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Software Review of:
CorelDRAW 11
What's new

 

Stephen Tech, Jr. is the class leader for CorelDRAW I and assistant class leader for CorelDRAW II. When he is not spending time on computers, he works as an electrician.

From the October, 2002 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

Are you tired of seeing the same old “Model T” Window icons? Then the icons in CorelDRAW ll, Corel PHOTO-PAINT 11, Corel Trace 11, and CorelR.A.V.E.2.0  are a pleasing sight. They are softer and have a graceful style. 

A beginner to drawing and starting with a program like CorelDRAW can cause a person to be frustrated. That is why some try to use simple drawing programs, but those programs soon become boring because of limitations. That is why Alamo PC has a class to share the basics. The good drawers or draftspersons, who have been using versions 5, 6, 7, or 8 and are still happy with what you can do and are very satisfied, you are going to have to make another difficult decision. Should I upgrade to CorelDRAW version 11? 

I left out versions 9 and 10, for your decision will probably be based on different criteria. This version has more interesting web finds to get into. In the past CorelDRAW has tried to keep their many fine tools and improve upon their features or properties. Adjusting to those properties is where novices can get lost. How does one remember the steps to fit text to a curved line, or place text inside a container? How does one build a fancy but effective Web button? Ever say to yourself. I created this drawing yesterday. Why not today? Those who have been upgrading through the years will also be pleased and excited with the improvements in version 11. 

CorelDRAW 11 can do the same things that the expensive ones can. CorelDRAW 11 is more user-friendly or easier to use. Plus, some of the features in Corel PHOTO-PAINT 11 are in the same in DRAW. This way as you learn CorelDRAW 11. The new knowledge complements’ Corel PHOTO-PAINT 11or vise-a-versa. 

In CorelDRAW 11, to change the default fill colors, open the Windows menu, select Docker, then Properties. On the Object Properties docker the “apply all” button changed to a “drawing of a lock” icon. However, changing the fill color still works like verison 9. You must deselect all objects before clicking this icon. It looks like the folks of Corel tried to make this easier to use. However a programer got sidetracked and missed a great opportunity to make this little find easier for us. 

Those programmers did some things I like. In CorelDRAW 11 select the Artistic Media tool. On the property bar is a spraylist file list, click the drop down arrow, scroll down the display of artwork. Notice the new popup balloon showing the file name, no more guesswork. Click the browse icon. This popup feature also works on the files on a CD-ROM disk. Even if the disk is from version 9. Now, if you leaf through the images in the manual and find an interesting one. The locating task should be easier. 

Templates
Open the file menu, select “New From Template”, the selections are sorted with the familiar tabs across the top. The tab list includes: full page, label, side-fold, web, and browse. I like that. However, the browse button causes a traffic problem. With 5 CD’s to select from the program doesn’t say which one to insert. You’ll have to know in advance. Do you really like inserting a CD’s then manually search the folders to view hundreds of files? Wish the program was smart enough to say insert disk number xx and you’re there. Wish!

Listed below are the new features found in the CorelDRAW 11 help files. I copied them. They are direct quotes. The same list can be found on the Web site. I hope this satisfies the copyright laws. I added helpful points after the main goals. 

New Drawing Tools
3 point curve tool
The 3 point curve tool lets you draw a curve by defining the start, end and center points.  

How can a beginner use the 3 point curve tool? Left double click and drag in a straight line. When you stop, lift your finger off the mouse button and move the cursor back along the line. Now you can move the line or stretch it out, to make a curve. Then left click to apply the line. With this tool, drawing gets less complicated.

Pen tool
The Pen tool lets you draw curves one segment at a time. 

3 point rectangle tool
The 3 point rectangle tool lets you draw a rectangle by dragging to create the rectangle baseline and clicking to define its height. (This is great for those who have a hard time with the mouse.)  

How can a beginner use the 3 point rectangle tool? Left double click the mouse at the starting point. Hold down the left mouse button and drag the mouse to draw a baseline. When you want to stop, lift your finger from the mouse. Without dragging, move the cursor away from the baseline to expand the height of the rectangle. Left click again to complete the drawing. Wow!  Should we ask, why wasn’t this done years ago? Let’s go on, it’s here. 

3 point ellipse tool
The 3 point ellipse tool lets you draw an ellipse by dragging to create the centerline of the ellipse and clicking to define its height. (Again, this is great for those who have a hard time with the mouse.)  

This is similar to the one above. Left double click the mouse at your starting point. Hold down the left mouse button and drag the mouse to draw a centerline. When you want to stop, lift your finger from the mouse. Without dragging, move the cursor away from the centerline to expand the height of the ellipse. Left click again to complete the drawing. This is harder than the 3 point rectangle tool. (If you left click after drawing the baseline, all you get is a straight line.)  However with some practice this becomes easier and making precise ellipses is a snap. 

Polyline tool
The Polyline tool lets you draw lines and curves in preview mode. 

How can a beginner use the Polyline tool? Left click the mouse once for the starting point. Don’t hold down the left button to drag the mouse, move the mouse to draw a line. Left click the mouse to anchor the line. Left click the mouse once to continue another line. Move the mouse to draw a line in a different direction. Left click the mouse to anchor the line. For something new and extra, this time left click the mouse and continue the line while holding your finger down and drag the mouse. Move the cursor over the first anchor point, when the cursor changes to a small arow head. Left click again and the lines connect to complete the drawing. This tool is remarkable. 

Remember trying to fill some clip art with a color, only to find the art has a leak in it. And the whole page is filled. Can this tool be used to patch those holes? Where’s my to do list? 

Symbols
CorelDRAW 11 lets you create objects and save them as symbols, which are then stored in the library. Symbols are defined once and can be referenced many times in a drawing, so using symbols for objects that appear many times in a drawing helps to reduce file size.  

New Shaping tools
Smudge brush tool lets you distort a vector object by dragging along its outline.

How can a beginner use the smudge brush tool? One may wonder, what are vector objects? The Corel help definition is: “A specific object within a drawing that is created as a collection of lines rather than as patterns of individual dots or pixels. Vector objects are generated from mathematical descriptions that determine the position, length, and direction in which lines are drawn..”  Go to your favorite clip art file. Find the one you didn’t like because it needed something. . .drag the art to the page. Let’s smudge it a tad. Click on the smudge brush tool. Go to the properties bar, adjust the nib size, add a dry out to the effect, enter a fixed value for the tilt setting, and enter a value for the fixed bearing setting. Then go ahead and smudge any vector object. Now that clip art may have what you were looking for. Oh! Yeah. 

Roughen brush tool  
Roughen brush tool lets you distort the outline of a vector object by dragging along the outline. So that Webdings (Symbol) font, you didn't like yesterday, may soon become your favorite after using this tool. Can Harry save that hairy spider in his new symbols folder? Sure he can. 

New trimming tool  
CorelDRAW 11 provides enhanced options for trimming objects. You can use a font object as the source object to trim an object behind it, use the back object to trim a font object, or remove hidden areas of overlapping objects so that only the visible area remains in the drawing.  

For those who didn't go to welding school, you’ll enjoy this tool. Now you can arrange, shape and enjoy fancy creations. No more feeling of sand in your eyes, no extra suntan on your arms, no hot sparks or Beebe’s rolling down your undershirt. Like real welding, this trimming tool along with welding. intersect, simplify, front minus back and back minus front do take some practice. As you master these shaping tools, you can produce interesting designs. 

Enhanced Object Features
Snapping objects to each other 
CorelDRAW 11 lets you snap objects to each other. You can snap to an object’s nodes, areas between nodes, center, or bounding box. 

Aligning Objects
CorelDRAW 11 makes it easier than ever to align objects to each other and to paths of the drawing page such as center, edge, and grid. 

Closing Path
CorelDRAW 11 lets you quickly create a closed object from line segments by selecting which lines you want to connect and the shape of the connecting line (straight or curved).  

Use the new pen tool and draw two separate lines. Don’t connect them. Select the pick tool, hold down the shift key or marquee select both lines. Now for the fun. Open the arrange menu, select Close Path, then (it’s your choice) Closest nodes with curvy lines works fine for me. Unbelievable! 

New Text Features
Importing and pasting text
When you import or paste text, you now have the option of maintaining formatting, maintaining fonts and formatting or discarding fonts and formatting. 

Converting paragraph text to curves
Converting paragraph text to curves transforms characters into single line and curve objects, letting you apply effects to formatted text.  

CorelDRAW 11, the requirements for installation to either operating system platforms are.

  • Window 98, Windows 2000, Windows NT4.0, Windows Me, or Windows XP 
  • Pentium II, 200 MHz or greater 
  • 64 MB RAM (128 MB is recommended, and required for Windows XP) 
  • Mouse or tablet 
  • 1024 x 768 screen resolution 
  • CD drive 
  • 200 MB hard disk space.


My 900 MHz computer with 256 MHz Ram running on the Windows Me OS had no problems during installation. In addition, I can still run CorelDRAW 9. 

Should you upgrade or even purchase the full version of CorelDRAW 11? CompUSA has and sells CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11 upgrade for $199.99. The full version is $399.99. My choice is for the upgrade.


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