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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » CorelDRAW X6 The Official Guide » User review

The one book on CorelDRAW X6 and the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6 to own.

  • Feb 25, 2013
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Rating:
+5
I'm a professional freelance artist and designer recently moving from Adobe Ai and Ps (10+ years of experience) to the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6. I purchased this book after having read through the introductory Guidebook included with the software because, as an Adobe Ai user trying CorelDRAW for the first time, I feared that the often forewarned steep learning curve for the new software might make me give up on learning it altogether either out of frustration or as the result of an impaired workflow that would ultimately affect my productivity.
Thankfully, my fears did not materialize because of this book, and I am still as impressed with it as I am with the software: the detailed and simple-to-follow step-by-step instructions, the abundant and thoroughly annotated illustrations, and the opportune tips, tricks and clarifications allowed me to not only learn my way around CorelDRAW and the CDGSX6 in less than 3 weeks (basically the time it took me to read the book and put the how-to lessons into practice) but learn it well enough to improve my previous workflow (customizing the software to my needs) to the point of accomplishing the same results I normally achieved with Adobe Ai but in a lot less time.
One of the strengths of this book is that the material is organized in a logical progression that invariably moves from basic concepts to advanced features, making it not only easy to gain a full understanding of each concept but also to use the accumulated knowledge as a solid foundation for further and more complex learning and experimentation, all the while aiding long-term retention of the lessons. Another of the strengths of the book is that the wealth of information it contains makes it both an essential textbook for beginners and a helpful reference for advanced users, especially considering how superbly cross-referenced the material is throughout.
Moreover, although the book focuses on CorelDRAW, it also includes helpful instructions on other features of the Graphics Suite (such as PHOTO-PAINT, CAPTURE, CONNECT, and so on), some general design concepts (such as color theory, designing for the web, graphic design principles, and so on), and suggestions on how to integrate all the lessons into both projects and workflows. The varied collection of artwork (from magazine illustrations and logos to flyers and diagrams) that serves as illustrative examples for these topics and the numerous tutorials featured throughout the book are a wonderful way to immediately put the lessons into practice--especially since all the tutorials and some bonus content can be readily downloaded from the author's website. And the humorous and lighthearted yet professional voice of the author is a big plus for the material, as it provides just the right tone for both learning and enjoying the lessons contained in this huge volume--800+ pages.
My only two issues with this publication are that it could have a) used better editing (there are enough typos and erroneous references, especially those pointing to images, to warrant revising this edition), and b) had a better index (too few references and too few terms are used and given for each topic as is). Neither issue, however, is reason enough to give this book less than a 5-star rating, as the typos are easily spotted and the index is still quite useful.
Lastly, it is quite a shame that the book was not published in full color (as was the Kindle version) or hardcover format, because, judging from the 8-page color insert and the downloadable tutorials, not only would have all the designs, illustrations, and screen shots looked much better presented in color--although kudos to the author for pointing out the colors in the examples where the differentiation was necessary--but the full-color visuals would have definitely improved the learning process. I would have gladly paid extra for a full-color hardcover edition of this book.
In a nutshell, this is the one book to read to learn CorelDRAW X6 from scratch and to get a basic understanding of some of the other features of the CDGSX6. It's also the one book to read to brush up on pre-existing knowledge about the software and push it to the next level. This splendid how-to book is hands-down the best textbook, learning aid, and reference currently available for the CDGSX6 for newbie and advanced users alike.

A nice companion book for those wanting to familiarize themselves with some of the practices of in-house graphic design and to learn some professional techniques for creating and preparing graphic materials is "Bring it Home with CorelDRAW" by Roger Wambolt.

--Reviewed by M. E. Volmar

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About the reviewer
M. E. Volmar ()
Ranked #244
I've been a freelance artist, graphic designer, editor, and translator for over 15 years, and I love and greatly enjoy my job. Although my biggest passion is art and languages, I am interested in … more
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Gary David Bouton is an award-winning CorelDRAW illustrator and author of hundreds of expert design and drawing tutorials. He has used CorelDRAW professionally for more than 15 years and is the author of six books covering previous versions. A former Madison Avenue art director, Gary has been a professional illustrator for 35 years and has written or co-written several other guides on digital graphics, including Xara Xtreme 5: The Official Guide and Photoshop CS4 QuickSteps. He has served on Corel’s CorelDRAW feature review board and was a finalist in the Corel World Design contest.

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