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  • Statement from ACD Systems

    Statement from ACD Systems

    To Our Valued Canvas Community,

    We apologize for any inconveniences this issue has caused. We wanted to let you know that we hear what you are saying.

    It was necessary to change the Canvas Draw file format due to the major architectural changes required to support Unicode. We have created a new file format for Canvas Draw (CVD), which is expandable and will allow for future improvements in Canvas Draw, along with full support for Unicode.

    Canvas Draw and Canvas (X) products may be regarded as sister products by users; however they are two different products architecturally. Making the proprietary file formats exchangeable between the Mac OS and Windows also requires tremendous development time and effort. In any event, interchangeability of the proprietary files among different products will never be 100%.

    With that said, we are committed to moving all of our Canvas products forward. Achieving interoperability between our Mac and PC products is one of our goals. We are working on facilitating the import of CVD files to the Windows product line for the next release of Canvas (17), which will be coming within the next 6-9 months.

    We appreciate your continuous patronage of our products and your understanding in this matter.

  • #2
    Thank you for keeping us informed, Mark.

    However, I'm sorry to say that this ACD statement is not good enough for me. The reason being that to get the file interchange as it always has been back will cost me yet another arm and a leg in my Windows Canvas 14 update to Canvas 17, whenever that will be. And all of that just for Unicode, which I personally don't care much about? Come on guys, in short this means yet another USD 300 or some such just for Unicode while being stuck for about a year! Can't do, won't do.


    • #3
      Thanks very much Mark. I'll venture my question again, is it possible to list all the improvements planned for Canvas Draw that we all can look forward to?


      • #4
        Don' t want to be the devil's advocate here, but there' s been file- format changes before from .cv5 to CNV to CVX too , that previous versions couldn' t open, so those files needed to be opened and resaved as .cnv or .cv5 or whatever format. I know the option to save as a proper “older" Canvas format is missing right now and that will affect some people' s workflow tremendously, but I think Canvas Draw 3 is a big step up from version 2 for me.
        Hopefully ACD will come up with a solution for this file-format thingy...



        • #5
          Good point Peter, if I could just save my existing stuff as CVX in CD3 all would be fine again. Dunno if this is technically possible, but if CD3 could also use the CD2 text engine for CVX, perhaps with a question which one to use when creating a New document, that would also fix the problem. Hmmm, difficult to write down exactly what I mean here.


          • #6
            "With that said, we are committed to moving all of our Canvas products forward. Achieving interoperability between our Mac and PC products is one of our goals. We are working on facilitating the import of CVD files to the Windows product line for the next release of Canvas (17), which will be coming within the next 6-9 months."

            So for some of us, we have a useless product for the next 6-9 months. And that is assuming that my clients upgrade to Canvas (17) when it is available.


            • #7
              Regarding: is it possible to list all the improvements planned for Canvas Draw that we all can look forward to?

              We're planning an update for Canvas 3 and I believe they have addressed the printing concerns. Other improvements are under consideration with the Product Management team.



              • #8
                Thanks, Mark. Just as I thought: Unicode required a new file format which will eventually ported back to the Windows side of the Canvas family.

                ​For many of us, we would jettison .cvx altogether and just stay on the Mac side if you could provide GIS functionality in near future version of the Mac Canvas Draw program. The only reason why I currently care about .cvx compatibility is that I still need to use Canvas GIS in Windows! Give us Canvas GIS on the Mac and I'll gladly kiss .cvx compatibility goodbye!


                • #9

                  Mark, I both agree -- and disagree with @rwalix:

                  As an archaeological cartographer, I know the benefits of GIS in Canvas -- BUT -- it aways was an extra-cost add-on. (And, I can use ESRI, if I must...)


                  So far, the team has failed to reintroduce a BASIC ELEMENT of Canvas that made it immeasurably more powerful than other graphics programs: PRESENTATIONS. Canvas' massive benefit of being able to create graphics using the vector+raster power of Canvas -- and then, immediately present it (without having to render and export to P-Point or Keynote, etc.) is immeasurable!! (I can't believe ACD marketing hasn't hyped that advantage more..)

                  I have used (and paid for upgrades on Canvas ever since 3.5, and am in wide demand as a presenter -- without ever using anything other than Canvas! I almost never create a graphic -- without knowing in advance that it will be used in more than one presentation. And, I have many gigabytes of Canvas presentations that now (without laborious rendering and wasteful export to inferior presentation programs) are useless.!

                  PLEASE restore PRESENTATION capability to Canvas (Draw)!!!


                  • #10
                    Presentation software is not difficult. All that is needed is an organized stack of handles to graphic elements (the Canvas Document Layout) + the ability to draw into an offscreen buffer and then copy that buffer to the screen buffer -- while applying "transition" algorithms during the transfer.

                    (I know: I created my own "PowerPoint" ca 1990 -- in
                    Pascal -- on an Apple //GS -- and then ported it to the Mac.)

                    I did so, mainly so that I could create transitions as "animation" effects and videos for illustrating additive / subtractive semiconductor processes.

                    With Canvas, I seldom use anything but a "dissolve" transition. (Others are mostly distracting...)

                    Presentations already exist in Canvas; porting them to Canvas Draw should be the least-challenging of tasks.

                    ACD: Please
                    restore the all-importnt PRESENTATION mode/document to Canvas Draw!


                    • #11
                      It would be great if that kind of presentation could be exported as an animated gif again with transitions intact, Canvas X could export but not retain transitions.


                      • #12
                        Below is a copy of an entry I wrote in another forum topic, but since it is a direct response to the statement from ACD, I thought it appropriate to include it here:

                        I find the statement from ACD about the incompatibility issue to be completely unacceptable. They have absolutely prevented a smooth transition from what we have been using, in some cases for decades, to the new CD3 application. I also find it hard to believe that they were able to maintain compatibility of CD2 with CVX files, but not CD3. The changes seem to be minimal, except for the addition of Unicode. By introducing CD3 without backward file compatibility, they didn't just break the application, they broke their entire eco-system. What we get from ACD is a lot of excuses, but no help going forward. I will stay with CD2 (despite its extreme bugginess) and hope that ACD will continue to sell that version since it's the only one that is not completely incompatible with other versions. Perhaps they can expand the family to 3 programs - CD2 for compatibility, CD3 for additional features, and Canvas/Windows for others. A little bug-fixing in CD2 would make this program acceptable, certainly more acceptable than CD3. I am involved in testing and recommending software for many hundreds of users at my institution, and after waiting patiently for about a decade still cannot recommend Canvas for Mac users.


                        • #13
                          Just add the option to Canvas Draw 3.1 to allow a person to save as a .cvx file with a warning "SOME ELEMENTS MIGHT NOT SAVE CORRECTLY....AND THE UNIVERSE MIGHT COME TO AN END" and I think we would all be happy. That way I could use Canvas Draw 3 and still export files for people using Canvas X Pro 16.


                          • #14
                            Another suggestions is to create a macro that would convert a batch of .cvx files into .cvd files, I have thousands of files and it would be nice to convert all of them in a batch when the time comes.

                            I remember the time it took me to convert all of my .cvn to .cvx files and it took a while

                            Note: This batch conversion needs to create new versions of the files so if here is a problem in the conversion the old .cvx file is still available.


                            • #15
                              Canvas Draw 3 always keeps the cvx version when saving as cvd.