Support

Having trouble? We try our best to make every aspect of using our software as pain free as possible, but if you require any kind of help and you can't find the answer here, please get in touch, we'll do our best to help you get back up and running.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Compatibility

Is your software compatible with my version of Adobe Illustrator?

All of our plug-ins have the following software requirements:

Macintosh

Illustrator CC/CS6

Mac OS 10.7+

Windows

Adobe Illustrator CC/CS6

Windows 10/8/7

Following a 1 year warning, Astute Graphics had to announce the end of support for Illustrator CS5 for all new plug-in releases as of 19 October 2016.

Please note that VectorScribe v3, Stipplism and Texturino were never CS5 compatible.

We are planning to cater for CS6 for the foreseeable future as we recognise many users are unwilling to adopt CC.

Activation & Licensing

Starting my trial period

License keys are not necessary when you trial our paid-for plug-ins. When you are presented with the window asking you to enter a license number, please close this.

Please note that in the installation process, you can use the tick options to select only the plug-ins you wish to trial, incase you cannot use them all in the 14 day period.

At the end of the 14 day trial period for any of our paid-for products, you will require a license key to continue to benefit from the tools. You may purchase licenses via our shop.

DirectPrefs does not require any license key or product activation. Simply download our latest unified installer by either requesting a 14 day trial of our plug-ins, or visit your account page. When you run the latest installer, DirectPrefs will be one of the default plug-in installation options. Due to the lack of licensing for this plug-in, it will not be listed on your account page or the Astute Graphics Licensing Summary window (Help > Astute Graphics > Licensing Summary).

Please note also that running a Free Trial does not create an account for you, unless you have also requested and downloaded a key for our free plug-in, Autosaviour Free.

How do I create an account?

The act of purchasing one of our plug-ins will create a customer account for you.

If at this stage, you wish to just create an account without making a purchase, then please do the following:

  • Add Autosaviour Free to your basket
  • Checkout – no money will be taken, but this will create an account for you and you will receive an email containing a license key (for step by step instruction on installing and activating, please refer to our Installation Guide).

Please note that although it is possible to have more than one account, we advise against it for a number of reasons, among them:

  • It’s possible that you could accidentally purchase a plug-in that you already own (due to the intangible irrevocable nature of digital software, this is not covered by our Refund Policy)
  • You may miss out on discounts and other offers sent to an account or email address that you no longer use

For these reasons and more, should you ever find that you have registered more than one account, we strongly advise merging them.

 

Account deletion
If you wish to delete your account, you can log into your customer account and click on the Request Account Deletion button. Or let us know by email (stating your account email address). 
Please be aware that requests to remove information relating to purchases and licenses will result in the removal of product services (e.g. upgrades) and a termination of product licensing services.  This action cannot be reversed.

 

My license key doesn't work

Please check the following details:

Are you entering the plug-in key into the correct activation box? Check for example, that you're not entering the ‘Stylism' license key into the 'Autosaviour' or ‘SubScribe' activation box. Please refer to our Guide to Installing and Activating your Plug-ins.

If you are entering the information correctly, the next step would be to check that you're not using an old/outdated version of your plug-in. You can check that your plug-in is up to date by checking the plug-in details on our website against the details in the My Plug-ins and Keys section of your account (My Account). If you are using an older version of a plug-in, check that it is compatible with the version of Illustrator that you're using. If you're using a much older plug-in it may be that it's pre your version of Illustrator.

If after checking the above your key still isn't working, please Contact Us

How can I request a license key reminder?

Simply log into your account and in the My Plug-ins and Keys section of My Account, you will find details of the license key number(s) associated with your purchase(s).

Can I activate on more than one computer?

We allow installation and activation on up to two computers used exclusively by the same person. For example: If you have a machine only you work on in your office, and your own machine at home, you can install and activate on both machines.

This applies to both Windows and/or Mac OS computers, be they desktop, laptop, tablet, etc.

If you wish for further colleagues to also use the products, additional licenses will need to be purchased. The volume of licenses required will reflect the number of users.

Click here to watch a video and read more about our licensing policy.

Can I have more than one customer account?

Although it is possible to have more than one customer account, we advise against it for a number of reasons. Read more about this here

I just made a purchase but I haven’t received anything. Can you clarify how I will receive the product?

You should have received an automated email on the email address that you used to checkout however, all records/invoices of purchases made can also be viewed and downloaded by logging into your customer account and selecting ‘Orders’.

Please note that (particularly if you are a gmail customer) the email(s) may have gone into your promotions folder rather than the Inbox or Junk folder. So please check there if you don’t see it in your inbox.

To install, please login to your customer account where you will be able to download and run the latest installer from the Downloads section.

Within your account under My Plug-ins and Keys you will also find details of the license key number(s) associated with your purchase(s). You can then select the plug-in(s) to be installed and enter the license key number(s) into the activation window.

For step by step instruction on installing and activating, please refer to our Installation Guide.

How does your licensing work?

At present, we operate on a traditional perpetual license mechanism – not a cloud one which the vast majority of our clients have stated their disapproval of.
Please see the following pages for full information on our licensing structure:

Installation

Installing and activating your plug-ins

For full information, please refer to this blog post…

Can I install on more than one computer?

We allow installation and activation on up to two computers used exclusively by the same person. For example: If you have a machine only you work on in your office, and your own machine at home, you can install and activate on both machines.

This applies to both Windows and/or Mac OS computers, be they desktop, laptop, tablet, etc.

If you wish for further colleagues to also use the products, additional licenses will need to be purchased. The volume of licenses required will reflect the number of users.

Click here to watch a video and read more about our licensing policy.

How do I Deactivate or Uninstall my plug-in(s)?

You may wish to either Deactivate or Uninstall your plug-ins, depending on whether you want to remove the plug-in temporarily or more permanently.

For a guide to doing either, please refer to this blog post…

Installing Phantasm v4
  • When installing only Phantasm v4, on the installer step that lists all the plug-ins available to install, tick the box next to Phantasm.
  • If you have previously installed Phantasm v3 or earlier, you will see confirmation text Upgrade version 3.x.x to 4.x.x.
  • Now click on Install button to continue with the installation process.
    Installing Phantasm v4

For full advice on installing our plug-ins, please refer to our Installation Guide.

If you're not ready to upgrade or have installed a Phantasm v4 trial by mistake/unintentionally, please see our advice on Remaining with/Reinstalling Phantasm v3.

Upgrades

Will I be required to upgrade?

Each plug-in license is a one time license however, inevitably as software changes over the years and newer technology becomes available, there are occasional upgrades to plug-ins.
We operate on a traditional perpetual licensing mechanism (not a cloud one) and typically offer existing customers discounts on major upgrades to products (eg. v1 to v2). These are offered for a limited period only and you will be informed by email unless you unsubscribe. The upgrade coupons will also be available on your customer account when you log in.

For compatibility updates, Astute Graphics can not determine the level of changes Adobe, Apple or Microsoft will be introducing in the future. It is therefore more indicative to show past compatibility upgrade charges:

Major product upgrades since August 2014:
  • VectorScribe v2 (October 2013): £19 (customers upgrading from VectorScribe Studio v1 – price difference between v1 and v2)
  • WidthScribe v2 (October 2014): from £20 (customers upgrading from WidthScribe v1 – price difference between v1 and v2)
  • ColliderScribe v2 (June 2015): from £15 (customers upgrading from ColliderScribe v1 – price difference between v1 and v2)
  • VectorScribe v3 (October 2016): from £15 (customers upgrading from VectorScribe v2 – price difference between v2 and v3)
  • DynamicSketch v2 (June 2017): from £14 (customers upgrading from DynamicSketch v1 – price difference between v1 and v2)
  • Phantasm v4 (18 April 2018): from £20.70 (customers upgrading from Phantasm v3 – price difference between v3 and v4)
    As per usual, discounted upgrades will be available for 1 month from the release of Phantasm v4. If you already have a previous Phantasm version, please ensure that you are logged into your customer account when purchasing to claim your Phantasm v4 discount coupon.
Adobe Illustrator updates:
  • Illustrator CS6 (November 2012)*: £19 per license
  • Illustrator CC (v17): FREE
  • Illustrator CC2014 (v18): FREE
  • Illustrator CC2015 (v19) FREE
  • Illustrator CC2015.3 (v20) FREE
  • Illustrator CC2017 (v21): FREE
  • Illustrator CC2018 (v22): FREE

*This update cost was necessary due to first all-encompassing internal changes made to Illustrator – the first time in 25 years of that product’s development. It made necessary a full year of development by Astute Graphics to ensure future compatibility.

Operating system updates:
  • Mac OS 10.8, 10.9, 10.10 and 10.11: FREE
  • Windows 7, 8 and 10: FREE

All OS updates were free for all latest version product licenses.

We also provide many free resources and free point release upgrades. More detailed information on our licensing and upgrades can be found here.

If you’re not already following us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), you can do so in order to receive updates and early notification of new products and releases. You can also subscribe to our mailing list for updates.

You can view a full version history of the plug-ins here – Plug-in Version History

What happens to my licenses for older plug-ins?

It is the case that with the ever-expanding set of Illustrator releases, support for older versions eventually has to cease for practical reasons. And so, as we operate on a traditional perpetual licensing mechanism, after a number of years older/previous generation plug-ins may not be available for newer Illustrator releases.

For customers who do not yet wish to upgrade to the current versions of the plug-ins, it is possible to maintain or reinstall previous generation plug-ins by following the advice here – Maintaining or Reinstalling Previous Generation Plug-ins.

You can view a full version history of the plug-ins here – Plug-in Version History

Where can I find out about upgrades?

Customers on our mailing list are informed about our latest releases by email. This information is also published on our social channels Facebook / Twitter / Instagram ).

You can also check up on the latest information here and on our Tech Notes page.

Our most recent upgrade release is Phantasm v4. Its the biggest update to Phantasm in 12 years bringing a new Phantasm Panel for intuitive colour control and a new Vector Halftone clipping option among other highlights.

In line with our usual perpetual licensing model, if you are already a Phantasm customer, discounted upgrades will be available for 1 month from the release date. To claim your Phantasm v4 discount coupon, you will need to purchase within this 1 month offer period, ensuring that you're logged into your customer account when making your purchase.

Installation advice is available in the installation section above.

If you're not ready to upgrade or have installed a Phantasm v4 trial by mistake/unintentionally, please see our advice on Remaining with/Reinstalling Phantasm v3.

 

Tutorials

Do you offer any tutorials for help in using your Plug-ins?

We offer a range of Tutorial Videos for each of our plug-ins and these can be accessed in a number of ways:

• You can access them all directly over on our Youtube channel

• You can also access the videos from our website. Simply go to the software page for each plug-in and select ‘Videos’

• When in Illustrator, look at the coloured bar at the top of each plug-in panel, here you will find a menu option on the right hand side and ‘Tutorial Video’ is the third option down. You can also find them in Illustrator by going to Help > Astute Graphics > Product name> Tutorial videos.

In addition to these Video Tutorials, we regularly publish Blog Tutorials and host live Webinar Tutorials, typically with room for a maximum of 100 people (join early to ensure your seat!)

If you’re not already following us on social media ( Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram), you can do so in order to receive updates and early notification of these Tutorials, Blogs and Webinars. You can also subscribe to our mailing list for updates.

Pricing & Discounts

Current Discounts

At present we are offering the Elite18 discount coupon, which will allow you to receive a 25% discount if purchasing the full Elite Bundle.

If you’re not already following us on social media ( Facebook / Twitter / Instagram ), you can do so in order to receive updates and early notification of future offers. You can also subscribe to our mailing list for updates.

Do you provide educational discounts?

We do not offer individual educational discounts, however if an educational establishment is making a bulk order of over £3000 or over £10000 we do have discounts available.

Additionally, we also offer an Elite Bundle discount.

Do I have to pay VAT?

VAT ("Value Added Tax" or purchase tax) is automatically applied to all purchases made by customers residing in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Customers not residing in one of the previously listed countries will not be liable for VAT when purchasing using any method. If purchasing using a method other than PayPal, Astute Graphics may require additional confirmation of your location before VAT is deducted.

Up to end 31 December 2014, the VAT rate is set to 20% and calcuated on the total value following discounts.

As of 1 January 2015, new EU VAT regulations will be in force for businesses supplying digital services to private consumers. This effectively means that customers within the countries listed previously will be charged VAT at the rate normally found in their own country. UK customers will always be charged 20% (the current UK VAT rate), but for example customers in the Netherlands will be charged at the BTW rate of 21% (correct as of December 2014).

If you are a customer in one of the previously listed countries, are VAT/purchase tax registered and wish to defer payment of VAT, please opt for Credit Card by Phone using a credit/debit card to complete your order. The phone order form allows you to provide your tax registration details. These details will be cross-checked with the VIES VAT number validation system.

Astute Graphics Limited is VAT registered, registration number GB 924753804. This VAT registration information will also be provided on the VAT invoice you should automatically receive following payment. If you are tax registered in any of the previously listed countries, you should be able to reclaim the VAT amount via your company's tax returns. If in doubt, please ask your accountant or tax advisor.

Note that it is not possible to defer payment of VAT when residing in one of the previously listed countries and purchasing using PayPal.

Payment

What methods of payment are accepted?

The majority of our customers choose to pay by Paypal, however online payments do not require a PayPal account. When directed to the Paypal login page if you scroll down below the login box there is an option to checkout as a guest and pay via Credit/Debit Card without having to open a Paypal account.

Alternatively, you may prefer to select the 'Telephone Order' option, then complete and pay for the order over the telephone by calling us on +44 (0) 1432 341073. Please note we are a UK based company operating Monday – Friday 10am – 4:30pm GMT.

For orders over £200 we can offer direct bank transfer payments. Please note that this process will increase the time to receive the license(s). This time depends on the bank transfer process which can vary from country to country. You will also be responsible for all bank charges overseas (where applicable) and the UK. We would request notification that payment has been sent electronically so that we may monitor transactions at this end.

Please note that we provide bank details only after customer confirms that they cannot or will not pay by PayPal or Credit/Debit Card

Refunds

What is your refund policy?

You can read our full refund policy by clicking here…

Any Questions?

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