|CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 [DVD]
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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?
- 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 PowerTRACE X4: Professional designers often receive poor-quality bitmap images from clients and face the challenge of turning these bitmaps into high-quality vector images for business cards, brochures, signs, or other promotional items. Corel PowerTRACE X4 solves this problem by letting users quickly and accurately convert bitmaps into editable vector graphics.
- Corel CAPTURE X4: Corel CAPTURE X4 is a one-click screen-capture utility that lets users capture images from their computer screens.
- Barcode wizard: The Barcode wizard lets users generate bar codes in a wide range of industry-standard formats.
- Service Bureau Profiler: The Service Bureau Profiler helps users prepare their work for professional output.
- Duplexing wizard: The Duplexing wizard helps users optimize their work for printing two-sided documents.
- Bitstream Font Navigator: The Bitstream Font Navigator is an award-winning font manager for the Windows operating system. It lets users manage, find, install, and preview fonts.
The new Centerline Trace method is ideal for tracing line drawings or signatures.
A collection of specialized fonts includes engraving fonts.
A collection of specialized fonts includes engraving fonts.
Top New and Enhanced Features
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 is an affordable and comprehensive suite that combines intuitive page-layout, illustration, photo-editing, and bitmap-to-vector tracing applications. The trusted choice of professional and aspiring designers, the suite includes new tools that fuel the creative process, simplify project management, and optimize the graphic design workflow.
Streamline your workflow
With its redesigned and modernized user interfaces, new collaboration tools, and enhanced features, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 can help users streamline their workflow without compromising creativity or flexibility.
New--Modernized user interface (UI): For CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4, the user interface has been redesigned. New icons, menus, and controls give the applications a fresh appearance and provide a more intuitive working environment.
New--CorelDRAW ConceptShare: The new CorelDRAW ConceptShare docker is a valuable online collaboration tool. In a Web-based environment, CorelDRAW ConceptShare lets users share their designs and ideas with colleagues or clients in real time. Users can easily create multiple workspaces, upload their designs, and invite others to provide feedback or submit their own ideas.
Enhanced--Corel PowerTRACE X4: With Corel PowerTRACE X4, users can quickly and easily trace bitmaps, converting them into editable and scalable vector images. The new Centerline Trace method produces more accurate strokes and is perfect for tracing line drawings or signatures. To control which colors appear in the traced results, users can easily edit, merge, or delete colors on the color palette that is generated by PowerTRACE. In addition, improved smoothing and corner control help users optimize their traced results.
New--Windows Color System support: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 supports the Windows Color System, which enables users to more closely match colors between Corel and Microsoft applications.
New--Adobe Color Management Module: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite now supports the Adobe Color Management Module (CMM), which provides consistent color transformations by using industry-standard International Color Consortium (ICC) color profiles. This makes it easy for users to closely match colors between Corel and Adobe applications.
Enhanced--Print Merge: With CorelDRAW X4, the Print Merge wizard makes it easier than ever to combine text from a data source with a drawing. As a result, invitations, labels, certificates, or other projects that place unique, personalized text on the same design are faster and easier to produce. In addition, users now have the ability to output a print merge to the CorelDRAW file format (CDR). CorelDRAW X4 supports the following data sources: text (TXT), comma-separated values (CSV), Rich Text Format (RTF), and other files supported by Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) data sources.
High-quality thumbnail previews make it easier for users to find their files.
The new Table tool makes it easy to create a structured layout with graphic elements embedded in table cells.
The Learning tools accessible from the Welcome screen.
Enhanced--Customizable workspace: In addition to letting users customize the application's command bars, commands, and button arrangements, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 includes preset workspaces that have a similar look and feel to those of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or Microsoft Office. These preset workspaces make it easier for users to transition to CorelDRAW Graphics Suite. Users can also export a custom workspace to share it with other users.
Enhanced--PDF Comments support: CorelDRAW X4 now supports PDF Comments, which gives users the option of importing comments and annotations when they import a PDF file. This makes it quicker and easier for users to access and leverage feedback from clients and colleagues.
Enhanced--Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications 6.4: For users who want to automate their workflow, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 supports the latest version of Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) 6.4.
New--Dynamic product updates: With CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4, the Welcome screen is a valuable resource that provides users with immediate access to new content, tips and tricks, product registration, and the latest product updates. From within the application, users can choose to install product updates automatically or to receive notification when updates are available.
Find your design assets
With market-leading file format compatibility, a convenient file search, and an abundance of new, editable content, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 makes it easier for users to exchange files and find the right design asset for the job.
Enhanced--Windows Vista integration: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 has been designed to take advantage of the latest innovations from the Windows Vista operating system. From within the operating system dialog boxes, users can search for files by author, subject, file type, date, keywords, or other file properties. Users can also easily add keywords or other notes when saving files in order to better organize their projects. In addition, users can edit file properties from within the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 applications or from Windows Explorer and Windows Vista Search. Users of Windows XP can use Windows Desktop Search or any other desktop search application that supports the iFilter format.
New--Content: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 includes an abundance of new, editable content on an easily searchable DVD. Users can browse through 10,000 clipart images to find inspiration for their next design project. These high quality vector graphics are easily adapted. In addition, 1,000 new high-quality photos on various subjects and themes are included.
New--Specialized fonts: With a collection of specialized fonts, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 helps users ensure that their output is optimized for its intended audience. An extended selection of new fonts includes single-line engraving fonts and OpenType cross-platform fonts, which offer enhanced language support for Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic outputs in WG4L format.
New--Template search and preview: In CorelDRAW X4, the New From Template dialog box has been completely redesigned to provide users with more information so that they can easily choose the right template for the job. Users can now preview templates by Type, such as flyer or postcard, or by Industry, such as hospitality, retail, or services. Users can also search for templates by using keywords.
New--Professionally designed templates: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 includes more than 80 professionally designed and customizable templates, which give users a great starting point for their designs. Flexible and easy to repurpose, the templates are now accompanied by Designer Notes. These notes provide information on the design choices made for the template, tips for outputting a design based on the template, and instructions for customizing the template while still adhering to design principles.
Enhanced--Adobe product support: To ensure a seamless workflow, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 provides enhanced support for Adobe Photoshop CS3, Adobe Illustrator CS3, PDF 1.7, PDF/A, and Adobe Acrobat 8. When exporting CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 files to the new Adobe Illustrator CS3 format, users can now choose a format for text in the exported files. This makes it easier for users to exchange files between the applications. In addition, users can save files to the PDF/A format--the file format approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for long-term archiving of electronic documents.
New--File format support: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 maintains its position as market leader in file format compatibility by adding support for Microsoft Publisher (versions 2002, 2003, and 2007). Users can also expect seamless compatibility with Microsoft Word 2007, AutoCAD DXF and AutoCAD DWG (versions R2.5 to 2007), and Corel Painter X, making it easier than ever to exchange files with colleagues and clients.
New--Thumbnail previews: New, high-quality thumbnail previews make it easier to find and organize CorelDRAW and Corel PHOTO-PAINT files.
The redesigned Corel PHOTO-PAINT user interface.
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 lets users work with raw camera files.
Users now receive real-time feedback when adjusting the tone curve of an image.
Accelerate layout and text editing
With an interactive Table tool, independent page layers, real-time text formatting previews, and an integrated font identification feature, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 can help users accelerate document design.
New--Interactive tables: The new, interactive Table tool in CorelDRAW X4 lets users create and import tables to provide a structured layout for text and graphics. Users can easily align, resize, or edit tables and table cells to suit their designs. In addition, users can convert delimited text into a table or convert a table into delimited text. Users can also easily add and adjust images in individual table cells.
New--Independent page layers: With CorelDRAW X4, users can now control and edit layers independently for each page of a document, reducing the occurrence of pages with empty layers. Users can also add independent guidelines for individual pages and master guidelines for an entire document. This gives users the ability to create different layers on a page-specific basis, unconfined by a single document structure. In addition, the new Duplicate Page command gives users the flexibility to copy a page with all objects included or just the layer structure, making it easier to repurpose existing designs.
New--Live text formatting: CorelDRAW X4 introduces live text formatting, which lets users see how a text formatting change will look before applying it to a document. This handy and time-saving formatting aid reduces the need to undo and redo unsatisfactory changes. Users can now scroll through and preview many different formatting options, including fonts, font size, and alignment.
New--Font identification: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 now integrates with WhatTheFont, the online font identification service from MyFonts.com. Users can save time by immediately identifying the font used in existing designs or artwork received from clients (English only).
New--Mirror paragraph text: With CorelDRAW X4, users can now interactively mirror text. Users can mirror text horizontally or vertically, or both, which is essential for outputting content for certain specialized devices.
Enhanced--Quotation marks: CorelDRAW X4 users can now customize quotation marks for specific languages. Users can edit quotation mark styles and choose which style is used when typing in different languages. For example, users can change the style of double, single, and straight quotation marks for a specific language.
Get inspired and gain knowledge
With CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4, it's never been easier to get started, find inspiration, or gain knowledge. The Welcome screen, expert tutorials, and other learning tools offer invaluable assistance to both new and experienced users.
New--Welcome screen: With a new Welcome screen, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 provides users with a centralized location to access recently used documents, templates, and learning tools, which include Tips & Tricks and video tutorials. To inspire users, the Welcome screen also includes a gallery that showcases designs created by CorelDRAW Graphics Suite users around the world.
New--CorelDRAW Handbook--Insights from the Experts: This new book showcases practical, real-world examples of accomplished designs by CorelDRAW experts. By deconstructing designs and sharing their wisdom and best practices, experts from a variety of industries demonstrate the power of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4.
New--Training videos: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 includes 2 hours of training videos on DVD. Topics include illustration, design, and image-editing fundamentals, industry-specific design principles, and output details for various media, such as print or the Web.
Enhanced--CorelTUTOR: With CorelTUTOR, users can access online, project-based tutorials that help them learn and use the applications. In addition to touring the workspaces of both CorelDRAW X4 and Corel PHOTO-PAINT X4, users can learn how to work with page-layout features, get started with bitmap-to-vector tracing, try the enhanced print-merge functionality, create a logo, an much more.
New--CorelDRAW community site: Accessible from within the application, the CorelDRAW.com community site gives users a place to get together to share information and learn from other users. Combining forums, blogs, galleries, and other resources, CorelDRAW.com is a valuable information resource for professional designers and occasional graphics users alike. Visit the site today to discover the creations and inspirations of this growing community.
Discover advanced image-editing features
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 provides advanced image-editing features that help users get expected results the first time.
New--Corel PHOTO-PAINT user interface: The Corel PHOTO-PAINT X4 user interface has been redesigned and modernized with new icons, menus, and controls.
New--Raw camera file support: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 now supports raw camera file formats for more than 300 different types of cameras. This lets users import raw camera files directly from their digital camera. With interactive controls that provide real-time previews, users can view file properties and camera settings, adjust image color and tone, and improve image quality.
New--Straighten image: With CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4, users can quickly and easily straighten images that were scanned or photographed at an angle. The interactive controls, a grid with vertical and horizontal guidelines, and an integrated histogram that provides results in real time, make it easier than ever to straighten crooked images. In addition, users can choose to have their images automatically cropped.
Enhanced--Adobe Photoshop CS3 support: Corel PHOTO-PAINT X4 provides support for Adobe Photoshop CS3 so that users can seamlessly exchange files between the applications.
New--Histogram feedback: In CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4, more features and effects now provide histogram feedback in real time. This lets users edit images more efficiently by previewing changes and comparing results as they adjust image tone, apply effects, or process raw camera files.
Enhanced--Tone Curve adjustments: In Corel PHOTO-PAINT X4, the Tone Curve dialog box has been enhanced to help users adjust their images with more precision. With an integrated histogram, users now receive real-time feedback as they make adjustments to their images. In addition, the new Eyedropper lets users pinpoint specific color locations on the tone curve of their image. Users can also select, add, or delete nodes along the tone curve.
Bring together the worlds of layout, photo editing, illustration and bitmap-to-vector tracing with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4. It's easy to collaborate with its market-leading file compatibility. New content and tutorials get you started fast. This Suite gives you the tools and resources to create a wide variety of projects. Speed up the design process with easy online access to font identification and client feedback. Upload scanned images of fonts, and you will get the closest match. All this is done through CorelDRAW ConceptShare docker. Share designs with colleagues and clients in real time from within CorelDRAW. Plenty of included clip-art and fonts help you speedily create just what you need, without the hassle of searching. CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 helps transform your graphic ideas into reality and makes it seem quick and easy.
CorelDRAW Handbook CorelTUTOR - Online, project-based instruction Support for RAW camera files Straighten images Histogram feedback Enhanced Tone Curve dialog box Accelerate layout and text editing Training videos - Delve into hours of new training videos Modernized user interface
- Powerful, versatile and affordable graphics suite that includes everything you need for professional graphics illustration, layout and digital image editing
- Innovative design tools, including advanced layout tables, live text formatting and separate layers per page, to optimize your workflow
- Easy-to-use interface supported by learning videos, tutorials and intelligent Hints-Dockers
- Market-leading file compatibility with over 100 import/export filters to make sharing your designs with colleagues and clients easy
- Trusted by millions of professional users, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 is recognized as the standard design application in many industries
- corel draw x4
I was happy to upgrade my corel version 12 to the new corel x4 and .to be honestly after 3 days of stragling with this new version I starting to give up ,it suck . the program crash many time for any change aplying affect's to your work , or you have to wait until 1 0r 2 minutes to screen set up and keep working with a proyect. complete dissaponted. better corel come up with a update solution to this problem and even adding up the memory from 25 to 75 still pretty slow. ...more info
- Great power and features, but learning curve may vary
The Corel line of graphics software has always carried the burden of being the second choice and often the second experience of Adobe software users. Those who encounter the software after experience with the main Adobe-produced rivals (Illustrator and Photoshop) will experience it very differently than those who are looking to learn professional graphics from the start with Corel.
Though I am a very experienced user of Adobe products, I tried to experience Corel Draw (the vector graphics portion) and Photo Paint (the bitmap graphics portion) with an eye toward evaluating it as someone who wasn't already comfortable with a different interface, but who was interested in a professional level graphics package, as well as someone who may decide to transition away from the pricier Adobe products. I will offer my perspective from both of these viewpoints:
As a newcomer to pro graphics:
There is a lot of power and flexibility. Photo Paint offers alpha channels, lighting effects, masking, and a good selection of filters for those who want to "play" with images. It is able to open and save to a variety of file formats and can rasterize vector images. A lot of functions are quite intuitive (e.g., image straightening, filter effects), though programs with the breadth and depth of a professional program have a great many levels and no one who is new to them can grasp them immediately or without underlying knowledge of what all the terms mean. It's important not to mistake this graphics package as one designed for the hobbyist or person looking to modestly tweak images for web pages. The complex functionality it possesses is to allow folks working in industries that need finer work to get it done and it certainly allows for that and more.
In terms of how easy it is to understand the programs, CorelDraw is definitely a lot tougher to grasp, but that is the nature of vector graphics programs. However, I do believe that the way in which points (which are called "nodes" in Draw) are edited when working with Bezier curves could be more intuitive. Having to select each node and change its type by clicking a button in order to alter the way in which the control handles work is tedious. It'd be much better to have a modifier key to "break" curves where desired.
The help files and tutorials are excellent and I had not trouble tracking down information to help me do what I wanted to do. However, an absolute beginner will likely need to do the video training for more hand-holding than I required. It's hard to get your head around the way computer graphics work, but Corel certainly provides the tools to try if the user is willing to take the time to learn. The software can only take you so far when it comes to something this complex.
Corel also provides a huge variety of templates, clip art and fonts which Adobe does not. This makes the entire package more appealing to folks who work in publishing but do not create custom content and mainly want to tweak clip art or stock images.
As an experienced Adobe user:
One immediately resists every part of the interface which does not conform to what one is used to in Photoshop and Illustrator. This is much more troublesome in CorelDraw since drawing works best when one can use the tools effortlessly to gain the desired result. If you're looking to make the change to break free of Adobe's higher prices, the first thing you have to do is be patient with the interface differences. Some gritting of teeth may be involved. You'll likely find, on the whole, that some things are better in Corel's interface and some are worse compared to Adobe's, though Adobe's interface has a more professional and polished feel. The filters in particular sometimes have a cheesy and clunky feel to them, though they are easy enough to use.
The second thing you have to do is make sure that all of your native file format files (.ai and .psd) have been saved into more universally accessible formats (EPS, TIFF) as neither PhotoPaint nor Draw will reliably open all Adobe native format files. In my tests, native Photoshop files always opened but sometimes with missing layers. When I attempted to open an Illustrator native file, I was told the file was compressed (though it was not) and that it needed to be re-saved in an uncompressed state. Resaving as an EPS file fixed the problem.
* If I wanted to prepare myself for work in the graphics industry and wanted something less expensive than the Adobe CS package, I'd not hesitate to buy this suite to learn the ins and outs of professional graphics, particularly if I were planning on working freelance. However, I'd keep in mind that most publishers will work in Adobe software and I may need to learn their software eventually if I were to pursue office work.
* If I were working in a publishing industry which did small amounts of editing of vector and bitmap images and needed to do color adjustments for professional printing, I'd seriously consider the Corel Suite though I'd investigate how effective the color separations worked for my particular needs. However, I would not rely on it for layout work (nor would I rely on Illustrator or Photoshop for layout) unless I only worked with flyers, brochures, posters, or other very short documents.
* If I were an Adobe user looking to break free of the expensive shackles of Adobe software, I'd have to think long and hard before making the change as there would be some productivity loss getting acclimated to the interface and some differences in functionality that I may not want to accept....more info
- A great program at a great value
This review is for the full retail version of Coreldraw X4.
I owned and used Version 8 of Corel Suite for years until XP came out and incompatibilities made it unusable. I've also used version 10. Most of my experience has been with Photopaint, the image editing software. I have less experience with Coreldraw (the layout and design software) as it has less practical applications for what I do. I've also used Photoshop (the competing program to Photopaint), both in its full suite and Elements versions.
The computer I used this software on is an Intel Quad Core processor with 4 gigabytes of RAM, running Windows XP, which is high above the specs required to run the suite. The software runs absolutely beautifully on my machine, though CorelDraw did crash to desktop (that is, completely shut down without warning) on one occasion when I had both it and PhotoPaint up.
Coreldraw X4 comes in a large box and includes the DVD-ROM, a manual, an insight handbook, a font and clipart reference book, a quick reference card and a CoralDraw sticker. The manual is quite beefy for manuals these days, and contains a great deal of information that would be useful to newcomers to the program. Of course, the manual is nice, but with the mass of detailed online help, tutorials and hint menus available in the programs themselves, it's going to be mostly useful for the newcomer. The suite comes with a large collection of clipart and textures and fonts, so the book of clipart thumbnails and font samples is a nice tool as well.
I was impressed by the wealth of information available in the programs themselves. Much effort has clearly been made to make the programs user friendly despite the obvious learning curve. It's loaded with detailed help descriptions and the DVD has over 2 hours of video tutorials for the new user.
Of particular use for me was the optional hint window that appears to the left of the screen of Photopaint and Coreldraw. Depending on what tool you're using, it will provide information and tips on how to use it. Another helpful tool in the help menu is one that will highlight all the new features that have been added to the programs since older versions. New features will be highlighted in menus and toolbars in a light orange, indicating them as a new feature since the version chosen. Users may select versions as far back as 9. It's quite a useful feature for people migrating from older versions.
The suite itself also contains several programs beyond the main two.
Bitstream is a program used to navigate through fonts. Since the power user will probably have a lot of fonts from elsewhere, Bitstream allows one to navigate fonts by type and style as well as create font groups for organizational purposes. Of course, CorelDraw itself also incorporates a real-time feature that updates highlighted text on the screen with the font shown as you scroll over different ones in the dropdown menu. Man that makes life easier.
CorelCapture is a screen capture program designed specifically for screen capture (taking pictures of what is displayed on the monitor). It has numerous customization options for screencapping, including changing the DPI of the sceencap, the image type and even the scaling used. It allows the user to dump directly to a printer, to Coreldraw itself or to a file. Out of interest, I tested this with a couple games, and it seemed to work with all of the games I tried.
The suite also includes a profiler program to create profiles for professional workflow, as well as a duplexing wizard to simplify double sided printing on printers that can only print one sided.
CorelDraw is a graphic arts drawing tool with layout and vectoring capabilities, similar to Adobe Illustrator. I played with it a bit, doing a few drawing and graphics layouts with it. I'm not a power user by any means, but I found that some of the tools appear to not be as intuitive as they could be. Of course, that could be my lack of knowledge in this area. The sheer complexity of what it is capable of makes it powerful enough to do the complex vector based drawing that some professional users might need.
I was quite impressed with this iteration of Coreldraw. As other reviewers have mentioned, there will be a bit of an adjustment for people who move from Photoshop to Corel Photopaint. Menus are laid out differently and some things are labeled differently as well, though I found some tools easier to find in Corel as it has some of the obvious choices in the main menus, rather than forcing users to drill down into submenus.
As a genealogist in the midst of a photo scanning project (which involves scanning 19th century photographs), I've spent the past few weeks using it extensively for both basic and advanced photo editing. It's become my photo editor of choice, replacing the program I was using previously. Some features, such as the straighten tool, which puts images onto a grid background and then allows you to pull a slider to turn it with the grid, make life a lot easier when you're doing a lot of photograph scanning and you photos are weird sizes. The various clone tool options are fantastic as well.
Photopaint is a powerful image editing tool and as far as I can see, certainly has the capability of matching much of what Photoshop can do, from image painting to professional grade image editing and restoration. I personally found it a fairly intuitive program and not hard to use.
Coreldraw X4 is clearly designed as a mid range end competitor to Adobe's products and from what I can see, it succeeds well in that regard. For the serious hobbyist or the semi-professional looking for a high grade, lower cost option over Adobe, Coreldraw Suite X4 is definitely a good value for the money. For the professional users, Adobe is still the way to go, but for the rest of us, Coreldraw suite is a great choice.
- Like Paper Except Not Remotely Satisfying...
Think more "glorified Microsoft Pain" than "Paintshop Pro rip-off." Either way, not really much impressive in any aspect. You're best sticking with the staples....more info
- An intriguing program with an amazing array of features
I've been an amateur Photoshop user for several years now, so I looked forward to this new software package from Corel. It contains seemingly all the capabilities of Photoshop, along with many other features. With so many different elements it would be easy for the program to grow too confusing for the novice user, but I didn't have that problem. Granted, I wasn't trying to do anything too complicated with it. But I didn't have any problem figuring out how to do the tasks I wanted.
Obviously this program comes with a fairly steep price tag. But that's true of all of the advanced graphics editing programs. So potential buyers should consider if they really need a program with all these features before they spend this much money. If they do, this is definitely a worthwhile program to consider. But if you're only looking to perform relatively simple tasks, you can probably find something much cheaper.
Bottom line: the program did everything I wanted it to, but for my needs it was overkill. However, those users who demand more from their software will likely be pleased with it as well....more info
- A full and complete graphics suite whose surface I've barely scratched
For the last couple of months, I've had the opportunity to experiment, play and dive into CorelDraw's latest Graphics Suite, the X4 (read: 14th) edition.
It's been a lot of fun. I'm still learning and growing into the full capabilities of this program.
The Suite is divided into four parts:
CorelDRAW X4 is the heart of the program, a drawing program equal to the level of Adobe Illustrator. I've never used a drawing program of this nature before, and yet I found it relatively easy to dive right in. I especially like the new tables feature, which allow for amazing compositions of images and other objects.
Corel PHOTO-PAINT X4 is the suite's answer to Photoshop. As a user of the latter, I did find it comparable to Adobe's flagship product, although the layout and style of the program are distinctly Corel. The suite of abilities for manipulating photos and images are of comparable rank and power.
Corel PowerTRACE X4 allows you to take bitmap images and convert them into vector images that you can then manipulate with Corel Draw. Why hasn't anyone thought of this sooner?
Corel CAPTURE X4 is a screen capture program which allows for easy import of the information into Corel Paint.
The entire suite is well supported with video tutorials which I am still learning from, even a couple of months later. And that is my greatest advice to you, Amazon reader, who are considering purchasing this program. Learning to unlock the use of this program is a long-term project. With a suite of this power and magnitude, its an investment of time and energy to get the most out of it.
I look forward to using the suite for years. If you want to make the worthwhile investment of getting to know the software, so will you....more info
- Just as Good as Photoshop
I've been a graphic designer/artist for many years. I have ONLY used Photoshop for photo editing, imaging, etc., and Illustrator for creating vector images. As a matter of fact, when I learned Photoshop, I was also "taught" that Corel was the poor-man's alternative-- the lesser program. However, I was lucky enough to receive this complete program to test and review. And, since I haven't upgraded Photoshop since version 7, I eagerly awaited the arrival of this program.
CorelDraw Graphics Suite x4 is really superb software. This is a great alternative to Photoshop with extensive image editing capabilities. It's quite powerful and more a professional tool than for appropriate for a general user; this is the kind of application around which training courses are built.
Installation was easy and seamless. Upon registration, Corel gives a nice little gift to new registered users of many megs of clipart. This can be a useful thing, but so far, after downloading same, I've had some difficulty in finding the collection on my local drive! Honestly, though, I don't use clipart. Ever. But, it's in my harddrive somewhere just in case I ever find the need for it.
Graphics programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and CorelDraw are serious tools. I've used these applications for advertising, photo manipulation and editing and everything you can imagine in the graphics world. To learn the true "ins and outs" of these tools, one really needs a teacher/mentor or a good training class. CorelDRAW Graphics Suite does come complete with a full training manual, Clipart and Font manual (the font manual is very useful), a handbook called "Insights from the Experts", and a Quick Start Guide.
CorelDraw is astoundingly powerful. Loaded with tools and options, most users are not likely to make use of even half the capabilities available in this huge application. This is not a usual scenario to offer so much capability knowing that most users won't use them. But... if they are needed, they're there. As I've used Photoshop and Illustrator for years, I still haven't used all the tools in the programs that are available! I can see the same being true for CorelDRAW.
The UI of CorelDraw is complex but very similar to Photoshop. The innumerable variations available when editing images makes the application inherently complex. Most users will find the photo editing features particularly impressive, with artistic and photographic emulations capabilities readily available. While there can be a slight delay from selection of image change to actual implementation of that change (and I have 2 gb RAM), CorelDraw is no different than its competitors. Loaded with options, particularly in editing and adding effects, CorelDraw is a welcome addition to any designer's tool box. Additionally, one of the most interesting features this program has (as did Macromedia's now-defunct FreeHand) is changing bitmap images to vector images. I can see this tool being useful in the future.
The average user should be somewhat cautioned regarding the complexity of this tool. As this is a professional-level application, new users not familiar with image editing could easily feel overwhelmed. CorelDraw has an extensive Help system including "tips from the experts" but the focus is on the professional-- not the average user.
The critical problem, and it may not be a "problem" per se, is that applications such as CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Photoshop are so very... dense. There are just so many options, so many variations, and so much to learn to do the most simple processes, that non-professionals with little background in image editing and graphics may get discouraged.
For the professional graphic designer and photo editor/"photoshopper", CorelDraw is certainly equivalent to Photoshop and is a welcome alternative to Adobe's also superb offering. This software gets 5 well-earned stars. If there were any way to diminish the complexity of these applications I would invite Adobe and Corel developers to investigate such things. For the professionals, CorelDraw has joined the ranks of the best....more info
- Worth the upgrade
For those wondering if CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 brings enough to the table to justify an upgrade, consider yourself invited to the buffet. X3 was nice, but overall X4 runs much smoother and integrates many more uses and tools, making it well worth the investment. Truly a leader in illustration and design, Corel has changed around their entire interface for X4, along with making everything easier to use with Vista. Another nice addition is the access to WhatTheFont online, which is a great resource for identifying fonts and using them in your own design work. Another huge upgrade over X3 is the Photo-Paint application, which really adds to the value of the overall package. In the end, Corel has managed to seamlessly integrate almost everything included in this bundle, providing an almost endless supply of resources and tools to get your ideas off and running. The only downside may be this is a difficult program to learn for a beginner, or someone more familiar with Adobe software and interface. If you are new to Corel, be prepared to spend a few hours getting used to everything, and don't be too concerned with failure when trying different features. Once you get it down, it is worth the trouble....more info
- A review from someone who knows not what they're doing
I have no idea how this compares to Photoshop or any other photo/image creation software. I've never used any of those except at a most basic level and pretty much only for converting jopgs to tiffs or changing the sizes of some of the digital photos I've taken.
So, as someone who has no idea what he's doing with image software, I can say that - at least in terms of the basic stuff I do, this is pretty easy and intuitive. More intuitive than I ever found Photoshop.
I got this software package not so much because it's special or unique features, or to put it through a major trial - I bought it because I thought, "Gee, it's time to learn how to use image editing software now that I have a few thousand digital photos."
While I can't in any way give a realistic evaluation of the full capacity of this thing, I can safely and assuredly (I think) say that this is at least well-designed enough that I actually will be able to learn how to use it to, at some point, comprehend and use those advanced features that leave my mystified and stymied.
Pretty well done!...more info
- Superb illustration for website graphics and much more!
I've been using CorelDraw since I discovered its version 12 (I owned Illustrator 10 at the time). I'm still puzzled that so-called pros look down at CorelDraw. It is simply the most intuitive of the illustrating heavyweights, and the price is a bonus!
I (web programmer and designer, businessman, no fax machine) typically design a website like this: manually sketch the idea, mock it up in Xara Xtreme (because it's even more intuitive than CorelDraw, but with less depth of features), and then make the final graphic composition in CorelDraw. Mostly I prefer vector-based programs for their ability to easily and quickly move/copy/enhance selected items/layers etc during the mockup process.
Compared to mastering Illustrator's learning curve (and I'm speaking from a well-studied programmer's point of view), using CorelDraw is an absolute no-brainer.
I needed to find flow in the production process, and I just didn't find that with Illustrator -- I was wasting too much time studying how to get a result. Basic Example: try building a simple 3 color gradient swatch at say, 20 degrees (or whatever looks good to you) with Illustrator and then build that same swatch with CorelDraw (or Xara) and you'll be amazed at the time comparison. Newbies like adding drop shadows and glows to objects. Compare those between CorelDraw and Illustrator.
It shouldn't be unreasonable for someone in web design to extrapolate the time savings from these simple examples. Both CorelDraw and Illustrator can produce enormously complex illustrations, but getting there will cost you much, much more time and money with Illustrator. Some might argue that pre-press needs require Illustrator, but I'd recommend checking with your printer(s) to see what files they require first -- especially if you'll be working on a lot of pre-press.
I don't use CorelDraw regularly for pre-press because I have so few pre-press needs. But I have used it for building mockups of 4 color glossy flyers, then struggled with the laborious task of transporting them into Illustrator because the printer the client was using specifically requested Illustrator files -- and it wasn't easy switching printers, or I would have.
Conclusion: CorelDraw works. It's fast. It's intuitive, and I've been using it for several years instead of Illustrator....more info
- Certainly not PSP
I snatched this product up since I was such a huge fan of Corel Paint Shop Pro, I've been around it since it's Jasc days. After installing it, I have to say that I was disappointed. I thought that maybe Corel Photo-Paint would be similar, and it is, but it lacks in many ways. I'm not much on drawing, so I never could get Draw to work. I've gone back to using PSP....more info
- Powerful, Easy to Use
I've never used Corel products before, and I was able to sit down and create a T-shirt design and a poster for a play pretty much immediately after installing this. (I had used Adobe products, so it's not like I had never touched graphics software or anything.)
I'm sure I haven't really even scratched the surface of what this software can do, but for a very casual user like me, it is easy to use without knowing a whole lot. I like that. For me, if software is easy to use right away, that makes me more likely to try it, and then to read the manuals and learn to use the advanced stuff too. If I can't figure out how to do the simple stuff, I'm more likely to pack it back in its box and walk away.
- Clean and Intuitive Interface and Easy to Use
A lot of people use Adobe Illustrator, but there is another very fine drawing program out there and this is it. Like with Illustrator you can design and create logos, ads, illustrations for websites and so much more. The program ships with a gang of royalty free software, 10,000 clip art images which you can use in your projects, 1,000 first class photos which you can also use. And 1,000 fonts, which is good for all of us who cannot afford the very expensive Adobe Font Library.
The interface is clean, intuitive and the program is easy to use, though I did watch the videos which came with it and they helped a lot. Also, this is a full fledged vector based program, just like Adobe Illustrator, but you can do page design with it as well, like you would in Quark Express or Adobe InDesign. However, sadly I don't think Photo-Paint in the suite measures up to Adobe Photoshop, but still, it's a useful part of the program.
All in all, I'd say you'll get your money's worth with CoralDraw X4. You can use it instead of Illustrator or Quark and InDesign and that's saying a lot, it really is....more info
- Not Photoshop ... Not Illustrator ... Not Adobe ...
I must admit that I've been using Adobe and Macromedia Programs (now the same company) for almost 20 years and that is probably true for most of us as well. Saying that it's a small learning curve to get used to, and comfortable with something else, is a bit of an understatement. But in truth, CorelDraw X4 isn't really that complicated for the general user.
Any self-respecting Adobe user can (somewhat) quickly find their way around the multiple tools and options to do some of the same things that they always have with their own graphics programs. And that includes everything from Illustrator to Paint Shop Pro to MS Paint.
The real question in trying to absorb new users from the existing pool of high-dollar software programs is a simple one. Why would I purchase this product for almost $400 over another similar product that I'm more familiar with, has books that can be purchased new, used or even discount? Why would I make an expensive leap into unchartered territory? Let's see if I can quell some of those fears and thoughts.
I was on the fence about writing a feature based review on this, but most people browsing this program can easily read the features available by the very large product page that Amazon has available here, Corel's Website and many of the possible downloads that Corel offers to help new users become more acquainted with CorelDraw X4. But most people just want to know a few things, and most importantly:
1. Is CorelDraw X4 similar enough to other front-runner programs to make the program easy to use and understand?
Answer: Yes. It is similar enough, although there are several differences that limit your experience until you consult the manual numerous times. The learning curve isn't bad, but you may have a few frustrating moments.
2. CorelDrawX4 is expensive. Is it worth my money to invest in this or spend a little more and buy a similar Adobe Product.
Answer: This program is in direct competition with Adobe Illustrator, which retails for $600. But to be fair, Adobe provides many more feature rich options and few other well-needed programs for that near-same coin.
3. Is this program similar in use and applications to Adobe Photoshop?
Answer: While I've personally used Adobe Illustrator to manipulate and process my photos and other art work for years, and you can use CorelDraw X4 for your photos, it's probably not the best suited program for this type of application as Photo Programs are going through a sort of renaissance of features which the entire industry and world is now fully embracing digital. The new Adobe Photoshop CS3 is a must have for Amateur, Prosumer and Professional Photographers alike.
4. This program comes with a large collection of clip art, fonts, stock photos and other design templates. Are they base and low end or can they be used for professional purposes?
Answer: If you run a design company, or a T-Shirt Printing business (hint), this program is definitely for you and the added stock images, etc. can be used with strong results. They are not cheesy add-ons that come attached to the program like other companies offer. The flip book is a blessing for quick reference and the shortcut chart, well ... that's a standard these days. Who can live without a shortcut chart? Not me.
5. I've heard bad things about their Customer Service and their ability or desire to help the end-user over the phone, is this true?
Answer: Unfortunately, from all the word on the street, this is true. I called Corel and was met with a labyrinth of machine options that resembled the 'Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy' and 'Zork' -- early-age, text-only video games. If you wish to go left ... press 5. And so on ... it was maddening. They did provide a different Customer Service phone number for Reviewers, but I found that making a 2 tier system for Reviewers and Users disingenuous and unflattering for Corel and abstained in following through after I dialed the number and a human answered on the second ring. But let's be honest, most companies offer little to no Customer Service over the phone anymore, Microsoft included. Usually you have to drop coin for it.
Overall, this is a program for Designers, Web Developers and Graphic Artists within the digital medium. This is a strong and stable program that does what it promises and with use of the free on-line tutorials, one can only get better.
- A Graphics Suite that will Suit Just About Everybody
You get a lot of good stuff with this package, besides just the Graphics Suite. Lots of folks will appreciate the 10,000 clip art images, but I didn't need them, so I deleted them from my hard drive. I also didn't keep the 1,000 high res photos from iStockphoto. I do use a lot of professional photos, but I have an account with iStockphoto and so I didn't need any extras cluttering up my hard drive. HOwever the 1,000 OpenType fonts, those I kept and I'll most likely used them a lot.
The user guide is easy to understand and the video training that comes with the program is, I imagine, helpful, though I only looked at it for a second as I'm pretty familiar with graphics programs, so I just dove right in. CoralDRAW X4 was easy for me to understand, though I'm an old hand at both Freehand (Mac) and Illustrator (Mac and PC), so I didn't expect any problems and didn't get any. If you don't have those programs, then this could easily be a drawing program for you. Corel PHOTO-PAINT was also pretty easy for me to figure out, though I use their Painter program a lot and am a dedicated Photoshop user. Again, if you don't have those programs and they are are expensive, and if you don't have a need for all the tools at your hand in Photoshop, then this suite just might be for you. It's easy to figure out, but if you need help there is plenty there. All in all, I'd have to say this is a graphics suite that would suit just about everybody....more info
- Affordable, functional and easy-to-use
CoreDRAW Graphics Suite X4 delivers a powerful yet intuitive set of graphics programs intended for busy professionals, graphics specialists and other interested end users. The product includes: CorelDRAW, a vector illustration and page layout software; Corel PHOTO-PAINT for photo editing and retouching; Corel PowerTRACE for tracing bitmap files and converting them to vector images; and a library of commercial-ready clip art, photos, fonts and templates. Corel has chosen to bundle this software and sell it a price point that offers a tremendous value to end users.
Competing in a product category that is notorious for having steep learning curves, I personally found DRAW X4 to be a breath of fresh air. As a new user of Corel, I simply installed the DVD and began using the photo editing tools to great effect straight away -- without resorting to Help screens or the enclosed manuals (although you can also print hundreds of pages of documentation from the DVD if you want to). Similarly, CorelDRAW makes designing and publishing documents a snap with plenty of templates to get you started. All of this is a real plus for multitasking professionals who need access to great graphics software but cannot afford the time and frustration of sifting through seemingly endless help screens, myriad books or attending days and days of time-consuming and expensive training classes.
I was also pleased to find that DRAW X4 ran smoothly on my MS XP machine, considering Corel's touting of its MS Vista integration and the typically heavy resources that graphics programs tend to consume. Again, this helps enormously in work environments where the lines between marketing, communications, and graphics production tend to blur: if you wear multiple hats, you can open DRAW X4 and keep on doing the other things you need to do without missing a beat.
I highly recommend this breakthrough product to professionals, students or anyone else who might need an affordable, functional and easy-to-use graphics suite.
- Seems Like An Excellent Program
Let me preface this review by telling you that I am not by any means an expert. I have never used an earlier version of CorelDRAW, nor any of the competing Adobe products so I can't make any sort of comparisons. My experience has been with less powerful and comprehensive programs such as Microsoft Publisher, Picture It (yes I'm a bumpkin) and Macromedia (now Adobe) Fireworks.
These are my impressions of the product so far:
The product installs from DVD with no problems (I am running Windows XP on an Intel 2.4 GHz duo-core processor). All of the installation options are clearly presented. Inside of the box is a comprehensive User Guide, a Handbook containing insights from experts on various aspects of graphic design, a book index of the fonts and clip art contained in the program, a quick reference chart, and a decal. I like the fact that they included hard copy documentation rather than having everything on disc (although they have it on disc as well).
Since I have never used a graphics suite like this before, I was sort of bewildered when opening the programs for the first time. However, the user guide is very helpful. Included on the DVD are 18 training videos that cover various common tasks, and these are very helpful as well. Everything is clearly and cleanly laid out. As I watched the videos, I was amazed at what the programs are capable of doing. Now whether these features are pretty much standard with this type of software and Adobe has the same stuff, I couldn't say. All I can say is I was totally impressed by CorelDRAW's capabilities. I also enjoyed listening to Scott Georgeson, the narrator, with his British accent. He was not some dull, droning instructor!
Of course Mr. Georgeson makes it look easy since he knows what he is doing and I don't, but being able to replay and slow down the videos, as well as refer to the user's guide was a big help and allowed me to get started on the programs. What seemed daunting at first became a lot clearer and easier after I got started.
It seems to me that Corel has made a huge effort to produce a powerful and comprehensive product that is user-friendly. One criticism I have heard over and over about Adobe is its steep learning curve. Te documentation included with the CorelDRAW suite goes a long way towards enabling the user to start making good use of the product in a short period of time. It's very well-thought out.
I'm very eager to increase my competency on this product and put it to good use. So far it has been very impressive. This is something I am sure I will make good use of in the future. Corel has done an excellent job of making this suite user-friendly without sacrificing any features. ...more info
- Everything I Needed and More
I will start by saying I'm a die-hard fan of Corel's Paint Shop Pro, so I have very high expectations for Corel products and their ability to meet all my photo editing needs. I was not disappointed with the sheer volume of features and functions they packed into CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4. For this price, I would have expected a much more limited software package.
For photo editing, I'll probably stick with Paint Shop Pro because I know it so well, but if I didn't already own it I would be completely delighted with the tools provided in this package. It supports RAW format, which alone should be enough for many users.
But what is really great about this package is the tools for building my own graphics and compositions. I was stunned by the amount of clip art provided in the package - I think that's just a sign of a company understanding what their customers use these products for - designing fliers for organizations, making greeting cards, building web sites. There are enough fonts that your pieces won't look like everyone else's (please people, no more Comic Sans on your materials, okay?).
I can't speak for how difficult someone new to graphics software will find this, but I was able to pick it up pretty quickly. I have a fairly well-equiped laptop and I didn't notice any drag running the software, although I don't tend to open more than one or two applications at a time. This is related to my biggest complaint - why do they not make CorelDRAW or Paint Shop Pro for the Mac????
All in all, a great product....more info
- I really, really like this package!
I started using CorelDRAW on a Mac 512, back in the late '80s, as an improvement over MacDraw. As the years went by, the reality is that most of the world is on PCs, not Macs. I wasn't doing enough graphics work to justify a good package, so I made a lot of graphics with Visio, PowerPoint, or (eeeek!) "Paint". Finally, I moved up to Adobe PhotoShop -- What a headache!!! It took a week's worth of classes to learn how to use the daggone thing!
Remembering how much better CorelDRAW was on the old Macs, I was eager to try this -- and I am NOT disappointed! I have been using the PhotoPaint part of this package a lot, and it is - relatively speaking - intuitive to learn and easy to use. Now, no graphics beginner is going to say that -- it's still a complicated package, but for someone with a decent graphics background (though by no means an expert), it's straightforward. I have used the help file to find things, but once I find them, they are intuitive to use - I need the help file, but not a textbook or a class to teach me what the help file means!
PhotoPaint is POWERFUL, yet fairly direct. A HUGE improvement over Adobe PhotoShop. I would definitely choose Corel over Adobe here. The products are a significant investment, though, so I would weigh how much I'm doing graphics before spending to upgrade to Corel, if I already had PhotoShop. However, for any new "seats", licenses, computers, etc., I would definitely go Corel.
I also used the CorelDRAW part of the package, and for how I use vector graphics, it may be a little better than Visio or PowerPoint, but not a big difference. I might choose it over the others, but I wouldn't bother with the expense to upgrade to it.
Note: The Suite also includes "Trace" and "Capture", but I haven't used these, so I can't review them....more info
- It's Probably Cool Software, But You Better Read The Fine Print!
I was so excited about trying this new drawing program since I do a lot of images on my blog. But imagine my surprise when I opened the box and popped the CD into my hard drive to find out that I need a DVD-Rom drive. UGH! Hopefully I'll get one of those soon and try this software which is amazingly packaged. Like I said, it's probably cool, but I didn't read the fine print requiring the DVD-Rom. FYI!...more info
- Haven't figured it all out yet but...
Not having used Corel products before put me at a disadvantage, but from what I can tell it seems like it does everything advertised....more info
- Excellent choice for graphic design
There are three considerations when I think about CorelDraw Graphics Suite X4.
1) What you get for the price.
2) How it compares to industry leading programs like the Adobe programs
3) Overall satisfaction and usefulness.
In comparison to other programs this is a great bargain. While more expensive than some some of the introductory photo, layout, or graphics programs the capability of CorelDraw goes far beyond any of those. In fact, within seconds I realized there is no comparison to such programs and instead we have to jump to looking at the high end software which can run for about 1200 dollars for an equivalent package (this is Adobe CS3 Design standard).
So the price for a very robust suite of programs is very good here.
How does it compare overall to the Adobe programs, if cost wasn't an issue. Very well in fact. Surprisingly so, especially CorelDraw. While my experience with Adobe Illustrator is far from extensive and I still consider myself a novice at CorelDraw I feel safe in saying that CorelDraw is not quite as robust as Illustrator. That being said, CorelDraw has amazing strengths and depending on the user might even be preferred.
I've used Corel's Painter program a fair bit over the last few years and know that no program matches its ability for natural media painting. CorelDraw picks up on this and offers a lot of direct manipulation. Instead of depending on yet more windows or menus, there is a wonderful ability to just get in and shape and form, making CorelDraw feel more plain fun and natural to me. And even if it is not as robust, this quality means that for many tasks, maybe most, CorelDraw will be quicker and easier and more fluid.
CorelPhoto-Paint is not even close to Photoshop. But that's fine. It is not meant to be a direct competitor to Photoshop. It is meant to do advanced image tasks for use in graphic design, where the images are not themselves the primary goal. As such it works great. It is very easy to use, easy to pick up and works quite well. It's a great companion program to CorelDraw.
The reality is that in professional circles mastery of Adobe products are almost required. However, the bloated quality of Adobe programs means that there is almost always way more than a specific job requires. For those who are starting up, getting into their own design, or otherwise want to do extremely high quality work the CorelDraw is a very, very good choice. Because of what I feel is the ease and fun of use as compared to Adobe I will likely often open Corel now as my first choice.
It's a great product and I highly recommend it to anyone who does not need to use or cannot afford the Adobe programs. ...more info
- Amazing but one needs time to learn all aspects of it
At work I use Illustrator but haven't been using Photoshop lately and I feel like my skills are rusty with it, so I try to avoid it as much as possible, this program on the other hand is little easier to use and has functions like I have never seen before. For those who like to tweak photos this is a paradise, you can dive in and really make the best wallpapers and backgrounds for websites and personal use with the tools CorelDRAW provides.
I am still figuring it all out, so I will update my review after a few months but so far I am in heaven, if I had all day to sit in front of my computer and draw and play around I would. This is fun and looks gorgeous, works well with Vista too. The fonts and clip are worth checking it out alone!
- Kasia S.
- Highly recommended!
I must admit to being something of a Luddite when it comes to technology. I don't have a digital camera, I don't text-message, I don't pay my bills on-line, etc. However, products like these are slowly dragging me into the 21st century! However, I am something of an amateur genealogist, and one of the things I use my computer for is organizing the things I have collected, including old photos. CorelDRAW allows me to take in and enhance those old pictures, bringing out details you can't see with the naked eye!
My kids like CorelDRAW as well, with its ability to combine and edit images. Yeah, we find it a very useful and entertaining program. I have a desktop PC with Windows Vista, and we had no problems with installation or use of this program. If you have a newer computer, and wish to buy a top-of-the-line graphics program, then I would highly recommend that you get CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4. We have found it to be very useful, and we highly recommend it!...more info
I'm into genealogy and quite often need to restore old family photographs. This is by far the best tool I have found for doing this....more info
- An unprecedented combination of graphics design power and usability
I have to admit that I've bad-mouthed Corel more than once in my life, especially back before my employer saw the light and dumped WordPerfect Suite for Microsoft Office, but I have nothing but praise for CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4. Not only is this an impressive, powerful suite of graphics design tools, Corel doesn't throw you under the bus as soon as you install the software. If you're like me and don't have a single artistic bone in your body (I can't draw a straight line with a ruler), you would expect a fancy-pants software package like this to leave you dumbfounded from the start, with no clue on how to get started. Much to their credit, Corel throws you lifelines as soon as you jump in the pool and makes a diverse set of rescue resources near at hand for you at all times. I'm not saying you'll be a graphics design guru after a couple of hours - this is a really advanced, powerful set of programs here - but you would have a hard time finding a piece of software with more impressive built-in support. The first of several excellent video tutorials is available on the Welcome screen, and you can choose to have a built-in docket of usage tips available for every function you choose. Users of previous versions of the software will have no problem recognizing the changes this upgrade brings with it, as you can choose to have every single change and addition from your previous version highlighted on the screen. That doesn't sound like much, but it is a big help. You also have What's New and Learning Tools readily available to you from the Welcome screen as well as from inside each of the featured programs. Of course, you also have a complete help file available but you won't need to resort to using that very often.
As I'm sure you can tell by the price, you don't buy this program if you just want to take the redeye out of your vacation photos or create a cute little Christmas card to send to friends. You can certainly do those things with this, but Corel Photo-Paint X4, impressive as it is, is overshadowed by the primary CorelDRAW application. (If all you want is a powerful photo editor, I would still recommend Fireworks - my favorite - or Photoshop.) I would like to have seen a few more built-in templates included, but CorelDRAW actually succeeds in making graphics design possible for even artistically inept folks like me. This is one powerful program which actual graphics professionals should take to like fish to water. Professionals may be the primary target audience for this software package, but Corel does a great job of making these powerful tools available and actually useable by anyone.
I also have to mention several additional software applications and features included in this suite deal. Corel PowerTRACE X4 is of enormous help in turning traced bitmaps into images you can convert into editable vector images. Corel CAPTURE X4, as you might guess, is a powerful screen capture utility. The Bitstream Font Navigator is a comprehensive font manager that even helps you identity scanned fonts from an outside source. You even get a Duplexing Wizard to aid you in optimizing the appearance of your document when printing two-sided copies. Vista users will also welcome the integration of this software package with the Vista operating system, as the search and preview options by themselves should be of great convenience to them.
What about file formats and the age-old question of compatibility? After all, the odds are that some if not many of your associates are working with different file formats in non-Corel software. Well, Corel has worked to make CorelDRAW Graphic Suite X4 software as compatible as possible with other users and systems. In this release, the list of additional new formats includes Word and Publisher 2007, AutoCAD DXF and AutoCAD DWG, and Adobe CS3.
I could go on writing paragraph after paragraph about this product, but I could never begin to describe all of its many impressive features. Is it the best graphics design software on the market? I don't know, as I have no experience using any comparable graphics design programs. Even if I had, I don't think anyone short of a professional graphics designer would be able to judge the comparative pros and cons. What I do know is that anyone who is serious about graphics design in any of its various facets would do well to give CorelDRAW Graphic Suite X4 a long and serious look....more info
- Review by and for a vector graphics newbie only
I've never used any other vector graphics program so unfortunately, I have nothing other than Adobe Photoshop to which to compare CorelDRAW X4. After a short use, I'd say that Photoshop is better if all you want to do is work on photographs, with a little text thrown in, but for projects such as creating event invitations, business cards, work presentations, etc., CorelDRAW gives you more options. I can't speak to whether this is the best program for professionals so I won't even try. For the serious amateur, this program certainly does everything you could possibly want. If you are completely new to these sorts of programs, however, you're going to need some outside training. Although Corel X4 comes with a number of terrific training videos that are part of the regular installation package, they are largely geared to people who have used previous versions of CorelDRAW. They definitely help, and they are really well done, but even when combined with the wonderful booklet titled "CorelDRAW HANDBOOK Insights from the Experts," which comes with the package, you are still likely to be confused as there is so much that you can do with this program.
There is plenty of onscreen help as well as a Quick Reference Card to help you use the program intelligently. The package comes with a good-sized binder of fonts, clipart, photos, and other objects which are included with the program, which also has a nifty internet lookup feature, which lets you search the web for additional items that you can use at no cost or that you can purchase. There is apparently a direct interface for this lookup if you are using Windows Vista. I am running this with Windows XP, so I can't speak to the enhanced user interface that you get with Vista. Which brings me to a good point - I had no problem installing this program on a two year old lap-top, but ever since I installed it, I have been having problems with my computer. It could be a coicidence, but you do need a pretty up-to-date system with a fast processor and a fair amount of free memory, and you must be running Windows. Check the system requirements before you buy.
Once you figure out what you are dealing with, you can create all kinds of text and graphics and tables using this program. If you're not sure where to start, Corel X4 comes with all sorts of professional templates that you can use as a starting point. So, for instance, if you want to create a menu for a dinner party you can start with one of the ones that is already included as a template and mess around with it, changing the font and the colors, softening the lines of the pictures, easily drawing stars and other shapes, going back and forth between ideas, and free handing anything you like with a variety of tools. If you really like what you've created, you can save it not only as a user file but as an additional template. The program lets you do pretty much everything that you can do in Photoshop, e.g., creating layers, dodging and burning, adjusting lighting, changing the color palette, adding text, etc., but there's a great deal of additional formatting available. From the packaging itself and the quality of the included materials it's clear that Corel means business. It's a gorgeous program that lets you do all sorts of things and gives you just about as much help as you could possibly want for something this complicated. But make no mistake - this is a serious program and if you've never used anything like it before you should probably plan on taking a class or, at the very least, buying an in-depth book or online tutorial.
With apologies for this review, which probably isn't what most people are looking for, I will just finish by saying that there is so much in this package and that it would take someone like me (that is, someone without a lot of familiarity with graphics programs) more than a couple of months to really get the hang of this and do a meaningful comparison with Photoshop. All I can really tell you is that if I needed a program such as this and were just starting out with vector graphics, I would seriously consider this one.