I became a FreeHand fan during the Macromedia era after the release Freehand 5.5. Despite its falling popularity, I have always found Freehand’s powerful page layout tools and unique approach to vector illustration appealing. Even after FreeHand’s untimely demise in 2005, you could still find a copy of FreeHand MX in my Dock until the release of Mac OS Lion and the end of PowerPC support on the Mac. Even today with modern vector drawing options like Adobe Illustrator CC available to me, I still long for the days when FreeHand was never more than a click away.
Fortunately for me, and the many FreeHand fans like me, all is not lost. The FreeHand Forum provides links to the once freely distributed trial version of FreeHand MX. And Adobe of all companies provides the serial numbers that can keep FreeHand MX launching past its first 30 days.
You will still need a Mac, a Hackintosh, or a virtual machine running Snow Leopard or earlier if you want to run FreeHand MX under Mac OS X. Personally I prefer to run FreeHand MX under a Windows VM or Wine. Both are easy to setup and promise to remain compatible well into the future.