I just may have to get rid of Hot Dog Professional, a program I’ve been using for years to create my web pages. Well, maybe.
CorelDRAW 10 is the latest version from Corel. But this time, it’s bigger and better. Not only does it contain the usual “upgrades” you expect, it added some very nifty features that allows you to do more online as well as offline.
Included in the box are CorelDRAW 10 for page layout and creating or modifying graphics/images; Corel PhotoPaint 10 for image editing and painting; and Corel R.A.V.E. (Real Animated Vector Effects). You get loads more, but I want to comment on the main programs included.
CorelDRAW 10 is wonderful and seems to be easier to use in the past, or it just seems easier because I’ve been using it for so many years. I found the main window is less cluttered than I remembered and offers easier navigation, even for a novice.
Since this version touts the fact you can publish to .pdf and .html, as well as spiffing up what you’ve already created, I decided to try that out first. I opened up a page I’d already made in Hot Dog and instead of seeing HTML coding, it came up as it would look on the web, with all the graphics and text as configured. I then fit text to the text frames, moved the photos and graphics around a bit, and clicked on “Publish to the Web” “HTML.” The page came up in my web browser and didn’t look quite the same. It took a bit of tweaking to get the hang of how to make it look like the page I wanted, but I don’t know if I’d use CorelDRAW 10 to make HTML pages. Making graphics for web pages is a snap and very cool. A great feature is the “Web Image Optimizer,” where you can preview what your graphics will look like and choose from .gif, .jpg, .png8 or .png24 formats, then choose the one you want or go back to the original you’d saved in. I found .jpg worked best for me, since I use a lot of photos, and cut down a page of graphics and photos from 510kb to 72kb and they still looked great.
I found Corel R.A.V.E. a fun program to use - this is where you can create live animations and export them as Macromedia Flash files for your web site. I took the introductory title to my current web page “Hitchcock Herald” and animated it so that it looked like the sun was glinting off of it using the Movie menu functions. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination and I have a pretty big imagination!
You can also create graphics that will do rollovers (normal, down and over) that can respond to a mouse or do them automatically. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Have you ever gone to a web site where you’ve placed your mouse cursor over a button or graphic and it changes or moves or does something else? This is a rollover. If you’re a hardcore HTML freak, than you’ll love how you can create vector graphics that can be compressed with support for SVG and Flash SWF formats.
Although I won’t be replacing Hot Dog Professional for making my web pages, I will be using CorelDRAW 10 to create, optimize and edit my web graphics and photos. And I intend on adding some animations to my pages and maybe a few rollover graphics. We’ll just have to see.
Corel advertises this as the best CorelDRAW ever and I have to agree.
Other features include:
CorelTutor - takes you through projects step-by-step, great for novices!
Customizeable toolbox, menus, toolbars and status bars
Import Macromedia® FreeHand™ 8 and Microsoft® Visio® 5 documents
Smoother, faster zooming and panning in real time
Edit individual objects as often as necessary to get the right look—without starting from scratch
Apply predefined settings to many of the interactive tools—or create your own presets
Access all color management options—for the Web, desktop printing and professional output—from one interface
Place multiple languages within the same text box
CorelDRAW 10 Graphics Suite
$549.99 (upgrade price is $239.99)
J.A. Hitchcock is the author of seven books and writes for several print and online publications. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is also the president of WHOA (Working to Halt Online Abuse) which is online at www.haltabuse.org.