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Accessing old Canvas X symbpls library

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  • Accessing old Canvas X symbpls library

    Is there there a way to access all the vector art files on my old CNVART library? These are on multiple CDs, and while some of he folders contain .cnv files that can be viewed as icons and opened, other files are in folders that I don't recognize or know how to open/preview. These folders are CLIPART.DAT, CLIPART.JDX, CLIPART.NDX and CLIPART.PTR Any ideas or experience with this?
    Last edited by morphix; 02-26-2017, 01:41 PM.

  • #2
    That is a good question. My new iMac does not have an optical drive and I would have to hunt through boxes to find my external DVD drive and software installation discs. If I recall correctly, in Canvas X, the clipart and font collection were on a single DVD and now that I think of it, I may have imaged that DVD on my old PowerMac G5; thus, it may be available as a DMG on one of the backup drives I used to transfer everything over to the new iMac. I will have to remember to check when I get home.

    That stated, the clipart collection should be mostly, if not all, Canvas illustrations albeit in the older CVN format. I just recently purchased CanvasDraw 3 to upgrade from Canvas X and CanvasDraw appeared to have no problem recognizing and opening old projects that I had created in Canvas 7 that are in the CVN format and have no file extension to identify them as Canvas files; recall that file extensions were nonexistent on the Mac until the transition to the Unix-based OS X. If you still have the clipart guides that used to be included with the boxed versions of Canvas in the past, you should be able to simply search your CDs by the filename to find the clipart you want.

    Unfortunately, your question also brings a sad truth to the surface. Apparently, sometime between the release of Canvas X (2005) and Canvas 12 (2010), ACD dumped the old clipart set as well as the large collection of fonts that were included. Given that some of the clipart was a bit dated and some vector objects, particularly those that included text, would not render properly. To say that the current symbol library is lean compared to what Canvas previously offered is a huge understatement, but the old collection was in need of an update.

    The current symbol library is spartan to say the least and most of the available objects are nothing more than line art; there seem to be very little of anything with color fills. While I had been stuck on Canvas X on my Mac at home, I used Canvas 12 (Windows-only) for several years at work and last year we upgraded to Canvas X 16. Despite the three version jump, the Symbol Library in 16 seemed to have not be any different than what was available in 12. Aside from being the only graphics application on the market that fully integrates vector illustration, image editing, text editing, and page layout, the large clipart and font collection that was included with Canvas set it apart from any other graphics application. It is a shame that this particular asset has been allowed to languish.


    • #3
      I finally remembered to check on this at home. As it turns out, I did remember correctly. With Canvas X, the clipart (symbol library) and font collections were consolidated onto a single DVD and I had an image of the DVD on my old computer that I transferred to my iMac. It appears that all of the clipart are in the old CVN format, but Canvas Draw recognizes them as Canvas drawings; the Mac OS does not automatically associate these files with Canvas Draw, but as they all seem to have the .CVN extension it is easy to associate all CVN files to Canvas Draw using Get Info in the Finder.

      Looking at the structure of the Canvas Draw package, the .dat, .jdx, .ndx, and .ptr files are no longer used. The new Symbol Library in Canvas Draw is stored in the folder ../Applications/Canvas Draw/Contents/Symbols. The Symbols folder has 25 subfolders that group the symbols by category; these are the same categories you would see in the Canvas Draw Symbol Library interface. Thus, you will not be able to access the old clipart library through Canvas Draw’s user interface in the way you did in Canvas X and earlier versions of Canvas. All is not lost though, as you can place the old clipart objects into a Canvas Draw document.

      If you have the Clipart manual that used to ship with older boxed versions of Canvas, then you at least have access to what was available in the old clipart library, as those books had figures of the clipart and their filename. Using File > Place in Canvas Draw you can navigate to the correct file and then place it in your document.