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One of the programs I missed when moving to Mac OS X was ClarisDraw. If I want to do complex drawing - especially drawing which is more art than technical - I use Freehand. But often it isn't convenient for simpler drawings, or more structured drawings, such as plans and tables. So I used ClarisDraw (and before that MacDraw Pro and MacDraw) and had many documents created with these programs when I swiched to Mac OS X. ClarisDraw does run in the Classic environment, but this isn't a good option for three reasons. First, Classic isn't supported on Intel Macs. Second, using Classic is a backward step when my other programs run natively in X. And third, there's a bug when saving in ClarisDraw which was often disastrous in Classic.

So I spent a considerable time looking for a Mac OS X native program to replace ClarisDraw, and I finally found one: Intaglio. It is the only program I know of that will open ClarisDraw and MacDraw files, and it provides a similar drawing environment to those programs, with the addition of some cool features provided by the Mac OS X graphics engine. Opening older files doesn't always work 100% but it is very good and only minimal tidying up after converting is usually required.


You can see some of Intaglio's interesting effects, and the main user interface (the property inspector) at the right. Text ligatures are provided by Mac OS X's text layout system. The glow around the "Sun" is an effect applied to a circle. Foreign languages are supported (of course) and text can flow to a path.

Intaglio is a shareware program, not cheap, but quite reasonably priced at US$89. Save is disabled until you pay the shareware fee, but you can still get an idea of what its like for drawing before then. The program has been around for a while now, and is regularly updated, so it doesn't look like one of those programs which will disappear shortly after you buy it! If you need a simple, elegant drawing program which gives you access to the power of the Mac OS X graphics engine you should seriously consider Intalgio. If you need to open ClarisDraw documents in Mac OS X it is essential! You can download it from the publisher's web site, which is at www.purgatorydesign.com/Intaglio/.

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