| Corel Draw Included are the following programs:|
1. CorelDRAW — A graphic design and page layout program.
2. Corel PhotoPaint — An image editing and graphic program.
3. Corel Rave — A program for creating Web graphics and vector animations. (Because this program has no use in our industry, I will leave it out of this review.)
The CorelDRAW 11 Suite also comes with a number of supporting utilities. The more notable are:
• Bitstream Font Navigator — Allows you to manage your fonts easily.
• CorelTrace — Allows you to trace bitmaps to convert them into vector images.
• Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications — Allows 3rd party developers to build custom applications for the CorelDRAW 11 Graphic Suite.
In this review, I intend to go over the main features that have been released in this version. I will try to give you as many examples of the features as I can. At the end of the review I will provide some recommendations.
So without further ado, let’s take the new version for a test drive!
Some of you may wonder why I am starting here. I would usually leave
this section until the end. Considering that the CorelDRAW 10 Suite came with basically no documentation other than three meager notebooks, I was quite happy
to see that Corel decided to include good sized manuals with this version. I like
manuals and they tend to be quite
informative and helpful when you are trying to learn a
new tool or function.
Corel, as has been customary in previous versions, has kept its myriad of import and export filters. Version 11 now comes with over 100 import and export filters. For those that bought version 10, version 11 includes the .plt filter in the standard install (When I install, I do a custom install and install all the filters.). Our main filters, the .plt, .dxf and .ai, all seem to work fine, except that Corel has yet to fix the simulated fill in the .plt filter that was broken in version 10. AutoCAD is supposed to be .dxf compatible.
Ok. You have probably heard a lot about stability recently. Let’s get one thing straight here — a computer system’s stability is directly related to the ability of the Operating System to control the hardware and the software. Although bad programming can cause instability in an actual program, Corel is not a badly written program. Thus, stability is relegated to the Operating System. Win 98, compared to Windows 2000 and Windows XP, is like comparing a manual machine to a laser in a production environment — it was fine in its time but it’s time for it to retire. Win 98 does little to control hardware and software, which is the direct cause of system crashes or the familiar General Protection Faults. Corel (as well as most other companies) have recognized that everyone is moving, or should move, to Windows XP. Therefore, the company has written its software to run optimally under this OS. Windows XP is a lot better at providing a stable system to work on. Some people have reported issues running Corel 11 under Windows 98. For this reason I would keep my previous version of Corel on my computer if I were installing Corel 11 on a Windows 98 system. There is no problem running more that one version on your computer (I run three.).
Corel claims that they have done extensive testing for bugs; and thus, this should be less of an issue than what we saw in previous versions.
Symbols — One of the features that looked exciting to me was the symbols library function. This feature promised smaller file sizes, as well as an easier way to reuse existing objects. So I set out to check out how small the files are.
Before we talk about the symbol tool and file size, let’s look at how CorelDRAW does when it comes to keeping file sizes in check. Typically CorelDRAW has done an excellent job of keeping file sizes down. If you try to compress a file with a zip program, the size doesn’t change that much. Also if you have an image in Corel that you duplicate, the resulting file size is almost negligible. For example, let’s say I have a file with one photo in it. The file size is 410K. If I duplicate the color photo in the file, the file size becomes 411K. The difference between the two files is quite negligible. So CorelDRAW does a good job of keeping file sizes down when you duplicate objects.
As mentioned earlier, the symbol function allows us to easily reuse objects in documents. When I first heard of this function, I imagined having a collection of my most commonly used images at my finger tips — sort of like using the symbols and special symbols docker. It is quite easy to create a symbol. Figure 1 lists four files that I created in CorelDRAW. The “single” files that were created contained eight images. The non-symbol file is the eight images just created in Corel. The symbol file is the same file with the same images in the file but they are in the symbols library. The second set of files marked “double” had each image duplicated four times. You will notice that the files that use the symbols are slightly bigger. The file size reduction only seems to come into effect if you export the file to a flash format (which we do not use in our industry).
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