Corel – CorelDRAW 10 review

the tenth(!) incarnation of the popular graphics suite
Photo of Corel – CorelDRAW 10
£299 + VAT

At the beginning of the 80′s there was a fantasy piece in a magazine on computing life at the turn of the century. One of the imagined events was the release of CorelDRAW 10. How we all laughed, since we were only on CorelDRAW 2 at the time. It’s now 2001 and CorelDRAW 10 has recently been released. Strangely, it doesn’t seem odd at all.

The CorelDRAW suite is now divided into three modules: CorelDRAW itself, Corel Photo-Paint and the new kid, Corel R.A.V.E. (Real Animated Vector Effects). The box is much smaller, as everything is squeezed onto three CDs and the manuals are only a little over 150 pages each. There’s no clip-art catalogue, just a browser as part of the set-up. The buckets of clips and fonts have been reduced, too, though you still get a CD full of them.

CorelDRAW itself has been tweaked, rather than radically upgraded. The interface has been smoothed out, so many functions are that bit easier to get at and use. More use is made of dockers (detachable palettes), the publication of DRAW documents as PDF files has been strengthened and the automatic pre-flight print checks have been enhanced.

You can drag a drawing around at a high zoom level, too, rather than having to zoom out, re-select a working area and zoom back in. PerfectShapes have been filched from the WordPerfect Suite, so you can create a variety of standard shapes really easily. You can now easily create multi-page documents with pages of differing sizes so, for instance, you could design a whole set of business stationery in one document.

Photo-Paint, the bitmap partner to the vector-based CorelDRAW, has been enhanced with better control of objects such as text. You can now resize or skew text, or even run it along a path and still keep the text editable. This makes bitmap text effects much easier to set up and modify.

Simple photo correction, like red-eye removal, is now available and effects like drop shadows are easier to apply and closer to those in CorelDRAW in operation. You can optimise graphics for the Web, by choosing the correct file format from a series of previews.

CorelR.A.V.E. is a totally new part of the CorelDRAW suite and is designed for animations. Though aimed primarily at Web animations – the program is Macromedia Flash compatible – it can produce other formats too.

You have many of the same tools available in R.A.V.E. as in CorelDRAW, but with animation-specific aids like a timeline, too. You can insert key-frames and tween between them in proper Toy Story fashion. While R.A.V.E. doesn’t yet rival dedicated animation programs like Flash or LiveMotion, it sticks Corel’s standard in the sand, alongside those of Macromedia and Adobe.

Company: Corel

Contact: 0800 973189


Verdict
CorelDRAW 10 is a worthwhile upgrade for people who use the product regularly, as most of the key improvements, like colour management, are aimed at the professional. The extra module, CorelR.A.V.E., is a logical and useful addition to the suite.