MacDraw and ClarisDraw FAQ

MacDraw was the Mac’s first drawing program. The vector-based drawing program was based on LisaDraw, which had been created for Apple’s Lisa computer – both applications were produced by Mark Cutter. MacDraw was especially useful for technical drawing, such as floorplans and flowcharts.

MacDraw could be used in conjunction with MacWrite. You could open a drawing, copy it, and paste it into MacWrite.

MacDraw II was improved and also enhanced for the Mac II in 1988, and it became a Claris product at that time. It grew into MacDraw Pro in 1991.

In 1993, the program was renamed ClarisDraw, and the final version (1.0v4) runs without problems on later versions of the classic Mac OS as well as in Classic Mode on OS X 10.0 through 10.4.

MacDraw was discontinued in 1997 when Apple disbanded its Claris division.

Q: How can I open my MacDraw or ClarisDraw files?

A: There are several options, although some of these programs have been discontinued. You may be able to find older versions of some of these apps on eBay.

  • EazyDraw 6.0.3 Retro, Mac OS X 10.4.3 and later, including Mavericks. G3 or later CPU. Only version of EazyDraw that can import MacDraw and ClarisDraw files. Newer versions available for OS X 10.6 and later. One license lets you download any version you need, even on multiple Macs. Free demo, $20 for 9 month license, $95 for full version download,  $119 on media, $139 with manual.
  • Intaglio 3.4.2, Mac OS X 10.3.9 and later, $89, free demo.
  • MacDraft Pro 6.0, Mac OS X 10.4 and later, G5 or Intel CPU, $314.10
  • ACD Canvas 15, Windows XP SP3 or later, $599, free 30-day trial. Originally developed by Deneba Systems for Macintosh. Windows version added with version 3.5. Version 8 was “carbonized” for OS X. Version 11 (2007) and later are Windows only. ACD is working on a Mac version of Canvas 15 for release in 2014.
  • Freeverse Lineform 1.3.2, Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, discontinued


Version History

Requirements are minimums.

MacDraw 1.x, 1984

MacDraw II, 1988

  • requires 1 MB RAM, Mac Plus, System 4.1

MacDrawPro, 1991

  • requires 2 MB RAM, Mac Plus, System 6.0

ClarisDraw, 1993

  • requires

Online Resources

Keywords: #macdraw #clarisdraw

Short link:

searchword: macdraw

2 thoughts on “MacDraw and ClarisDraw FAQ

    • MacDraft and EazyDraw can open MacDraw/ClarisDraw files on Macs. On PCs, the only suggestion I can find is Canvas. I’ve updated the FAQ with links and more details.

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