Corel DRAW Graphics Suite

Corel Draw has released a new version of its flagship image editing app Corel DRAW, which is a bundle of multiple applications sold under the name ‘CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2019’.

The package in question includes Photo-Paint, a bitmap, and photo editing app with support for layers and non-destructive editing, AfterShot, which is designed to handle raw and HDR images and offers batch processing features, PowerTRACE, a clever tool that helps you transform a bitmap image into a vector one, and FontManager organises your typefaces and font collections, and also lets you index font folders on your local and network drives – which means you don’t need to install all fonts on your local machine should you chose not to while still being able to make use of them.

But the main attraction is, of course, Corel DRAW, a highly versatile vector-drawing package that is also capable of handling and creating multiple page documents – so you don’t need to use a DTP app as well; you could design it all within CorelDRAW. It has most of the typography and page layout tools you’d need, including master pages, page numbers, compatibility with OpenType, etc.

For those who don’t know, Corel DRAW has been around for thirty years. At that time, it has developed an amazing array of tools, like for instance Colour Harmony, which allows you to alter the hues of an object from one group of complementary colors to another, or Pointiliser, which helps you create vector mosaics. It also comes with intuitive vector editing tools that enable you to alter the curves you create, apply smear and twirl tools, etc.

A version for today’s expectations

The designers have worked hard to make this new version more relevant to the needs of today’s users. For instance, a great focus has been put on making the artwork more compatible with the web.

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With that in mind comes Pixel Perfect control. The idea behind it is to keep your design as sharp as possible when converting it from vector to bitmap. Obviously, vector artwork is pin-sharp no matter what its size, but bitmap images have a fixed resolution, which is how all images online or in your photo library work.

As you convert a vector image, it might not be perfectly aligned to the pixel grid, leading to a blurry or fuzzy output. Pixel Perfect control lets you zoom into the artwork and with the help of the ‘align with pixel grid’ tool, move parts of your design so the edges don’t overlap pixels, leading to a cleaner, sharper result.

Another big and welcomed improvement is the non-destructive capabilities in this version. It was already possible to add effects to vector images, but now, not only can you add as many effects as you need to a shape, you can alter them and the shape itself at any time, and everything alters accordingly.

The Templates menu has been enhanced as well, making it easier not only to access those that come bundled with the program but also any custom ones you’ve created.

Perhaps of greater interest is the change to the Object Docker. Now every layer is represented with a thumbnail, which is a graphical representation of the shape in question. This makes it much easier to quickly locate and select the one you need to work on.

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