Macromedia has announced FreeHand 10, its vector-graphics software.

The revised application offers a host of tools the company hopes will expand the reach of the application.

Its integration with Flash is much improved - FreeHand 10 has a Flash panel within the user interface - and designers "can now move easily" between the FreeHand and Flash authoring environments.

Flash features FreeHand 10 also lets its users publish Flash files to the Web as static vector-graphics, or as animations with a range of export options. Flash 5 users can import FreeHand illustrations into their work – but now get to retain the layer information and master pages.

The user interface has been revised, reflecting the standard interface across Macromedia's Web-publishing family. FreeHand 10 is aimed at print and Web designers.

The app offers editable vector-transparencies. Other new features include an editable symbol library, improved colour shading, symbol-based brush strokes and support for embedded fonts in Mac and Windows EPS files.

Contour highlights FreeHand 10's new free-form contour gradient fill can control colour shading and add drop shadows, beveled edges, and highlights.

Version 10 also includes Master Page, which helps designers update large graphics projects. It will move graphics across as many as 660 pages and supports up to 32,000 master pages per document.

FreeHand 10 hosts a URL Editor for setting up hyperlinks and hot spots to multiple pages within a document. It understands HTML, PNG, GIF and JPEG files.

FreeHand 10 will cost £279. Users of previous versions can upgrade for £99. The Flash 5/FreeHand 10 Studio will cost £399. The product is expected to ship in May.