Corel draw Graphics Suite X4 [Old Version]
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- 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
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- Platform: Windows Vista / XP
- Media: DVD-ROM
- Item Quantity: 1
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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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
CorelDraw x4 is essentially 4 programs in one. First, and most important to me is Corel PHOTO-PAINT X4. I found this application to be very powerful, along the same lines as Adobe Photoshop. However, side by side, Corel PHOTO-PAINT X4 was better at manipulating the particular images I was working with. Their auto adjust feature most of the time was able to correct my photos over 70% of the time. The effects and adjustments menu is extensive and useful. I still don't know every feature, but I am sure I will master this program with the help of their Corel Tutor, help screens, included user's manual, and 2 hours of DVD instruction.
Next is their vector graphics program, CorelDRAW X4. This is a graphics creation and manipulation program, like Adobe Illustrator. If you don't know what vector graphics are, they are mathematical calculations that draw lines and other graphics each time an image is enlarged. It allows you to blow up an image to infinite amounts without getting the bitmap and pixel distortion you would get from making a simple enlargement. This is what all professional design studios use, and it makes it easy to take graphics and turn them into billboards, posters, car wraps, t-shirts, and more with perfect results. You can also use this program to design beautiful brochures, logos, business cards, menus, and any other design and layout project you have. Ten thousand clipart images are included with this program, so you can save some time and money as opposed to buying these elsewhere. They also give you 1000 photographs.
A nice product also included is called Corel PowerTRACE X4. This allows you to take bitmap images and convert them to vector images. I didn't even know something like this had existed. In the past I would recreate images that were vector graphics, which was time consuming.
Finally, the CorelDraw x4 includes Corel CAPTURE X4 which is a screen capture program. This is useful if you are creating instruction manuals, saving game screens, and just about any other reason you can think that it would be useful to have a screen capture.
Overall, I am thrilled with this program so far, and hope to keep uncovering new possibilities as I learn more about this program. Novices would be advised to either be patient and learn from all the included resources or take a class on this software before frustration sets in. I recall my early days in using graphics programs, and they can be a bear.
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.
For many years, CorelDraw offered tremendous bang for the buck. Not only was CorelDraw a competent vector illustration program competing with Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia FreeHand, it came with 10,000 mediocre, but usable, clip art images and 1,000 fonts.
Almost 20 years later, it is still in production - and that says a lot. Not many software products have accomplished this.
The CorelDraw Suite includes CorelDraw X4, Corel PHOTO-PAINT X4 (a PhotoShop workalike), Corel PowerTRACE X4 (a bitmap to vector conversion program), Corel CAPTURE X4. Bitstream Font Navigator, a print duplexing utility and a service bureau pre-flighter.
Much to their credit, Corel still includes a reasonably comprehensive printed manual. There aren't a whole lot of third-party books on Corel products and the programs are complex. The printed manual is welcome.
CorelDraw is still widely used, particularly in the industrial market. It is less expensive than equivalent Adobe products, though not necessarily easier to use.
I'll cursorily treat the lesser applications first. Bitstream FontNavigator is a great tool for managing large numbers of fonts. Simple to use, dependable and capable. Corel CAPTURE is a screen capture program and nothing to write home about. SnagIt V 8.2is far more capable. The service bureau prep application is fine for those who need it: most won't. The print duplexing application is okay, but not as sophisticated as some other standalone applications.
Installation on a moderately powerful AMD based Windows XP computer was trouble free. Response from all programs on a basic nVidia graphic display adapter was adequate. On a state-of-the-art computer, these programs should fly.
CorelDRAW is an excellent vector graphics illustration program. It is the equal of Adobe Illustrator. In some ways, it is easier to use than its Adobe counterpart - but in others, it is not. One thing should be kept in mind - this program is not for those who expect to learn it in ten minutes. But for a newcomer willing to work with the manual, CorelDRAW can be learned reasonably quickly.
CorelPAINT is a competitor to Adobe PhotoShop. But it is not a strong competitor. It is just about as capable as PhotoShop and a lot less expensive, but the interface is not as comfortable as PhotoShop's. PhotoShop is also supported by dozens of third-party books and tools that will teach you how to do everything and anything with PhotoShop. Corel PHOTOPAINT lacks such support, though you can learn from the PhotoShop materials.
Overall, the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite remains a formidable competitor. It offers nearly all the capabilities of Adobe Illustrator and PhotoShop in an affordable package with the added benefit of the extras like the fonts and clip art. For those who need high-end vector and bitmap editing capabilities, the package should definitely be on your short list, particularly since Adobe merged with Macromedia.
A good buy, worthy of consideration.
This new CorelDraw has a vast array of options, but it combats my confusion in a very sensible way: Lots and lots of "help" options. DVD tutorials, help tips easily accessible on the screen, and a full, pretty clearly written instruction manual. I'm convinced that one could spend years with this program and still not use all the options available - and that's a pretty cool thing. From fonts to clipart to a special "insights from the experts" booklet to a free tee-shirt, CorelDraw Graphics Suite X4 is packed with features, and really goes the extra mile to allow a relative novice like me to begin work as soon as it's installed.
(Keep in mind, if you get this, that it's only for Windows XP or Vista, and is really made for the latest PCs. The system requirements seem to call for the most recent PC features and aren't going to work if you're using an older version of Windows.)