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Switching from Adobe to Corel

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  • Switching from Adobe to Corel

    Hey everyone, I am desperate need of help from fellow designers! ...
    I just started a new design job and they use Corel Draw X3. I have used the Adobe Creative Suite for 5 years now and have never used Corel Draw. Needless to say, my first day with Corel Draw was dreadful..I have spent hours searching tutorials online for just seems so much more complicated to use than Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop.
    Does anyone have any tips for how to make a quick and efficient shift from Adobe to Corel? I want to learn how to use this program because I feel it's too early for me to confront my new boss about using Adobe instead.

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum Chic. Nothing personal, but I'm a little surprised they hired you when you don't know the software they use. That should have been part of the job requirements.

    Anyway, I hope you'll find it useful and fun here.

    We ask all new members to read the threads posted HERE and HERE. They explain how the forum runs, the rules, frequently discussed topics and our inside jokes.

    Enjoy the forum.
    This post is brought to you by the letter E and the number 9. Those are the buttons I push to get a Twix out of the candy machine.
    "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."


    • #3
      yes, i know. im surprised as well, considering i mentioned in the interview what programs i have used and currently use...AND it says on my resume that i am familiar with adobe. but whatever.


      • #4
        The Adobe stuff is on the creative cloud now, perhaps you could convince them "rent" the software" for a month to show how more efficient you are using that software.

        Is there any particular reason they are using Corel? By the sounds of it, nobody else there is using Corel, so if you're the only one using it surely you should have what you are comfortable using.

        Other than finding blogs, resources, forums, and online publications, perhaps has tutorials?

        Either way you'll need to time to learn and adjust to new software. If you can't get the software you need, make it clear that you need time set aside for doing tutorials and for training.

        "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott


        • #5
          Get a quickstart book. Go in on weekends, stay late, come in early...any program is learn by doing. There are things you can do with Corel that make it hell to outsource printing. If it's all in-shop, not so much an issue. The pressman knows where your desk is.

          As for "Who Uses Corel any more," it is still a staple program in many small sign shops. If the entire system is set up for Corel, then you don't just go 'change to Adobe'.


          • #6
            Definitely need to find out if you definitely need to use Corel, or if a change will be good or bad for how the company operates.

            Worth investigating.

            "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott


            • #7
              Just because Corel offends you doesn't necessarily mean a change is good for the shop.
              I dislike Corel as well, but if that is the software being used, the OP needs to suck it up and learn it.


              • #8
                Are you talking to me? I never said it offends me.

                I think my point was lost there.

                Obviously if it ties into the workflow then a change is bad.

                But if a change can speed up efficiency then why not suggest it?

                Again, worth investigating if it's something they have to use.

                Personally, I'd be eager to learn it. I can't find any cross-over manuals - so I'd give it a go creating one.

                There are migration manuals going the other way though

                Perhaps those will help, as you'd be familiar with the Illustrator/Indesign/Photoshop terms.

                "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott


                • #9
                  A lot depends on what kind of software user you are. To maintain the illusion of unusual proficiency, I have learned to become highly reliant on keyboard shortcuts, and to a lesser degree, the ability to customize that UI in the software itself.

                  To this end, you're in great luck with Draw. It's been the king of UI customizability literally, for over a decade. There's a lot of things I do NOT like about Draw but the fact that they've maintained this user tweakable UI philosophy deserves a lot of credit and something to which Adobe has only slowly (painfully slowly, by comparison) been able to introduce into its products.

                  Not only are keyboard shortcuts editables, they are also multi-modal (5 modes vs. Adobe's two) and cover scripts and macros as well. Toolbars are also editable, you can even create unique new ones, as well as edit/create/import new icons to your liking (the UI customizing interface even includes a built-in icon editor).

                  But perhaps the best way to start with this for an Ai user is to change the default workspace in Corel to the built-in Ai version. Tools/Options/Workspace (it's in the left pane, at the top) and select the Adobe Illutrator workspace. This remaps a lot of the keyboard stuff to the Ai defaults.

                  In my setup, I've mapped as much as I can to the Adobe equivalent. It's just easier to work with NOT having to switch the keyboard maps mentally when working between Adobe and Corel.

                  Corel's UI options also include many useful tools NOT included on the standard tool palette. For example -- the 'one-shot Pan' tool. It's equivalent to the Adobe temporary Pan tool -- so I set it to Ctrl-Space, something like the Adobe version's 'Space' invoke (though I prefer the toggle between last tool default that Corel has, which is why I don't make it match exactly).

                  A couple of niceties that you might grow to like about CDraw:
                  - true multi-page size, multi-paging (that's been there for almost forever)
                  - some decent, basic imposition tools with full preview
                  - a choice between standard Ai pen tool behaviour, or Corel's model. I personally prefer Draw's version, but I know several Ai users who practically claim Ai pen mastery as THE distinguishable skill barometer of all designers, so yeah... whatever.
                  - Contours: very handy in certain production tasks. Even if it's just 1 contour.
                  - Distortion Envelopes: much more advanced and controllable than anyone else's
                  - On Object control handles for stuff like transparency, gradients, and other functions (including 3D extrudes -- far more intuitive) that just feel much faster and more fully controllable than Ai's attempt at copying them.
                  - Unbelievable range of import/export filters. Ai is slowly catching up, but Corel has always thrown in a huge whack of filters. Caveat is that some of them are pretty flakey -- to be fair, the same is so for Ai.

                  There's many, many more pros and cons -- the main thing is to try to match up the interface to your current comfort zone and slowly poke around and introduce new stuff as you learn. The Corel help files and support videos are surprisingly well done, and well-integrated into the system. I would say, much better than the current Adobe solution -- which I think is so slow, you're far better simply opening a browser and Googling your support question with.

                  The other piece of warning is to learn the potholes. And there are many. If you stick to the basics though, and don't get too tempted to play with all the freaking effects Corel piles on, you should be pretty safe. And learn the PDF Publish interface. It's still probably your best bet for producing hand-offs to others-- and it's absolutely stuffed with user controllable switches and options (more so than Adobe) -- most of which work.

                  I often find where Corel does the biggest facepalms is when it tries to emulate a fancy trick unique to Ai. Of course, the reverse is also true.

                  And... resist thinking of Corel as a multi-page layout app. It's one of the most common mistakes (and getting more common with new Ai users, now that it's added multi-'page' support).

                  Typewise -- Adobe has much superior controls for refined typographical stuff. Including all those OpenType features (though I think I've read that Corel's latest version is claiming to have closed that gap. I dunno.)

                  Myself, I spend more and more of all my design time simply within InDesign, which I think supplies 95% of what I need to do now. Each time they add a few more drawing/object tools with each ID version, I use Ai (and Draw) less and less.

                  Oh, and while CorelDraw supports importing multi-layer, multi-layer mode PSD files, it's still a conversion -- and not a true linked import with transparency like you get with ID (and notably, like you DON'T get with Ai either!).


                  • #10
                    It's a given on this board that if something isn't up to the 'standard' then it should be immediately thrown out. ie not going to a certain vendor because they request ai version 8 files or if they don't take PDF handoffs, the advice here is to Go find a NEW vendor.

                    You wouldn't walk into a job for instance at a newspaper that has been using Quark for 20 years and start saying they need to use InDesign. The changeover from archives alone is something to consider.
                    Sure, exploring the Adobe option is always an option. But not for the new guy, and not as a complaint cuz they aren't up to speed on the current system. Kinda surprised, like the OP said, that they were hired...


                    • #11
                      As I say - it's worth investigating.

                      If the reasons are good then it doesn't have to be a complaint, they can say "It's better because of x,y,z and saves 10 minutes a day, which is 50 minutes a week, and that's 217.261905 hours a year, a cost saving of 217,000 a year"

                      Positive spins that result in profit for the company are always good.
                      Last edited by hank_scorpio; 05-30-2012, 10:23 AM.

                      "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott


                      • #12
                        If it ain't broke....


                        • #13
                          Sorry going way off topic here.

                          My point originally was - Corel might not be a necessity piece of software for the job. Rather than try fit the user around the software, why not fit the software around the user?

                          They knew they didn't know Corel when they hired them. It's a reasonable assumption that they don't know the difference.

                          If Corel is NOT a necessity for the organisation - then and only then I suggest that perhaps they might be better off getting the Adobe software.

                          If it IS a necessity - then of course learn the software.

                          And to be clear - if this was reversed, and it was a Corel user moving to Adobe environment, I'd make the exact same recommendation. Perhaps Corel would be better for them to get than trying to learn a bunch of new levers and buttons to push - and just get the job done.

                          "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott






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