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An Online Cache of Custom Inks, Symbols, and Templates

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  • An Online Cache of Custom Inks, Symbols, and Templates

    OK, so this idea just hit me.

    The symbols that come with Canvas now are far fewer than what was included with Canvas up through at least Canvas X.¹ I have an image of the Extras DVD that came with my copy of Canvas X on my iMac. The old symbol library had 71 top-level categories and some of those had a number of subcategories.

    Now I can understand why the old symbol library was eventually dismissed, as those vector illustrations go back to Canvas 6 based on the .cvn file extension. They can still be opened in current versions of Canvas, but they show there age. Also, any that contained text are hit or miss. The Extras DVD also contained a substantial number of fonts for both Macs and Windows PCs. As modern versions of Canvas no longer come with additional fonts—if any extra fonts were installed by Canvas Draw on my iMac at home or from Canvas X 2017 in my Windows VM on my iMac at work, it was done very discretely—some of the clipart would look funky due to substitute fonts being used.

    I use OmniGraffle Pro for creating diagrams and realized that there was a feature for that software that could benefit Canvas Draw, and Canvas X, users. In the File menu, there is a Submit to Stenciltown command. The Omni Group has an online repository where OmniGraffle users can upload or download stencils. For those of you unfamiliar with OmniGraffle, the built-in help states that “[s]tencils are reusable shapes that can be as simple as a square or triangle, or as complex as a multilayered and meticulously designed illustration of your cat.” Basically, OmniGraffle’s stencils are similar to Canvas’ symbols.

    So I thought to myself, why not have this Canvas users. Canvas Draw creates a folder in ~/Documents that contains the folders My Inks, My Symbols, and My Templates. A number of Canvas users likely create color palettes, symbols, and templates that other Canvas users may find useful. For instance, I have the following custom color palettes:²
    • RGB Extended Color An expanded version of the default RGB_Default_Colors palette. This color palette has 21 grayscale cells across two rows with two gold colors as placeholders. Each color column from row 3 on, has the same 12 base colors as the RGB_Default_Colors, but has 9 tints and shades instead of 8. All colors have been named by base color, as well as indicating the percentage of tint or shade where applicable.
    • RGB Named Default Colors This is the same color palette as RGB Extended Color, but each color has a plain English name.
    • RGB Shades of White I think this one is self-explanatory; there are 23 shades of white in this color palette. Each color has a plain English name.

    The last two custom color palettes are are what I use when writing reports and need to match the graphics I create in Canvas to the default color theme in MS Word. Each color has a plain English name in the following color palettes.
    • Office Color Theme (2007–2010) A palette of 48 colors and 11 grayscale shades designed to match the default “Office” color theme from Office 2007 and 2010.
    • Office Color Theme (2013–2016) A palette of 48 colors and 11 grayscale shades designed to match the default “Office” color theme from Office 2013 and later.

    So, how many of you think this would be a great resource for ACDsee to implement for Canvas users?

    1. In this case, Canvas X refers to the 10th version of the original Canvas released in 2005. Ironically, while paying homage to the then relatively new UNIX-based Mac OS X, support for Macs was dropped after the Intel transition in 2006. Why ACDsee chose to start calling the Windows version Canvas X yyyy when v16 was released in 2014 makes no sense.

    2. The descriptions are based on the assumption that the Colors tab in the Presets palette is 12 columns wide.