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Lunch » Tags » Software » Reviews » CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 » User review

Still a dependable graphics package

  • Apr 15, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+5
CorelDraw and and its Suite have been around for a long, long time. Since the late 1980s, in fact. At one time, CorelDraw was the leader of the pack and made its founder Dr. Michael Cowpland a very wealthy man. Dr. Cowpland was long ago replaced after he led Corel into hard times.

For many years, CorelDraw offered tremendous bang for the buck. Not only was CorelDraw a competent vector illustration program competing with Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia FreeHand, it came with 10,000 mediocre, but usable, clip art images and 1,000 fonts.

Almost 20 years later, it is still in production - and that says a lot. Not many software products have accomplished this.

The CorelDraw Suite includes CorelDraw X4, Corel PHOTO-PAINT X4 (a PhotoShop workalike), Corel PowerTRACE X4 (a bitmap to vector conversion program), Corel CAPTURE X4. Bitstream Font Navigator, a print duplexing utility and a service bureau pre-flighter.

Much to their credit, Corel still includes a reasonably comprehensive printed manual. There aren't a whole lot of third-party books on Corel products and the programs are complex. The printed manual is welcome.

CorelDraw is still widely used, particularly in the industrial market. It is less expensive than equivalent Adobe products, though not necessarily easier to use.

I'll cursorily treat the lesser applications first. Bitstream FontNavigator is a great tool for managing large numbers of fonts. Simple to use, dependable and capable. Corel CAPTURE is a screen capture program and nothing to write home about. SnagIt V 8.2is far more capable. The service bureau prep application is fine for those who need it: most won't. The print duplexing application is okay, but not as sophisticated as some other standalone applications.

Installation on a moderately powerful AMD based Windows XP computer was trouble free. Response from all programs on a basic nVidia graphic display adapter was adequate. On a state-of-the-art computer, these programs should fly.

CorelDRAW is an excellent vector graphics illustration program. It is the equal of Adobe Illustrator. In some ways, it is easier to use than its Adobe counterpart - but in others, it is not. One thing should be kept in mind - this program is not for those who expect to learn it in ten minutes. But for a newcomer willing to work with the manual, CorelDRAW can be learned reasonably quickly.

CorelPAINT is a competitor to Adobe PhotoShop. But it is not a strong competitor. It is just about as capable as PhotoShop and a lot less expensive, but the interface is not as comfortable as PhotoShop's. PhotoShop is also supported by dozens of third-party books and tools that will teach you how to do everything and anything with PhotoShop. Corel PHOTOPAINT lacks such support, though you can learn from the PhotoShop materials.

Overall, the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite remains a formidable competitor. It offers nearly all the capabilities of Adobe Illustrator and PhotoShop in an affordable package with the added benefit of the extras like the fonts and clip art. For those who need high-end vector and bitmap editing capabilities, the package should definitely be on your short list, particularly since Adobe merged with Macromedia.

A good buy, worthy of consideration.

Jerry

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review by . August 16, 2008
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review by . November 08, 2008
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review by . May 13, 2008
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About the reviewer
Jerry Saperstein ()
Ranked #197
I am an e-discovery strategist, computer forensics specialist and testifying expert witness - and an avid reader.      Aside from technology books, I love thrillers, suspense, mystery, … more
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Wiki

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 lets you tackle creative graphics and design projects with confidence. New tools make it easier and quicker than ever to deliver any creative project, from layout and photo editing, to illustration and bitmap-to-vector tracing. Powerful text and layout enhancements give you the look you want plus market-leading file compatibility makes collaboration easy. Updated high-quality content, a step-by-step Hints Docker and new tutorials written by experts get you started fast. Professional and aspiring designers along with anyone who needs to express creative ideas will be able to turn their ideas into professional results: from distinctive logos and signs, to striking marketing materials and eye-catching web graphics.

The redesigned CorelDRAW X4 user interface--new icons, menus, and controls give the applications a fresh appearance and provide a more intuitive working environment.

What's Included with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4?

Applications

  • CorelDRAW X4: CorelDRAW X4 is an intuitive vector-illustration and page-layout application that meets the demands of today's busy design professionals and occasional graphics users. It delivers results fast, whether users are creating a company logo or working toward demanding production schedules.
  • Corel PHOTO-PAINT X4: Corel PHOTO-PAINT X4 is a professional image-editing application that lets users quickly and easily retouch and enhance photos. It is specifically designed for use in a graphics workflow.
  • Corel ...
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