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CorelDRAW Graphics Suite

March 06, 2010 By: lilybird Category: Software

CorelDRAW is a vector graphics editor developed and marketed by Corel Corporation of Ottawa, Canada. It is also the name of Corel’s Graphics Suite. Its latest version, named X5 (actually version 15), was released in February 2010.

History
In 1987, Corel hired software engineers Michel Bouillon and Pat Beirne to develop a vector-based illustration program to bundle with these desktop publishing systems. That program, CorelDRAW, was initially released in 1989. CorelDRAW 1.x and 2.x runs under Windows 2.x and 3.0. CorelDRAW 3.0 came into its own with Microsoft’s release of Windows 3.1. The inclusion of TrueType in Windows 3.1 transformed CorelDRAW into a serious illustration program capable of using system-installed outline fonts without requiring third party software such as Adobe Type Manager and also was the first all-in-one Graphics Suite, which combined a vector graphics software with a photo editing program (PhotoPaint), a font manager and several other pieces of software included with each version.

Supported platforms
CorelDRAW was originally developed for Microsoft Windows and currently runs on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. The current version, X5, was released on 23 February, 2010.
Versions for Mac OS and Mac OS X were at one time available, but due to poor sales these were discontinued. The last port for Linux was version 9 (released in 2000, it didn’t run natively, instead it used a modified version of Wine to run) and the last version for OS X was version 11 (released in 2001). Also, up until version 5, CorelDRAW was developed for Windows 3.1x, CTOS and OS/2.

Characteristic features
Several innovations to vector-based illustration originated with CorelDRAW: a node-edit tool that operates differently on different objects, fit text-to-path, stroke-before-fill, quick fill/stroke color selection palettes, perspective projections, mesh fills and complex gradient fills.
CorelDRAW differentiates itself from its competitors in a number of ways:
The first is its positioning as a graphics suite, rather than just a vector graphics program. A full range of editing tools allow the user to adjust contrast, color balance, change the format from RGB to CMYK, add special effects such as vignettes and special borders to bitmaps. Bitmaps can also be edited more extensively using Corel PhotoPaint, opening the bitmap directly from CorelDRAW and returning to the program after saving. It also allows a laser to cut out any drawings.
CorelDRAW is capable of handling multiple pages along with multiple master layers. Multipage documents are easy to create and edit and the Corel print engine allows for booklet and other imposition so even simple printers can be used for producing finished documents. One of the useful features for single and multi-page documents is the ability to create linked text boxes across documents that can be resized and moved while the text itself resets and flows through the boxes. Useful for creating and editing multi-article newsletters etc.
Smaller items, like business cards, invitations etc, can be designed to their final page size and imposed to the printer’s sheet size for cost-effective printing. An additional print-merge feature (using a spreadsheet or text merge file) allows full personalization for many things like numbered raffle tickets, individual invitations, membership cards and more.

CorelDRAW’s competitors include Adobe Illustrator and Xara Xtreme. Although all of these are vector-based illustration programs, the user experience differs greatly between them. While these programs will read their native file types and vice versa, the translation is rarely perfect. CorelDRAW can open Adobe PDF files: Adobe PageMaker, Microsoft Publisher and Word, and other programs can print documents to PDF using the Adobe PDFWriter printer driver, which CorelDRAW can then open and edit every aspect of the original layout and design. CorelDRAW can also open PowerPoint Presentations and other Microsoft Office formats with little or no problem.

Over time, additional components were developed or acquired and bundled with CorelDRAW. The list of bundled packages usually changes somewhat from one release to the next. There are several mainstays that have remained in the package for many releases now, however: PowerTRACE (a bitmap to vector graphic converter), PHOTO-PAINT (a bitmap graphic editor), and CAPTURE (a screen capture utility).

The version of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 (actually version 14), contains the following packages:
• CorelDRAW: Vector graphics editing software
• Corel PHOTO-PAINT: Raster image creation and editing software
• Corel CAPTURE: Enables several methods of image-capture
• Corel PowerTRACE: Converts raster images to vector graphics (available inside the CorelDraw program).

Current version is CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5

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