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2,001 Tips
Desktop Publishing/Graphics

Freehand 5.5

Save Before You Outline

Converting type to outlines makes output easier, but can cause problems if you have to edit text after the type is converted. Before converting type to outlines, save a copy of the working file with type specs and kerning. This can make the difference between inserting changes and reconstructing all the type in your drawing.

Members First

To edit an individual member of a group, hold down the Alt key and click on the object in the group. While it's selected, you can change an object's attributes, text, position or shape. When you deselect the object, it goes back to being a member of the group.

Fill 'Er Up

When creating or editing radial fills, you can change the inside color and location in one step. Press the Alt key and drag the new inside color to the location at which you want the center of the radial fill to appear.

A Custom Blend

If you need a custom color palette in a hurry, use the Blend tool to create a blend. Now select the Eyedropper tool, pick up individual colors and place them on the new palette.

It's a Wrap

Adjust the text wrap applied to an inline graphic (one you've pasted into a text block) by selecting the graphic with the Text tool. In the Character Inspector, click the Edit button. In the Text Wrap dialog box, click on the Wrap button. Enter the desired settings in the Standoff Distances dialog box. Negative numbers can be used if you want the text in the block to overlap the graphic.

Line Dance

Stretch a line segment on a FreeHand path by dragging it. Select the Pointer tool and hold down the Alt key. Click on any line segment between any two points and drag it. FreeHand bends the line segment and automatically changes the position of the two control handles defining the curve of the line segment.

Make Your Point

Switch temporarily to the Pointer tool while a different tool is selected by holding down the Ctrl key. The original tool will reappear when you release the Ctrl key.

Get Color Previews

Color EPS Preview is a hidden Preference option that can be adjusted by editing the FHPREFS.TXT file in the FreeHand 5 directory. Open the file in a text editor and locate the line ColorEPSpreview (No). Change the line to read ColorEPSpreview (Yes).

Get Centered

Move a selected object to the center of your view by highlighting the magnification field in the lower left of the document window. Change the magnification percentage and press Enter (or just press Enter if no change is required). The screen redraws with the selected object at the center of the screen.

Rotating by the Numbers

When rotating multiple text objects, use the menus and apply specific numerical increments to get a neater, less random design than you would with the Rotation tool and mouse.

Point the Way

You can move points with the Pen tool if you don't like where you placed them. With the Pen tool selected, hold down the Ctrl key to move a point to the desired location.

Balancing Act

When using FreeHand to lay out a newsletter, use the Balance Column and copyfitting features in the Text Inspector to align the column bottoms evenly in a hurry.

The Path to Success

Create text on a path in one step by drawing a path, choosing Bind To Path with the path selected and typing the desired text. On a closed path, such as an oval or circle, press Enter and continue typing to create text both on the top and bottom of the object.

Get a Neon Effect

Place a thin, light-colored line directly on top of a thicker black line. Select both lines and choose Blend from the Arrange:Path Operations pop-up menu. The result is a single line with a neon color effect.

Unobstructed Vision

If you can't see your design under all the open palettes on the screen, press Ctrl+Alt+H. All open palettes will be hidden, giving you an unobstructed view of your work. To reopen the palettes, press Ctrl+Alt+H again.

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