Software Review: CorelDraw 10


By J. A. Hitchcock
as it appeared in the March/April 2001 issue of Link-UP

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 nifty online-related features are: - The ability to e-mail part or all of my graphic work direct from the CorelDRAW program - it’s already figured out what e-mail program(s) you’re using, so it automatically opens that program up when you’re ready to send. - Visit Corel’s designer web site for more help right from the program; this “Web Connector Docker” window lets you connect to http://www.designer.com/ on the Internet without leaving the application. So you get the answers you need and can make the adjustments without going totally crazy. - HTML Preflight lets you see if there are any problems with your web page you should be aware of *before* you publish it. So if you have a graphic or text that’s going off the page or doesn’t fit right, HTML Preflight will let you know. In addition to all the new web-related things, you also get: • Microsoft® Visual Basic® for Applications 6.2 • Bitstream® Font Navigator™ • Canto® Cumulus® Desktop LE 5.0 • CorelTRACE™ 10 - converts bitmapped images to vector images. • Corel TEXTURE™ 10 - simulate textures such as clouds, wood, and more • Corel CAPTURE™ 10 - a very nice and easy to use screen capture utility • Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 4.0 • Adobe® Photoshop®-compatible plug-in filters, including Digimarc® Digital Watermarking and Human Software Squizz!™ 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) http://www.corel.com/draw10 Minimum Requirements • Windows® 98, Windows 2000, Windows NT® or Windows Me • Pentium® 200 • 64 MB RAM (128 MB recommended) • 2X CD-ROM drive • SVGA monitor • Mouse or tablet • 160 MB of hard disk space


J.A. Hitchcock is a regular contributor to Compute Me. Visit her web site at jahitchcock.com.

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