The easy-to-use alternative to Adobe Illustrator is now 64-bit, and offers a variety of features designed for the occasional user who needs a professional graphics product.
We think of CorelDraw as the alternative to Adobe’s Illustrator and we’ve always found it easier to use. One of the aspects that is great about CorelDraw is that it’s easy to return to when you don’t use it very often. As it turns out the people who do use it very often include people in signage as well as office productivity, and for corporate art departments.
Corel revels in the Windows-ness of its products, which also makes the product easier to understand from the start. We haven’t had a chance to work with it in depth, but we have gotten a good look at it. We are those people who tend to need CorelDraw occasionally, and with this version Corel has brought many features of CorelDraw up to date against its arch-competitor Adobe Illustrator.
For instance it’s now 64-bit. And it has added tools its signage people need. CorelDraw now has advanced OpenType support with typography features. Also on the type front, CorelDraw supports complex script to improve the ability to typeset Asian and Middle Eastern languages correctly.
There is a new tool to create and save color palettes. This is similar to Adobe’s Kuler tool. In addition, Corel has added the ability to create document styles and save them in a docked toolbar, so your established tools are available in one location.
The product now has some layout aids. Since the last version Corel has been flirting with web design tools and in this round it goes further. Users can incorporate Corel’s Website Creator X6 into their workflow. It’s an additional download. Finally, Corel has long supported a wealth of clip art via Corel Connect. With this version it has added new tools to manage art from a variety of sources including iStockPhoto, Fotolia, and Flickr. Content can be organized by project or by type.
Still popular after all these years
Corel knows its stuff on CorelDraw. It upgrades the product on schedule and it keeps up a close race with Adobe where it feels it needs to. The product has found its niche and the two groups of users are distinct. As we say, we really need to dig into it but checking responses in the forums we can see that it’s welcome and so far there are no big complaints or screams of delight.