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  Moving Files Between Applications:

This section of the web site deals with moving files between illustration programs (Deneba Canvas™, Adobe® Illustrator®, Macromedia® FreeHand® and CorelDRAW®) and image editors (Adobe Photoshop® and Corel PHOTO-PAINT®) and cover the general concept that as long as one application will export a file in a given format and another application will import a file of the same format, you can work on the same graphic with many different applications. This is especially handy if you prefer to use different software for different features and where no single application does it all for you.

What Goes In Can Come Out

The purpose of page layout whether it be for print media or the web is to combine text and images. Modern page layout programs such as QuarkXPress™ allow one to save a page as an EPS file. Page layout can equally be done in an illustration program. Major illustration programs like Deneba Canvas, Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW and Macromedia FreeHand will read and write EPS and PDF files. Both EPS and PDF files store data in PostScript® format which describes both vector or bitmap image data. Therefore the output of one application can be used as the input of another. As long as PostScript is the common thread that runs between applications, you will be able to transport text, vector and  bitmap art successfully between them.

Moving Paths Between Photoshop and Illustrator

Adobe Photoshop will read Adobe Illustrator files and vice versa. There is one thing Photoshop does that is unique to image editors - it reads and writes vector paths and stores both bitmap and vector image data in the same file:


postit.gif   Note: Although there is no direct command that will import a path into Photoshop, you can paste one into an existing image once it has been copied from Illustrator.

However, there is a difference between pasting vector data into a path and opening an Illustrator file with the File > Open or File > Place commands. Photoshop stores vector data as a path while the main image is stored as a bitmap. You must understand the concept that Photoshop will "rasterize" vector data into a bitmap once a vector file is opened or placed. Rasterizing is a process where vector data is converted into rows of dots as a bitmap grid. Once this conversion process takes place, the size of the bitmap grid is fixed. The advantage of vector data is that it will appear smooth at any size or resolution. Although an illustration program is generally best suited for creating or modifying paths, there are situations where you will want to to use Photoshop for the job. Photoshop is great for tracing photos to make line art illustrations.

Always Load Line Art Into An Illustration Program First

If you wish to use line art that you have obtained from either a PDF or EPS file, always open it in an illustration program first. Why? Because if the line art was originally stored as vector data it will be retrieved as vector data. If the image was stored as a bitmap it will be retrieved as a bitmap. There is no loss in retrieving line art into an illustration program then discovering it was saved as a bitmap, but once vector data has been rasterized by an image editor the vector data is lost and the size of the bitmap grid will be fixed.

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