CorelDRAW barely has a flaw and certainly has plenty of features in store.

The image above was created using CorelDraw.

Graphic software pioneer CorelDraw’s latest suite has more in its portfolio than Warren Buffett. Great features, super-sharp tools and a range of functions are all packed together to give you one of the best and most affordable design suites around. Continuous updates help give your designs an edge over your competitors especially since new technology, in particular mobile applications and 3D technology, perfectly complements some of the best vector design tools in the game.

In addition to its eponymous vector illustrations, CorelDRAW Graphic Suite X6 is great for page layout, digital editing, web graphics and animation. With an impressive seven applications, the CorelDRAW suite is likely to cater for almost all of your designer needs.

CorelDRAW X6 is the forerunner, with its hugely popular vector illustration and page layout tools.
Photo-Paint X6 is a pretty solid substitute for Photoshop.
PowerTrace X6 neatly blends bitmap and vector graphics.
Website Creator X6 is a very respectable website design and management tool.
Capture X6 is a particularly useful and simple to operate tool to capture screen images.
Connect X6 will appeal to those looking to supplement their designs with imported content from places such as Flickr.
PhotoZoom Pro 2 can take your photos and enlarge them with minimal distortion and loss of clarity before you export them to Photo-Paint.

Naturally, with so many disparate parts to the same suite, it is important that work can be carried across from one programme to the other without hassle. Fortunately, CorelDRAW’s programmes do not suffer from compatibility problems and transferring documents is as simple as dragging your work from one to the other. In fact, you don’t even need to save the image before transference.

User Friendly?
In some ways, this software works well for novices, but for the true beginner the learning curve may be a little more steep than with CorelDRAW’s competitor, Adobe Creative Suite 6. The sheer volume of information that you are inundated with when using this programme can be quite overwhelming at first. However, there is no question that professionals will appreciate the comprehensiveness of the suite, as well as the enormous instruction manuals.

The CorelDRAW toolbox is packed with various implements, so it’s no surprise to see that there are heaps of video tutorials which go hand in hand with the manuals. An army of community forums also weigh in with much needed guidance. Those that persist will be well rewarded but if you are just an idle hobby designer then CorelDRAW’s sheer abundance of features may become somewhat off-putting.

Crop Tops
CorelDRAW’s Photo-Paint X6 is top at editing, be it cropping, layering, colour management or using filters and effects to add and subtract elements of your photo. A menu stacked full of filters and effects give you the ability to jazz up your photo like a professional. The latest additions to Photo-Paint include more fonts, artistic media, bitmap images, customisable templates, and full-colour fills.

From press to print:
CorelDRAW was made for print. From the beginning, it understands the majority of your media printing needs. You are immediately given a variety of printing options, from page size to the type of print media you are engaging in, offering standard print options for tabloids, broadsheets, a variety of web formats and letters. Naturally, you can customise your own print options as well. Having a variety of layout preferences available is a big bonus if you are looking to get something to print fast.

Importing data is very simple, with the majority of popular document formats supported. Furthermore, imported content can be easily manipulated to fit in with other elements on your page. Publishers editors and thesis writers will fall in love with Master Page. CorelDRAW is perhaps the most commonsensical approach to multi-page documents in its industry. Page numbers are expertly and simply managed, which may sound like a small thing, but there has certainly been many a publishing editor who has sat tearing his hair out at the thought of having to adjust page numbers manually.

From slight bore to score
CorelDRAW works well as a professional tool. It is not too pricey and it is well-suited for media publishers. The casual beginner may struggle with the reams of information, but if you can get over the initial drudge, then CorelDRAW can offer you a world of possibilities.

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