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Canvas Slated to Return to the Mac in 2014

On its mailing list, ACD Systems has announced that it is reviving the Mac version of Canvas, its technical drawing, pagination, and illustration app. ACD stopped making Canvas for the Mac in 2007. A beta of the resurrected program will be available in “spring 2014.”

“We have a lot to be excited about here. We know there are a lot of loyal Canvas Mac users out there, and we’re looking forward to being part of their workflow again,” said Dallas Vandekerkhove, Director of International Business Development at ACD Systems.

Canvas originated on the Macintosh in 1987, as part of the desktop publishing boom. It wasn’t until version 3.5 in 1992 that it was ported to Windows, and the final version for the Mac was Canvas X in 2005.

Canvas is the latest professional application to return to the Mac after a long absence. Autodesk brought AutoCAD back to the Mac in 2010 after a 16-year absence.

Although Canvas isn’t cheap, with the Windows version currently listing for $599.99, this news should be welcome for graphics professionals unhappy with Adobe’s move to a subscription-only licensing model (see “Creative Cloud Complaints Darken Adobe’s View of the Future,” 17 May 2013).


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Comments about Canvas Slated to Return to the Mac in 2014
(Comments are closed.)

$600? At least that what the Windows version costs. And it's up to v14. Pay at every upgrade? Will that drive the Adobe users over?
Scott Leverenz  2013-06-07 09:52
This is the great news. I've been a Canvas Mac user since 1989 and use the program everyday, which is why i still have one computer running Snow Leopard, as it's a Power PC application. I specifically use this app to create technical drawings, without having to learn AutoCAD. It's really an amazing product.
Lance Diernback  2013-06-07 12:05
I was an enthusiastic and skilled non-professional Canvas user up until they ported it to Windows. In the process, they trashed the Mac interface and destroyed most of my user knowledge. While I hope for the best with this move, I'll be cautiously watching before I return to Canvas.
Peter U  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2013-06-11 17:06
I agree - I loved Canvas 3.5 as a very intuitive but still powerful drawing program but subsequent versions were unintuitive and hard to use. I basically stopped using the versions after 3.5.
Ian Wright  2013-06-12 20:16
Ditto, also loved 3.5 but life took a different direction. Have used Photoshop and Illustrator since but still miss the power and versatility of Canvas. Will be keen to evaluate the new version, not least because of Adobe's idiotic move to perpetual wallet drain technology.
Wayne A. Schapper  2013-06-10 21:21
It's about time! I have OS 10.6 installed on an external drive so I can still use Canvas. I've tested numerous vector graphic programs and rejected them all as inferior to Canvas. ACD apparently has finally realized that it's been ignoring an important market.
Peter Gamble  2013-06-17 10:22
Canvas for Macintosh again

Canvas 3.5.6 for Mac had the best interface ever. Then Canvas 5 ruined the interface and the rest is history...

It will rock again if they do it right now. Hopefully they will do...
Sherwood Bishop  2013-06-22 12:35
I've been using Canvas since the first version desk accessory in 1987. Like some others, I have a dedicated Mac running OS 6.8 just so I can use Canvas X. I have the entire Adobe suite, but Canvas is far more versatile and far faster. I'll be ready to buy Canvas for Mac as soon as (I'll skip the 'if') ACD has it ready.
Biker4Mac  2013-07-18 19:03
Good to see this news! Ironically, I moved over to the Adobe Creative Suite when support for Canvas X was dropped on the Mac. Honestly, I much preferred the way that Canvas worked to the Adobe products.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2013-11-21 09:00
Some recent statements about the forthcoming Canvas for Mac, if you're interested in the topic:

"Good news on the Canvas Mac front, we've increased the number of developers working on the Mac version now that Canvas 15 for PC has been released, and while we have Canvas X functioning on Mac, we're busy making sure that all the small stuff is working correctly, and hope to begin a closed public beta in spring of 2014."