The latest edition of the venerable graphics suite for Windows provides a slew of new and enhanced features.
While the graphics community last year celebrated the 20th anniversary of Adobe Photoshop, it’s by no means the only graphics application with more than two decades of experience under its belt. The CorelDRAW vector illustration and page layout program is also a member of this elite group, with it being for many years the central element of Corel’s Graphics Suite. Version X6 (their way of indicating 16) recently shipped with enhancements to font support, color management, drawing tools and page layout capabilities, as well as more content than ever (which is saying a lot.)Bundled content now includes 10,000 clipart images, 1,000 high-res photos, a collection of 1,000 OpenType fonts that includes such classics as Helvetica, 2,000 vehicle templates, 350 design templates, and 800 frames and patterns. Given all that, users will probably welcome the inclusion of the Corel CONNECT application, a full-screen browser that synchronizes with both CorelDRAW and CorelPHOTO-PAINT (the capable image editor included with the Suite) to provide quick access to content on a computer, network or disc. Also included are long-time Suite applications Corel PowerTRACE and Corel CAPTURE, the latter for creating screen grabs. New to the suite is Corel Website Creator, for designing and building websites.New and updated features include support for advanced OpenType typography features, such as contextual and stylistic alternates, ligatures, ornaments, small caps and swash variants. A new Color Harmonies tool combines Color Styles into a Harmony, allowing users to modify colors as a group. It also analyzes colors and hues to deliver complementary color schemes. Four new shaping tools provide additional ways to modify vector objects; Smear, for example, makes it possible to shape an object by pulling extensions or making indents along its outline, while the Twirl tool allows users to apply twirl effects to objects. Attract and Repel can shape curves by attracting or separating nodes. Support for transparent backgrounds in vector pattern fills has also been added.
A new Object Styles docker centralizes style creation and management, with control over Outline, Fill, Paragraph, Character and Text Frame style. These can be grouped together in Style Sets, making it possible to format many objects simultaneously. PowerClip frames, Placeholder Text and Insert Page Number have been added to the roster of page layout tools. It’s also worth mentioning new support for multi-core processing power and native 64-bit. For addition details on new functionality, check out Foster Coburn’s coverage on Graphics Unleashed.
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6 for Windows can be purchased on the Corel site for $499. A trial version is also available for download.