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Corel Draw Graphics Suite x4.
What I used it for.
I was first introduced to this Graphics Suite during the writing of my University Dissertation. As such I was able to buy it for £15 as I only used it for that purpose. I found it invaluable as my dissertation had a lot of images and an A0 map to compose.
How much experience I have with computers
I have a lot of experience with computers and get use to different software very easily. It did however, still take me a week to become completely proficient in it. I should point out that I learn by doing so did not take classes or read instructions.
How much experience other people will need.
You will need basic graphic software package, mainly so you know what you want and then you can try and find it on Corel Draw. The instruction help section is not as bad as some packages, however you will need to know what you are looking for before you go searching. If you are new to computers (or hopeless), then I recommend a class or getting a friend to teach you and work through a simple project, such as copying a graph or annotating a diagram.
What I would recommend it for
It is the best package out there for business diagrams. The lines are neat and you can export the images to any file. I normally make them into a *.JPG to use them in word docs. If you need to use photo images as well I would recommend first manipulating them in a software like Photoshop and then transferring them.
The best thing about Corel is how neat it is. It is automatically built in to fix to midway point or line, however if you want it in a specific point then you just zoom in more and the software will understand. It also has a grid function which you can tell how large to make it, then use that to line everything up. You can also manipulate the shape of the colour to make it precise. It also has a very good backup in case your computer crashes. It both saves a back-up copy in case anything happens to your one but also if it crashes it saves your work in your temp folder and although this maybe hard to find just search for it using the window search tool.
Bad thing about Corel Draw: It is a sophisticated package so you will need a capable computer (check the latest software for specs, but current ones can be found here: http://www.corel.com /servlet/Satellite/gb/en/ Product/1191272117978 #versionTabview=tab2&tabview=tab6 -and my computer which can only just run Sims2 can run it).
Also it saves a backup of everything (and many times), which is great in theory. However for practice with large projects that you're doing over a couple of months it ends up saving a lot of copies of things which are obsolete and you have to go around deleting them.
I also don't ever use the free photos and clip art. So I personally would never pay anything additional for those.
Who might need it.
If you are doing anything large. I can not stress how great it is for big projects as the working screen has a discreet, although visible, grey outline of your paper size and layout (portrait or landscape). Then there is room to work around that, say importing things and such forth before you are ready for the final composition. Your paper size can either be the standards (Eg. A1, A2, A3, A4, A0... etc), of you can manually enter sizes. The bad thing about paper size is that printers have a small printing margin around the edge, which your paper size will not take into account so you do always have to go into print preview to double check (although for any big project I would hope you always do). It can also be used as said before for images which need to go into word or powerpoint. It is very simple to import any format (just click import instead of open), then you export it back in the format you want.
Poster work. It is perfect for academic posters. You can write text in lots of different fonts as well as sizes and underline and make bold (basically it's just like writing in word).
Graphics for reports and presentations. It is so easy to import and export graphics that I used it for everything including neatening up graphs to annotating sketches and building models.
What you won't need it for.
Photo editing. It does include Photo Paint, but there are much better software on the market.
How much I would pay for it?
It is quite expensive and for what I used it for I would not pay more than £120. So it is worth trying to find it through your work or place of education. Having said that if the price doesn't scare you then it is worth it. For me I would not buy it now only based on the price.
Should you get it?
Best thing to do is to download a free trial so that you can see if it suits you. (Free Trial Available From: http://www.corel.com/ servlet/Satellite/gb/en/Product /1191272117978#versionTabview=tab 2&tabview=tab0 -and then you save 10% on full purchase price).
I say though if you are looking for a graphics package this is the one you should purchase.
CorelDraw is a useful and powerful graphics suite that offers everything you need for digital photo editing, graphics, and illustration.
This latest edition of CorelDraw's Graphics Suite is improved and feature packed, and in an Adobe dominated market is Corel's obvious attempt to get themselves back in the game. The question is have they done enough, well multiple page support has now been added, and the graphics suite includes an impressive array of templates, fonts, digital images, clip-art and a copy of Photo Paint. Support has been added for additional file types, including DXF, DWG, and the ever increasing popular RAW files. Interestingly enough this graphics suite also offers support for documents from Microsoft Word. Installation is quick and easy.
It's been a considerably long time since I've used Corel (I'm a Photoshop man) but despite this, I was quickly able to come to grips with the software, and without any real problems. I found CorelDraw to be considerably less complex and easier to learn than Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop meaning it is more suited for non-professionals or those new to design. The PowerTrace feature which is one of my personal favourite offers direct bitmap-to-vector conversion, and the interface is new and looks fresh. All of these changes will obviously make the software more universally appealing to users at any level. What I was also glad to find was a rather meaty and comprehensive printed manual included in the box, rather than the typical pdf manual that seems to be very common these days.
I'm sure there are still countless features that I've still to discover with this software, and it's something I look forward to doing. I'll definitely be using Corel for my more complex and creative graphic designs. While at the same time, I doubt the software offers enough to completely bring over Adobe users, it still is a worth while upgrade for existing Corel users and definitely a step in the write direction, not to forget the fact that it's also considerably cheaper than its Adobe rival.
(I'm a reviewer on Amazon, and some my reviews are copied from there to dooyoo. Please feel free to check out my Amazon profile under my real name of Mr Andrew M Kerr.)
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 lets you tackle creative graphics and design projects with confidence. Precision tools, market-leading file compatibility and high-quality content help you turn your creative ideas into professional results: from distinctive logos and signs, to striking marketing materials and eye-catching web graphics.