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The Not Quite Ready For Prime-Time Player - READY!

  • May 20, 2010
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The CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5 delivers, especially in the value department. With the Adobe Creative Suite 5 costing about triple x5's list price for a similar feature set, it makes a strong case for itself. Especially with extensive stock clip-art/photo library, templates and over 1000 fonts including Garamond, Futura and Helvetica. It may not have quite the power and flexibility of Adobe's Creative Suite, but for many users it will be more than enough.

I used to use CorelDRAW 6 many, many years ago and liked it as a vector program thought it was far from perfect. As a graphic designer, I primarily use the Adobe CS Design suite for my day-to-day needs. For work I will continue to use it since I'm so familiar with it and it is a very powerful software package.

At home is a different story. As much as I'd like to, I can't afford the latest Adobe Creative Suite or even the upgrade since my home version is CS1. So X5 would seem to be the answer. It comes nicely packaged with a full color book and quick-reference card. The DVD based installation process took over an hour, but considering all that it is writing to your hard drive that isn't unexpected and it was essentially quite painless.

Once everything was installed it was time to play around with the software. I was impressed by how much more intuitive and responsive the X5 applications are compared to what I remember. It is installed on my son's PC and he'll also be using it, so we watched a number of the video tutorials. They were informative but I suspect the average user can figure out many features of these programs without them. CorelDRAW is an even more powerful and easy to use vector art program than I remember and even PHOTO-PAINT has come a long way. For working with bitmap art (photos) I think that Adobe Photoshop or Elements is still the clear leader, but for quick and easy edits and fixes, PHOTO-PAINT is just fine. With further use I am sure I will discover more capabilities as well. I like the fact that X5 is compatible with so many file formats, though not all of them import perfectly. CONNECT makes it easy to find and work with my various files. I like PowerTRACE's ability to convert a bitmap file to vector art. While not perfect, it's a lot better than anything else I've used to do such conversions. I can't yet comment on Corel CAPTURE, the web graphics and animation tools or the color management engine. I'll update my review after I've spent more time with the suite. Overall the various programs are responsive and work well. Occasionally a tool acts a bit strange and once PHOTO-PAINT crashed on me, but otherwise things have been stable. Coming from the Adobe environment, there is a bit of a learning curve, but that is to be expected.

Professional photographers and designers who already own the Adobe Creative Suite should probably stick with it. There is little in the X5 that CS doesn't already have, and in a slightly more advanced and capable version. The one program that might break that rule is CorelDRAW vs. Illustrator. The X5 version is intuitive, powerful and easy to use. Illustrator still stymies me from time to time, even after years of using it. I do really miss the inclusion of an HTML editor like Dreamweaver, but for many it might not be such a big deal.

Not everyone is a power user however, and X5 represents a substantial cost savings over Adobe CS. For students and families, mom and pop small businesses, or those who just need to save some money, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5 is an appealing option. It is a very competent package. The X5 upgrade is a super value for those already in the Corel fold and the Education Edition is a steal if you qualify for it. With the X5 Graphics Suite, Corel has finally regained its title as a prime time (if still an underdog) player.

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More CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5 reviews
review by . June 15, 2010
I'm still discovering new things with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5 that enable it to stack up quite nicely against Adobe Illustrator. To be honest, I still prefer PhotoPlus X3 Digital Studio for photographic editing, but the vector based illustration ability is every bit as good as Illustrator and in many cases superior:    - importing and tracing a graphic was cleaner than Illustrator  - it doesn't behave as if Windows conventions (like right click copy/paste) are unholy  - …
review by . May 10, 2010
I'm not a professional graphic designer but I like to edit pictures and make designs for my blog.     This is such and easy to use program. I didn't have a hard time with Corel. The graphics were astounding: they were very sharp, colorful, and realistic-looking. In short, I was amazed by this software. The photos, objects, and designs included were easy to find and stunning.     There were demonstration videos included to help new users were useful. I didn't …
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CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5 is a versatile graphic design software suite that helps you creatively and professionally express ideas for any media. Illustrate, lay out, trace, design Web graphics and photo-edit with this complete solution for visual communication. Easily import and export content with leading file compatibility. Get going faster than ever with new, professionally designed templates and compelling learning materials. Create with confidence, everything from distinctive logos and signs, to striking marketing materials, Web graphics and animations, billboards, car wraps and more! Offering increased speed, more accurate color control, and new and enhanced design tools, this must-have version helps you create extraordinary designs faster.

Professional vector illustration, page layout, photo-editing and bitmap tracing tools.

Do more than you thought possible.

All-in-one professional graphics suite
Find everything you need for professional graphics illustration, layout, tracing, photo editing, Web graphics and animation in one complete suite of integrated applications that is easy to learn and use.

Easy to learn and use
Start smoothly and learn quickly with built-in learning tools, valuable video tutorials, design insights from experts and a visually rich, online guidebook. (A hard cover, full-color, printed guidebook is included with the box version.)

High-value digital content
Enrich your designs with over 1,000 professional fonts, including Helvetica, Garamond ...

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