Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Porting Masked Bitmaps Between Illustration Programs

Whereas the best format to port straight vector files is generic EPS, I have found that the most reliable format to port a bitmap image with a vector clipping path or mask is PDF (Adobe® Acrobat® Portable Document Format). There is more than one format you can use to successfully port masked bitmaps between applications but I think that the format that works most reliably and consistently between Deneba Canvas™, Adobe Illustrator®, CorelDRAW® or Macromedia® FreeHand® is PDF.
postit.gif   Note: There is one proviso to using PDF as a means to port vector images and that is if you are using the RGB color space, you should use "Save As" or "Export" from Deneba Canvas Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW or Macromedia FreeHand to create the PDF file. If you use the "Print" output channel (such as when using Adobe Distiller®) all the RGB data may be converted to CMYK in the process - depending on the version of Acrobat. Refer to the Adobe technical document number 320683 at their web site:

Porting a masked bitmap involves using either File > Save As (for RGB) or File > Print (for CMYK) as an output channel. A PDF file is generated by the File > Print command where the output is sent to FILE instead of the printer. These files are then transformed into PDF format through the use of Adobe Distiller. The PDF file can then be imported into the target application where the masked bitmap will be available for editing.

Below is a chart which illustrates the use of the Portable Document Format as a means to port masked bitmaps between Deneba Canvas, Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW or Macromedia FreeHand:

Below are the step-by-step tutorials which outline exactly how this is done:

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