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ACD Systems Canvas 14

ACD Systems is one of the largest and most respected independent digital image editing and management companies in the world. The company was founded in 1993 in Texas by technology and imaging visionary Doug Vandekerkhove. Doug foresaw the importance of the convergence of analog and digital (print, photos, scans, video and metadata) in the 80’s, revolutionizing how analog and digital information was used in pre-Web applications. Today ACD holds seven patents, and millions of ACDSee products are in use throughout the world.

ACD Systems has offices in the United States and Canada, supported by a team of global channel partners. With a product family that includes ACDSee Pro 6, ACDSee Pro 2 (Mac), ACDSee 16 photo editing and management solutions, and Canvas technical illustration software, the company serves millions of consumers, small and medium sized businesses, government agencies and educational institutions, and corporate customers.

Representative markets for ACD Systems' products include AEC (architecture, engineering and construction), insurance, manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, government, architecture/construction, education, gaming, technology, bio/health and oil/gas/energy. Customers include General Motors, Caterpillar, Boeing, The New York City Fire Department, NASA, CNN and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. ACDSee software was used in the making of the movie Titanic because the filmmakers recognized that only ACDSee could provide the illustration, editing and management tools required for their large scale, complex development tasks and image management requirements.

  Canvas 14 is how engineers and technical graphics professionals illustrate and communicate with confidence.



Create, enhance and share technical illustrations - Canvas 14 is all you need

Looking for a single technical graphics solution? Analyze, enhance and share your rich information with ease, precision, and pro results, using just one integrated application.

Canvas 14 is how engineers and technical graphics professionals illustrate and communicate with confidence. Canvas’ minimum precision levels and powerful object illustration and image editing tools ensure that the accuracy of your data is maintained from import right through to publication and beyond. Accelerate and streamline your technical illustration workflow from initial import and design to final presentation, facilitate collaboration, and improve your overall productivity with this complete technical illustration software solution.

Technical Illustration

As the preferred choice of technical illustrators in precision industries, Canvas 14 comes with all the powerful vector object illustration and advanced raster image editing tools you need, in one integrated, flexible design environment.

Technical Illustration and Enhancement with Greater Control

Work with vector and raster images

Canvas’ integrated design environment lets you work with both vector graphics and raster images in the same document, with the same powerful enhancement tools.

Canvas 14 add objects

Draw and Edit with Precision

Resize and scale objects, add fill and stroke inks, widths and other attributes, and draw shapes – all with measured precision and placement. Take advantage of specialized tools to draw complex shapes including rounded rectangles, complex polygons, cubes, spirals, grids and rectangular boxes in isometric views. Draw and edit paths and curve segments using the control points that define them.

Canvas 14 symbol library

Add on-the-fly illustration objects

Instantly add re-usable dynamic objects to drawings. Access thousands of commonly used and specialized technical symbols from Canvas 14's pre-loaded Symbol Library collection, or create your own custom symbols using any vector, text or composite object.

Symbol categories include:

  • Buildings
  • Cartography
  • Electrical
  • Energy
  • Environmental
  • Transportation
  • Landscaping
  • Oil & Gas
  • Flowchart symbols
  • Forensics
  • Home & Office
  • Hydrologic
  • Laboratory Equipment
  • Packaging & Shipping
  • Power Utilities
  • Mining

Work flexibly with vector objects

Illustrate, edit and augment all forms of complex visual objects with Canvas 14's wide variety of professional tools and powerful Sprite technology. Canvas’ proprietary SpriteLayers™ and SpriteEffects™ can be used to apply image and transparency effects without rendering; all your graphics remain completely editable. Specialized technologies such as channel masks, vector masks, gradient transparency tools and opacity effects are also available for advanced techniques.

Canvas 14 raster tools

Access raster image editing tools

Create, edit and augment raster images, including GIF, JPG, TIFF, PICT, BMP and EPS, with a host of industry standard and specialized techniques, tools and filters. Design image compositions, retouch photos, paint and color-correct scanned images, create transparency effects, clone pixels and much more.

Do more with CAD files

Canvas 14 gives you a 3D View and CGM support, as well as CAD-inspired dimensioning tools, creating a seamless complement to AutoCAD® environments. Feel free to size, scale and manipulate CAD objects in the Canvas environment without any loss of data.

Paste Into command

Paste almost anything into a selection within an image, including a selection of a raster image channel, or of a channel mask that’s attached to another object.

Canvas 14 attribute styles

Edit geometry and position data

Completely control vector object coordinates to ensure the accuracy demanded in many engineering and scientific work environments. Create illustrations from geometric data alone, or blend these precise data controls with more traditional illustration techniques in one seamless work environment. At any time, you can view a vector object’s exact width, height, position, reference point and other coordinates via Canvas 14’s Properties Bar, and adjust its numerical position for true precision.

Canvas 14 position data

Create rich data flowcharts

Canvas 14 view documents

Present visually complex information in a logical and easy to understand format. With Canvas 14's Flowchart palette you can design data flowcharts with unprecedented speed and flexibility. Simply select your symbol size, shape and SmartLine™ attributes, and click to place. Customize your flowchart with connection line and shape editing options to complement the overall look and feel of your document.


Enhance your technical vision with Canvas 14. Add clarity to your illustration with labels or text, add format dimensions, create dynamic charts, or use Canvas’ unique lens for a more detailed view.

Canvas 14 enhancement

Add format dimensions

Canvas 14's Linear, Chain and Baseline Dimensioning tools precisely control horizontal, vertical, oblique and perpendicular distances; measure diameter, radius, angle, area and perimeter; and mark the centers of arcs and ovals.


Add comments and mark-up

Use Canvas 14's annotation tools to add labels or callouts to your diagrams and illustrations, complete with custom and automated options such as single and multiple diagram line connections. And if you re-position the annotation label object, the SmartLines(tm) connecting it to the illustration move right along with it.

Canvas 14 format dimensions

Ensure the highest levels of precision

Work with very small units of measure with engineered accuracy and control. Canvas 14’s drawing engine fully supports the IEEE floating point standard used throughout the scientific, engineering, medical and biotechnology industries. Canvas is indispensable to professionals who work with images that contain up to 32 bits of floating point data per channel.

Work within industry standards

Create dimension objects that fully conform to existing industry and government standards, including:

  • IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineer's) floating point standard;
  • ANSI (American National Standards Institute) U.S. Product and industry standards;
  • DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung/German Institute for Standardization) internationally adopted standards;
  • JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) standards.

Customize these standard settings by editing the size of lines, gaps, text and tolerances, modifying them for new and unique workflows, and saving them for ongoing use in similar work contexts.

Canvas 14 text editor

Do more with text

Add professionally formatted and fully editable text to vector objects and raster images. Create multi-page text documents and technical publications using a full range of traditional text formatting, proofing, annotation and style tools.

Work with GIS data

Canvas 14’s optional GIS module offers a powerful set of GIS-based features and commands that support a range of GIS formats, define complex map projections, and perform advanced property operations. It's an indispensable tool for GIS professionals in the oil & gas texand energy sectors, aerospace and automotive industries, education, and government.

Get up close and personal

Canvas’ proprietary SpriteEffects allows you to create lens objects to highlight specific elements of your document. Lenses are powerful containers for effects and can be used to create magnifying glasses and other viewing frames within illustration documents.

Create dynamic charts - NEW

Create and customize visually appealing dynamic charts and tables in a variety of formats using data inputted directly into Canvas: no need to import a static, pre-created chart from an external spreadsheet program.  


Canvas 14 makes it quick and easy to share your vision with professional publications and presentations, and to work collaboratively with colleagues.

Canvas 14 publishing tools

Access professional publishing tools

There's no need to use a separate word processor or layout program when you have Canvas 14. A full range of traditional text formatting and style tools are on hand to help you format pages, create columns, layout text, wrap and bind. Tap into editing, proofing and annotation tools to perfect your copy.


Create documents for every purpose

Canvas 14 offers time-saving templates to make it easy to get a head start on any project:

Canvas 14 create documents

IIlustration documents are used for all forms of vector object illustration and raster image creation and editing.

Publication documents let you easily create single or multiple-page technical publications, including two-sided facing pages. Use master pages to hold common page elements. And when you are ready to print, Canvas 14 gives you all the print and color management tools you need for professional-looking output. Presentation documents are for on-screen slide-show presentations. Apply multiple layers, place background elements on a master slide, and choose from over a dozen slide transition effects.

Animation documents are designed for the creation and editing of web (GIF) animation files. Frames adjacent to the current frame appear in the background, helpful for setting up object movement.

Collaborate with ease

Share, discuss and develop projects with colleagues in a free-flowing document exchange. Canvas 14's advanced import and export capabilities allow for the return of annotated illustrations to the high-end specialized formats where they originated, without data loss.

Canvas 14 collaboration

Share with confidence

Apply secure encryption and password protection whenever you save your Canvas document or export to Adobe®PDF. You have full control over who can open, edit and print your designs, and your rich Canvas data. Canvas editing ability can be preserved, even through the PDF conversion process.

Canvas 14 to PDF

Preserve Canvas data in a PDF files - NEW

Convert your Canvas 14 document to a PDF file for sharing or storage and the native Canvas data will remain imbedded in the file. Re-open your file in Canvas for further editing, with no loss of your data or formatting.

Canvas 14 high quality printing

Print professionally

With Canvas 14, you can rest assured that your projects will look as good on paper as they do on screen. Canvas outputs multi-page Publication documents suitable for desktop and commercial printing, including PostScript printers. Professional print and color management tools, as well as all the advanced image and export formats needed for virtually any publication context, are all on hand. Avoid problematic color shifts and unexpected results by using the Kodak® color management system to handle conversion between color systems, such as RGB and CMYK.

Add interactivity to documents

With Canvas 14's Link Manager palette you can insert hyperlinks, and export to HTML and Adobe® PDF with links intact. Web publishing is supported by HTML and WebCGM files.  

Your Complete GIS Data Solution

Canvas 14 with the optional GIS module offers a powerful set of GIS-based features and commands that support a range of GIS formats, define complex map projections, and perform advanced property operations. It's an indispensable tool for GIS professionals in the oil & gas and energy sectors, aerospace and automotive industries, education, and government.

Streamline your workflow

Canvas 14 + GIS can handle all your GIS data needs. Import the following GIS specialized file formats:

  • TIFF (GeoTIFF TIFF/World File image, + pixel scale info. & location, in real world coordinates)
  • SHP (Shapefile)
  • E00 (ARC/INFO interchange)
  • RT1 (Tiger, Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing)
  • SDTS (USGS Spatial Data Transfer Standard)
  • MIF (Mapinfo Data Interchange)
  • S57 (International Hydrographic Organization)
  • ECW (Enhanced Compressed Wavelet images)
  • SID (MrSID)
  • GML (Geography Markup Language)
  • Geo JPEG
  • Geo BMP (BMP + projection info.)
  • Geo PNG (PNG + projection info.)
  • Geo GIF (GIF + projection info.)
  • GIS Text (TXT file with GIS data)
  • GPS Garmin (TXT file containing GPS Garmin data)
  • DOQ/NES/SES/NWS/SWS (USGS Digital Orthoquad Files)
  • DLG/DO/OPT (DLG-O files)

Canvas 14 with GIS also supports export to these GIS specialized formats:
TIFF, SHP, ECW, Geo JPEG, Geo BMP, Geo PNG, Geo GIF, and GIS Text.

Create with precision

Canvas 14 GIS manager

GIS Manager

Within Canvas' GIS Manager you can choose settings to define geo-referencing information for a new document, or re-set the projection of an open document. GIS Manager options include Projection, Geo CS, Angular Units, Linear Units, Axis Orientation, and the Auto Define Document Coordinate system dialog.

GIS Positioning palette

Strategically move or position objects according to their latitude and longitude coordinates while displaying the Length and Forward Azimuth when measuring between two points, and the percentage of error. Measure distance in world coordinates by drawing and selecting a line between two points.

Canvas 14 gradicule dialogue

Replicate and Position dialog

Create object replicates and precisely place them according to latitude and longitude.

Graticule dialog

Create a grid of lines that displays meridians of longitude and parallels of latitude while precisely controlling its units of measure, precision decimal levels, longitude, latitude, start/end points, spacing/divisions, latitude degree rotation, horizontal and vertical offsets, and even the label format settings.

Edit Geographic Coordinate System dialog

Define a geographic coordinate system for a projection, and modify it with options such as Geo CS name, Ellipsoid, Prime Meridian, and Datum Transformation.

PointtoPoint command

Georegister a GIS drawing to the geographic location of a “known good” reference image.

Canvas 14 reference point

Auto Define Document Coordinate System

Set your GIS drawing scale and reference point, and define a reference rectangle. Based on the selected point or defined bounding box, Canvas then automatically sets up the projected coordinate system for that file.

Visualize and enhance

The Select by Property interface lets you create a project-specific customized query based upon unique properties, values, or other related criteria. Edit your query to meet new project needs, save for ongoing use, or share with colleagues.

Canvas 14 gradicule dialogue

Object Properties

View, numerically edit and reapply map attributes that have been assigned to map objects, via the Object Properties Table View command.

Label by Property

Perform a query and assign text labels to map objects with defined settings such as text format, location, and rotation angle. You can also apply or adjust collision detection settings.

Visualize Data

Access many of the very detailed fill, stroke, ink and GIS-specialized augmentation options required by GIS data visualization. Modify the appearance of map objects according to a selected property or a query to create thematic and choropleth maps.

Statistics by Property

View complete information regarding the total number of map objects on a layer or within a selection.

Symbol Library palette and Visualize Data command

Enhance map symbols to increase visual appeal and dynamically replace them at any time to ensure project consistency, through the Symbol Library palette and Visualize Data command.

Canvas 14 symbol library

Image Warp and Coordinates commands

Quickly yet precisely warp GIS illustrations with the Image Warp command. Or use the Coordinates command to place control points within a selected image and warp it according to these points.  

System Requirements


  • Intel®Pentium®4 or better
  • 512 MB RAM installed (1 GB RAM recommended)
  • 700 MB free hard disk space (1.5 GB recommended)
  • 16-bit color or higher (True color recommended)
  • 1024x768 or higher screen resolution recommended
  • DVD drive (to install from the installer disk)


  • Microsoft® Windows® XP Home or Professional operating system (with Service Pack 2 installed), Windows Vista®, Windows® 7 or Windows® 8
  • Microsoft®Internet Explorer®6.0 (7.0 or higher recommended)

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