with the push of a button.
- Write PDF documents from any application.
- Convert PDF files to JPEG, BMP, PNG, and TIFF files easily.
- Convert PDF to most applications.
- Print, e-mail, and save your T-shirts designs all from your des...
- Make your CAD works in powerful DWG-compatible environment.
- Draw the plan of your home and view the result in a 3D view.
- Scan documentation to PDF and store them in a designated locati...
- Pose, animate, and render 3D Models in your own 3D Studio.
- Create video with 3D effects from ordinary 2D video files in a ...
- Open, plot, and publish authentic DWG and DWF files.
- Manage 2D CAD drawings, view and modify the CAD entity through ...
All versions:3.6 stars
out of 19 votes
Current version:4.5 stars
out of 4 votes
My rating:Write review
Results 1-4 of 4
"Excited to get back to Canvas!"
Version: Canvas 14 14.0.1534
Canvas is a wonderful program that once you have learned it, your illustration and layout projects are only limited by your imagination. I used Canvas 8 years ago on Mac and was my default program for everything I needed to do.
At this point, the only con is I'm not aware of a Mac version. I do wish the price was not as expensive, however, for those of us on a budget.
"Once mastered, a great time saver. Does everything."
Version: Canvas 14 14.0.1534
It appears that owner, ACDSee, has decided to take this program seriously, as it should. It does so many things well that it would have been a crime to treat it as anything other than a first rate illustration and publishing program. It has a fairly steep learning curve due to the wealth of things this program does well, yet it has survived the years intact and is now starting to improve again.
I've been using Canvas since 1997 and the main functionality has not changed a lot. This is a good thing. However, the newest developments have addressed improvements in technology in the last four or five years. It is faster, more stable, and a great value to people who don't want to waste time getting an idea out of their heads and onto paper.
It handles both vector and rastor images equally well. The conversion facilities are excellent. The PDF utility is very good. The import and export utilities are excellent. It has many ways to interact effectively with other graphic programs.
I suppose the complaint I had since ACDSee took it over is that some of its usefulness was becoming dated. However, ACDSee is now addressing these issues. You should be aware that there is not a lot of interface change going on. Most changes are under the hood, where feedback seems to indicate that speed and stability have truly improved.
It now appears that a Canvas Mac application is under development. This will be good news to the legion of Mac users who have always lamented the day Mac development was discontinued.
I truly like Canvas. It is still ahead of its time with many of its features. This program is well worth the price if you value being able to most anything you can think of, whether for business, science, or art. Be prepared to spend some time becoming proficient. You will enjoy the Sprite Effects on your vector illustrations, and the ease of photo adjustments. I might add that it is a very accurate program and can replicate the look of technical drawings, maps, CAD drawings, and much more. It is truly high-end jack-of-all-trades software.
"Great program, but Windows-only"
Version: Canvas 14 14.0.1534
Canvas is a very powerful all-in-one program, a refreshing break from the Adobe monopoly and endless upgrade cycle, and it's great to do everything in one interface, without switching among pixel, vector, layout, and web applications. I can do wireframe sketches and finished projects in the same document!
No Mac version. Running it in Parallels is a dealbreaker. Staying in one program for everything I need is great, but I'd rather stay in one OS for everything I need.
Come on, ACDsee. It's 2012. Windows-only is no longer a sensible business decision.
"Very good product, Adobe has now a good competitor"
Version: Canvas 14 14.0.1534
- easy to create charting
- export format
- easy to use
Canvas 14 user experience was really amazing. Good product, however you need to use it to know how easy it is compare to Adobe products!
Add Your Review
Submit your reply
E-mail this review
Report offensive content