Let’s not beat around the bush: Most graphic design professionals use the very expensive powerhouse pack of apps known as Adobe Creative Suite (about $1,700 street, 4.5 stars, and our Editors’ Choice) for editing images, designing pages, creating new graphics, and building websites. But Adobe isn’t the only option for design professionals, especially those who don’t need the whole kit and caboodle.
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6 ($499 direct; $199 upgrade) is a viable option for anyone who doesn’t need the heavy-duty Adobe package, and isn’t a Mac user. CorelDRAW is Windows-only. But it has a few new tools and features in this most recent version make it more versatile than ever before. CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6 comprises seven parts, all told. Within the suite, you’ll find two major applications—the namesake CorelDRAW, a vector and illustration program, and Photo-Paint for image editing—and a handful of utilities: bitmap converter PowerTrace, site designing tool Website Creator, screen-capture utility Capture, full-screen browser utility Connect, and an export plug-in utility called PhotoZoom Pro 2. Version 6 brings new features and several spruced-up tools that enable CorelDRAW to be used for new purposes, especially text-heavy designs (light page design, that is) and websites.
Perhaps the two most significant changes for CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6 are that it now supports 64-bit and multi-core machines. However, as mentioned, it’s only built for Windows, with no Mac version available, which is a major drawback for many artistic professionals. Overall Enhancements Aside from the added support for 64-bit and multi-core machines (which effectively makes the program faster and more responsive), Corel has added a number of new tools for designers, those dealing in both print and online materials. There are hundreds of video tutorials that are very good at showing off what’s new while also teaching you tricks and tips. Across a few of the apps in CorelDRAW Graphics Suite is a tray for storing images you may want to use in your work, which has been spruced up nicely for version X6. The tray now includes little checkboxes that let you search Fotolia, Flickr, iStockPhoto, and other online sites, to find images for use. When you find an image, you can drag it to the tray to save it for later. X6 also now supports multiple trays, which appear neatly at the bottom of the screen as tabs. You can name the tabs, letting you organize your searches more effectively. Another great option here is the ability to drop a URL into the search bar and see all the graphics assets that appear on that page. Web designers in particular will find this tool handy. A few more additions on the Web design side, in Corel Website Creator X6, help non-coders build pages with ease.
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Monday, January 14, 2013
3:25 AM No comments