Canvas X Draw

4.4 (96)
Graphic design software for editors

Overall rating

4.4 /5
(96)
Value for Money
4.4/5
Features
4.4/5
Ease of Use
4.3/5
Customer Support
4.4/5

95%
recommended this app

96 Software options

Zachary A.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Higher Education
  • Company size: 10,000+ Employees
  • Used Monthly for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Hate Aggravator, but Love Canvas!

Reviewed on 26/01/2021

Been using Canvas for many years to make publishable figures and graphics for scientific presentations. All editions of canvas have been super easy and intuitive to use, this latest version being no exception. Importing graphs from other programs also go in clean and easy. I've used other programs and everything gets scrambled and you need to be a high level graphic artist to use these. Canvas is good for novices on up. Edits are quick and easy in canvas. You can make beautiful elaborate figures or keep it simple. Export is clean too. Save as a PDF or other file and everything you see in the canvas document is conserved. Aggravator doesn't ever work this well.

Pros

Ease of use is number 1. The way the program is laid out is very intuitive. Lines draw the first time and when you click on something it actually selects it. Layers work too! Competitors software (aka Adobe Aggravator) need years of training to draw a simple line. Canvas just works the first time. I very much appreciate that new versions work like the old ones. You've added features but kept the old ones in place and they work the same. No hunting, no "where did they put that" or "it used to be able to".

Cons

I do wish there were more fill options for shapes. Also I typically have to convert the canvas files to another file type to print especially if they are being printed on a large format plotter. Older versions had trouble "talking" to HP plotters, but will have to see how the latest version works. It also has some trouble reading really old canvas files.

Paul E.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Research
  • Company size: 11-50 Employees
  • Used Daily for 6-12 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Canvas X Draw

Reviewed on 26/01/2021

See above

Pros

In a prior life, I used Canvas for about 10 years when it ran on a MAC and PC. Then for whatever reason they stopped marketing the MAC version of the software. Myself and my coworkers were disappointed because for the most part we were a MAC shop. I retired from the position and in retirement I started working part time for one of my former graduate students. About the same time, the world recognized that MACs could run Windows, therefore I got the windows version of Canvas X. My application was to convert our spectral data into figures which, in turn, could then be published. My experience was a was a bit unsatisfactory. Not with Canvas X, but the weird (to me) intricacies of Windows.

I took an enormous sigh of relief when I discovered Canvas X Draw. I use this program almost daily. It is virtually the same as the PC program but with secure, easy to use, and reliable interface. I am not an engineer, rather I am a PhD chemist, and I don’t use all of the complex capabilities of Canvas X Draw. One critical aspect of Canvas X Draw is its stability. Without that facet, I would not use the software. So far, I have gone through two updates and nothing was broken … the updated program worked flawlessly.

In summary, I have used Canvas software for many years, and to me, I find the Canvas X Draw version to be the best. I would recommend it to anyone.

Cons

So far I have no issues in the software that I would describe unsatisfactory.

Response from Canvas GFX

Thank you Paul!!!

-Canvas Team

Steven R.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Biotechnology
  • Company size: Self Employed
  • Used Weekly for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

CanvasXDraw is the best there is for scientific drawings

Reviewed on 16/02/2021

I use LibreOffice, and CXD's ability to output SVG files is extremely important.

Pros

I use CXD for making scientific/optical drawings for books that I write and for classes that I teach. It does exactly what I want in that it's easy to use, precise, and has the features that I need for my technical drawings. I've tried the other drawing packages, and CXD is by far the easiest. It is intuitive, unlike all others that I've tried. I've used versions of Canvas on my Mac for decades, and I am extremely happy with it, even after all these years.

Cons

I have a difficult time coming up with something that I don't like about it. If anything I'd like custom Arrows to be easier to make.

Lennart S.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Research
  • Company size: Self Employed
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Canvas X Draw as a Mapping tool

Reviewed on 01/02/2021

So far it has been what I expected, a positive experience!

Pros

I have been using Canvas for Mac since it first appeared some 30 years ago, The ease of use, appropriate tools made the program unique in creating overlays of other maps, aerial photographs and satellite images. Canvas GIS was a great innovation which unfortunately not yet (???) returned to Mac. It.is a drawback for my current project on the coast of Kenya.

Cons

I miss the the GIS compatibility that exist on the PC version, particularly to import shape files as base maps or geocoded satellite data. Hopefully you will fix it for us! We are many geographers, like me, who has been addicted to maps with coordinates.

Martin G.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Entertainment
  • Company size: Self Employed
  • Used Weekly for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Really versatile software. Could use a little more development.

Reviewed on 26/01/2021

I have been using Canvas since it was a Desk Accessory on Mac OS 6. I LOVE being able to create/edit aster and vector graphics in one application.

I am not a "graphics pro" more of a "layout worker" but Canvas has been my goto app for decades. It got lost for a while and I had to switch to CS, which I hated. I was so happy when Canvas came back to the Mac!

Pros

My one stop shop for design, layout and working from scratch.

Cons

The handling/selecting of fonts could use a little help. It also occasionally fails at laying out page sizes and handling PDF or AI/EPS formats.

There are occasional license issues and the support can be awkward because of the smaller team, but it always gets straightened out.

I seem to work with tables a lot, and this is not the best software for that. I can get the job done with some effort.

Jeff H.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Biotechnology
  • Company size: 2-10 Employees
  • Used Weekly for 6-12 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Ease of Use
  • Likelihood to recommend 8.0 /10

Canvas X transition to Canvas X Draw

Reviewed on 27/01/2021

I enjoy the ease of using Canvas X Draw because many features are similar to Canvas X. I'm glad to see Canvas products return to Mac users.

Pros

The feature I like most is the ability of Canvas X Draw is the ability to easily crop images while reducing the memory associated with the image. In my opinion Canvas X Draw is more user friendly than similar software programs.

Cons

While files from Canvas X can be opened in Canvas X Draw the reverse is not possible.

Steve J.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Computer Software
  • Company size: 2-10 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 1.0 /10

Excellent product besides subscription model

Reviewed on 27/01/2021

Using the beta for Big Sur. Very stable even though it's a beta version.

Pros

I have used Canvas since version 1 on the Mac back in the early 90s.
Could not live without it.

Cons

Subscription model. I subscribed in order to export all documents to switch to a competition product that is not under subscription.

Gérald C.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Architecture & Planning
  • Company size: 2-10 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Excellent!

Reviewed on 02/02/2021

I like this software, because it is "forgotten" when you use it

Pros

Ergonomics, stability, ease of use, thank you for your work

Cons

In the very first versions, we had the drop-down menus displayed in French. This feature is lacking for French speakers to better use your software

Gary S.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Design
  • Company size: Self Employed
  • Used Weekly for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

An All-Around Tool for Illustrating

Reviewed on 28/01/2021

I have used Canvas for years, and needed an upgrade so I could access my older illustrations. The new version operates on my new 64-bit Mac and has all the features and capabilities (and perhaps new ones I have not discovered yet) of earlier versions. I have tried other apps, but they fall short of what Canvas can do.

Pros

Its versatility and capability to accomplish a wide variety of drawing/illustrating

Cons

The photo cropping tool is not very intuitive

Geoffrey N.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Aviation & Aerospace
  • Company size: 11-50 Employees
  • Used Weekly for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 8.0 /10

Best all around Mac graphics app.

Reviewed on 26/01/2021

It's like the Swiss Army knife of graphics apps for the Mac.

Pros

All in one capability. It runs native on the Mac.

Cons

Photo manipulation is a little long in the tooth compared to some of the new products on the market. Doesn't seem to have all the functionality of the PC version but good enough for my purposes. It doesn't presently run on the iPad but, if it did, it would be super wonderful.

Frank D.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Government Administration
  • Company size: 201-500 Employees
  • Used Weekly for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Likelihood to recommend 7.0 /10

Canvas Draw

Reviewed on 02/02/2021

I have been using Canvas since it was first created by Deneba in the 1990's and have used this program for some very sophisticated and large graphics (e.g. mapping with more than 15k separate elements).

Pros

Ability to work with a variety of graphic formats.

Cons

It crashes more than it should (i.e. 1:20)

Tom C.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Higher Education
  • Company size: 201-500 Employees
  • Used for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Likelihood to recommend 6.0 /10

My go to tool for technical illustrations

Reviewed on 05/02/2021

Pros

I have been using Canvas for over 30 years. Over time, it has become more complex with a more cluttered interface. But it remains at its core, a wonderful tool for producing technical illustrations. And it remains my go to tool for creating maps and geologic sections.

Cons

Currently there is a limit on the size of files that you can open in Canvas Draw. You cannot open files that are 2 Gb or larger. The problem is that you can build and save a document in Canvas Draw that exceeds this limit. If you save it as a 1.9 Gb file you can open that, but once it gets larger than 2 Gb, it no longer opens. Most users will never encounter this, but I did.

Marc P.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Oil & Energy
  • Company size: 2-10 Employees
  • Used Monthly for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Ease of Use
  • Likelihood to recommend 8.0 /10

Canvas X - for architecture planning

Reviewed on 04/02/2021

Being able to present multiple options through flipping through the visibility of each layer is really the best - I use it extensively for client presentations

Pros

Layering comes to mind as the most helpful feature of this software - it allows my clients to rapidly view options and flip back and forth for selection.
Ramp up and learning was fast.

Cons

Some of the features are very powerful - but not as intuitive and demand a steep learning curve

Igor F.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Apparel & Fashion
  • Company size: 2-10 Employees
  • Used Weekly for 1-5 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Great app, easy to use

Reviewed on 04/10/2021

Very good app, after the latest updates, the app doesn't let you put texts from other sites.

Pros

This app is sensational, easy to assemble the arts, practical and super fast, very detailed

Cons

It remains to put the copy and paste function outside external texts here in the application.

Anthony C.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Education Management
  • Company size: Self Employed
  • Used for 1-5 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 1.0 /10

Persisting bugs in Canvas HTML routine.

Reviewed on 11/02/2021

The continuing HTML problems have never occurred in CD 2...or any other previous Canvas editions that I have used for the past 15 or more years.

I have again reported this problem in the past year, but it continues in the latest Canvas X releases.

Pros

Potential ability in converting Canvas files to web use.

Cons

When saving a multi-page document in HTML format, the resulting file ignores "External Style Sheet" specs yielding an unusable HTML file.

This problem has occurred in Canvas Draw 3, 5 and now X.

Robert O.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Construction
  • Company size: 11-50 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 5.0 /10

OK, But Still Not What It Once Was....

Reviewed on 03/02/2021

it provides a wonderful way to say something nasty to Adobe

Pros

compatibility; swiss-army knife capability; easy to use

Cons

no parity with the windoze version, which remains ironic, since it was macOS first

Alternatives Considered

Sketch

Reasons for Choosing Canvas X Draw

their bloatware and insane business model

Switched From

Adobe Illustrator

Reasons for Switching to Canvas X Draw

more mature, more useful, more capable, easier and more intuitive to use
Jamal W.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Biotechnology
  • Company size: 11-50 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Likelihood to recommend 7.0 /10

Good Functionality

Reviewed on 01/02/2021

a

Pros

I like that the software allows the user to change fine details in figures and images.

Cons

There is no software that is compatible with both Mac and PC, so I had to purchase two copies, one for work and one for home/laptop. Also, one of the best features is the functionality, but it also comes across as a little confusing in accessing some "hidden" features.

Alternatives Considered

Adobe Illustrator

Reasons for Switching to Canvas X Draw

Because it is used by my boss and co-workers.
Frank E.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Higher Education
  • Company size: 5,001-10,000 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Canvas on the Mac is Back to Excellence

Reviewed on 04/02/2021

I have been using Canvas since 1989. It has been a great companion for all my illustrations in presentations and publications. I highly recommend Canvas X Draw To students, particularly in science and engineering. I am very pleased that Canvas GFXis reaching out to customers and making great efforts to further improve it. Already at this point, it is very clear that Canvas is not only back on the Mac, but much better than any version we ever had on the Mac before.

Pros

Canvas X Draw is easy to use, but it can also do very sophisticated things that you will explore as you need them, e.g. sprite effects, replication with transformation, advanced selections in pixel graphics, intersections of objects, etc etc. One great strength of Canvas X Draw is the ability to draw with high precision, enabled by inspectors that display and accept numerical input for object shapes. Another great strength of Canvas X Draw is the easy combination of vector graphics with pixel graphics and text. Further, the organization of documents into layers and pages enables great functionality.

Cons

My biggest dislike is that there is still no shortkey like OS X's "Cmd-~" to quickly switch between different tabs/windows. Generally, it would do Canvas X Draw good to allow more functions to be accessed through user-defined shortkeys and let users choose between "original" and more "modern-Mac-OS-X-like" key functionality. In modern OS X, for example, you can add to a selection by holding down the Command Key, while Canvas X Draw still uses the historic shift key for that purpose. A great addition would be to improve the current pixel map so that is fast enough for handwriting and drawing, e.g. similar to what Sketchbook can do. Then we could use Canvas X Draw in online meetings to quickly sketch or write. Currently, we can generate pixel maps and write on them with a pen, but this is too slow and the pen is not very versatile. Finally, I dislike that it is so difficult and time consuming to transfer an existing subscription between different computers. If this is "salesmanship" intended to urge users to buy several subscriptions at the same time, then additional subscriptions should at least be generously discounted. Adobe does a much better job in this regard with their Creative Cloud subscriptions.

Tom W.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Design
  • Company size: Self Employed
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Last update wouldn't work under Mac OS Big Sur 11.1 but this has since been fixed.

Reviewed on 02/02/2021

As I said, I've been using canvas since version 2.2 and have many of my life-projects built on it. With each new versions I typically don't find the improvements all that important, but I understand that you have to keep offering new versions to make a profit. Perhaps it just that my needs are fairly simple and the further refinements are not that critical.

Pros

I love Canvas as a program. I've used in since version 2.2...like from the beginning, but since I upgraded top Canvas X with an update earlier in the year, Canvas X wouldn't work at all on my machine. Fortunately I still had Canvas Draw 6 installed on my machine and it would open all my Canvas document irrespective of what version they were originally created in...I especially like this universal compatability among versions...unlike, say MS Word, Xcel and other programs that essentially orphan projects as they move to new versions of their software

Cons

Obviously I didn't like it when Canvas X failed to function for me but you seemed to have fixed the problem.
I do often have problems with page set-up issues. It seems like to have the select paper size, orientation, scale etc in numerous menus for it to print properly. Mostly I guess an interface problem on my part.
It would be nice if the fill patterns would scale with the rest of the drawing...like you use one of the diagonal; brick patterns but depending on what view of magnification you have open, the pattern does not stay consistent with the reality you are trying to display.

Scott K.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Defense & Space
  • Company size: 10,000+ Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 9.0 /10

Long time user

Reviewed on 01/02/2021

I have owned Canvas since version 1.02, published in about 1986 (ran on 1-2 400k floppies on a 512k Mac Plus). I’ve always liked the ability to integrate vector and raster objects seamlessly in the same document. As a scientist, I’ve used it for experimental apparatus design (medium-scale cryogenic gas phase photochemical apparatus) as well as personal projects such as workshop and garden design. As soon as it came out, I dropped MacDraw and (eventually) MacDraft. I even had a PC emulator installed on my Mac so I could use the PC version after support for the Mac was dropped in the 2000’s.

Pros

The upgrade to 7.02 was available almost as soon as macOS 11.1 (Big Sur) was issued. This dealt with the problem that I observed opening new or previously-created files under Canvas Draw X 7.01

Cons

I think there are two improvements that would help me, personally, out. First, I miss the object info tool (command-i) that tells you the kind of object (group, rectangle), dimensions, area, etc. This hasn’t been available since probably Canvas 7 or so. Second, I’m now trying to design a house, and a tool that would make walls (and allow wall joins and insert windows, doors, etc.) would be great, although I realize that it’s a complicated tool, and may cause some issues in pricing and marketing.

John M.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Architecture & Planning
  • Company size: 2-10 Employees
  • Used Weekly for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

The All-Purpose Graphics Package for Design Professionals

Reviewed on 28/01/2021

Background: architect for 45 years. I have used Canvas since ver. 1.0 and frankly was lost when the Mac platform was dropped some years ago. Very glad to have it back! Things I have successfully used it for include: Years ago, my company website - exports near-perfect html; original artwork, large scale prints for my client's completed buildings; design and technical drawings; asbuilt surveys of existing buildings (importing a cad or pdf and overlaying scaled information); an on and on. To my knowledge, there is really no other package that offers the same range of functionally. Is it a substitute for Autocad or Revit? Of course not but it also doesn't cost $$$$ and require weeks of training.

Pros

In addition to producing occasional technical exhibits, artwork layouts and other documents, X Draw is great for non-CAD users who occasionally need to produce or edit scaled technical drawings. One of the best features is the ability to import a pdf of an architectural drawing as a background for new shop drawings or technical bidding documents. Drawing layers are preserved and can be manipulated, and scale can be set to match the original document. Area and quantity take-offs are a breeze. Add photos or other illustrations? Not a problem.

Cons

It is cumbersome to create new pdf files necessary for final use. For example, if there are 30 files of drawing sheets, I have not found a way to batch process the conversion. Each file has to be saved as a pdf. It would be much more efficient to be able to "print to pdf" directly from the Canvas file, which is the defacto standard for virtually every other productivity app.

Ken J.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Graphic Design
  • Company size: Self Employed
  • Used Weekly for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Happy Canvas User Since 1995

Reviewed on 26/01/2021

Pros

Canvas is still what [SENSITIVE CONTENT HIDDEN] once called the 'Swiss Army Knife' of graphics programs.

When I was first using the Mac in 1995 I was shocked that between Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop it was impossible to actually send a client a fax using either program. I needed to be able to send sketches with accompanying text. Illustrator wouldn't allow me to enter pixel based images, and when it eventually did I couldn't edit them, and working with type in Photoshop was, and still is, an unintuitive nightmare. Canvas solved that problem brilliantly, allowing me to both edit pixel images and work with blocks of editable text.

Here's a more recent example: clients often send me as a PDF complete designed layouts of packages that need me to add an illustration. If I attempt to open them in Illustrator I'm told I can't because I don't have the fonts. But the default in Canvas has always been to ask if I'd like the fonts converted to outlines, which I immediately do, allowing me to place pixel images that I can still edit in Canvas in the layout and email it back exactly how it will look printed.

Canvas has saved my skin in many other ways as well with its willingness to open and edit such a big variety of files.

Cons

The vector tools aren't quite as useful as those in Adobe Illustrator.

Gary H.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Environmental Services
  • Company size: 2-10 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 8.0 /10

The Best Draw Program for the Mac

Reviewed on 04/02/2021

Very positive. It works great with the Mac and has excellent customer support.

And it is easy to use, especially for new users.

Pros

Very intuitive tools, nice presenation

And the user base was easy to access and to deauthorize/authorize.

Cons

Deinstalling older versions was not easy to do.

Fred D.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Architecture & Planning
  • Company size: 2-10 Employees
  • Used Weekly for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Long time user of Canvas

Reviewed on 26/01/2021

One of the most complete and easy to use drawing software programs out there. I can do full architectural with saves to different formats for easy portability. Would love to see a 3D module available some day.

Pros

I've been using various versions of Canvas since V1.0 (yep, late 80's) on the Mac. For awhile it was exclusive to the Mac but during ownership change went over to windows. It was still a great piece of software but limited to PCs. The current ownership brought it back to the Mac but it doesn't have the full functionality of the more sophisticated version on a PC. Nonetheless, Canvas X Draw is an excellent piece of software and I can do everything I need to on it. Eventually, I hope they give it the full functionality of the PC version of Canvas.

Cons

Just would like to have the full features its big brother Canvas has on the PC.

Thierry D.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Computer Software
  • Company size: 2-10 Employees
  • Used Weekly for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Likelihood to recommend 9.0 /10

Good with some needed improvements

Reviewed on 01/02/2021

A product I enjoy using and that fills my needs for quick and (relatively) easy graphic design for all sorts of needs (software development, ad creation, signs...).

Pros

I love the flexibility of the tools I use as well as how detailed the work can be, when needed. Being able to export my drawings as images is also a big plus for me.

Cons

Occasional crashes, interface not always obvious (I look for tools too often, because I'm not a pro user, I guess, but still...). License too restrictive for my needs. I have the subscription, but I am an "occasionally on the road" kind of worker, but I can not install the program on more than one machine. (At once, I mean, not simultaneously. If that was needed, I would buy two licenses.)