Canvas is "the only cross-platform, technical drawing program that seamlessly integrates professional-level image editing, page layout, web graphics and presentation features into a single creative application". It's like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and PageMaker combined, but these days you'd also have to throw in Adobe InDesign and GoLive too.

I've been using Canvas for years and I love it. Canvas was created by a company called Deneba (the name is still sticking around) and Deneba was later bought out by ACD Systems []. ACD Systems is traded publicly as ASA [] as of 2006-12, but in 2006-11, there was news that they might go private.

The current version of Canvas is Canvas X.


  • Expressions in Canvas
    • It is possible to enter an expression instead of a value for the different controls, dialog boxes, and palettes of Canvas. The operators available for Canvas expressions are as follows: +, -, * (multiplication), / (division), and () (parentheses). EG: The following are equivalent: 75, 25*3, 225/3.
    • It is possible to enter a unit of measurement along with a value or expression. It is not possible to mix units of measurements. EG: 1 in * 3 pt. The following abbreviations can be used:
      • in (inches)
      • ft or f (feet)
      • y (yards)
      • mi (miles)
      • p (picas)
      • pt (points)
      • mm (millimeters)
      • km (kilometers)
      • cm or c (centimeters)
  • Zoom in and out on PCs with CTRL+ALT+(+/-). Zoom in and out on Macs with CMD+OPT+(+/-).
  • I don't know what version they enabled these features but they're great:
    • MOUSE WHEEL moves the view up and down.
    • SHIFT+MOUSE WHEEL moves the view left and right.
    • CTRL+MOUSE WHEEL zooms in and out.
  • To convert a color image into one of a single hue, follow these steps:
    • Select the image.
    • Change its mode to grayscale (Image > Mode > Grayscale).
    • Adjust the color balance (Object > SpriteEffects > Add Effect > Hue/Saturation > Colorize). Pick your hue and go with a low saturation.
  • When resizing rasterized images, here are some of the different options.
    • Without cropping:
      • To change an image size while altering the resolution and keeping all the data: click on the image and resize.
      • To change an image size while maintaining the resolution and discarding data:
        • Assume an image is already at the desired resolution of 72 dpi, but is large at 8" by 12".
        • Select the image.
        • Go to the toolbar: Image > Area > Resolution.
          • Enter the desired resolution: In this case 72 pixels/in.
          • Deselect preserve data.
          • Select preserve proportions.
          • Change the object specs to the desired inches: In this case say 4" by 6".
        • The image is now 4" by 6" at 72 dpi.
    • With cropping:
      • To change an image size while maintaining the resolution and adding or discarding data: click on the image and resize while holding CTRL. This is called hard cropping.
      • To change an image size while maintaining the resolution and just hiding some of the data: choose the crop tool, click on the image, adjust the frame, and click on the image when the cursor is a hammer. This is called soft cropping.
  • Prepare Hot Slices for the Web. Summary:
    • Set rulers and grid to pixels.
    • Double click on camera tool.
    • Drag camera tool over desired area, probably taking advantage of "Snap to Guides".
    • Stack images in desired order, and use File > Save to Web.
  • Prepare Hot Slices for the Web v9. Summary:
    • Double-click on Slice Creator tool. Set the name template (EG: img##). Note that # is for autonumbering, while & is for autolettering. Set the image options.
    • Drag the Slice Creator tool over the appropriate areas.
    • Select the Slice Selector tool. Right-click and select the slices as needed. Right-click and export the slices.


Links that lead to off-site pages about Canvas.

GeorgeHernandez.comSome rights reserved