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Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw?

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  • Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw?


    I work in a graphics office, and I have been tasked with submitting a report on the purchase of new software. As I work for a big organisation I have to put a case forward as to why I have selected, or require a certain software package.

    The office is a bit antiquated, as we use limited edition of photoshop and have an old version of corel draw.

    I am wanting to purchase the latest version of Adobe Photoshop 7 and the latest version of Adobe Illustrator 10 or CS for vectors . This software will be used on XP pc, not mac (we dont have macs here)

    Does anyone know where I can get some information to support me ordering Adobe Illustrator, over Corel Draw, as I know they will want me to order an update version of Corel Draw (this seems to be on the list of ok software to use in my company) but obviously I know Illustrator is the industry standard, so I want this.

    Does anyone know of website I can get information to back up my case? or any points I can put forward that will help me to win illustrator over Corel? also it is good for my future job prospects if I have experience in illustrator, corel doenst seem to be the requested skill these days.

    Many thanks guys
    PS i live in UK

  • #2
    Sounds like my position when I started working here. I can't help you on a website link, but I can share my experience. I was on a crappy PC with Corel Draw 9 and a copy of Photoshop 4.0 LE. (We now have a G3 iMac with the Adobe Suite that came with PS 7, AI 10, and ID 2).

    Corel Draw in my experience was horrible. It frequently had some sort of program error that sent me back to the drawing board too many times, the interface is horrible, screen redraw was bad (this is even on a 2Ghz XP machine these days). Perhaps I'm biased because I love Illustrator so much, but I find it's interface far more intuitive and I'm a lot more creative with it than I ever was with Draw (it felt more like a chore).

    The ONLY thing I liked about Corel Draw was it's ability for multiple pages, and the Corel TRACE program (why oh why can't they sell this software seperately? Or at least update Adobe Streamline to use OS X natively...).

    The single best argument (as you said) is that Corel Draw just isn't all that compatible with the print world. Almost any graphics place has Quark, Photoshop, Illustrator, (and InDesign is finally starting to make the rounds), but when I had Corel Draw, it was difficult to find a place around here that dealt with it. Heck, Corel is even phasing out their Mac software (if they haven't already). Of course, you can export files and such into EPS, but I sometimes had conversion problems when opened by Illustrator on the other end. Not to mention multiple page output in seperate files isn't always fun. The Adobe Suite is standard, and you'll know that 85% (or higher) of the places will deal with it.

    I'll warn you on one thing about Illustrator 10...that program had 'some' problems too, primarily with printing (or refusing to print). Not always, but every now and then it would give me such an issue. I have been using Illustrator CS at home for about six months and have found that they've corrected a lot of the problems I was previously having with output. Of course, the CS suite or standalones might not be within your work's budget.

    Patrick Shannon

    My War With Culture
    The Positively Eclectic Online Comic!


    • #3
      I use Illustrator but you can go with Illustrator or Corel. I would visit both websites and do a comparison and then decide where to go from there. People use both, I think its really more what you prefer and are more comfortable with.

      As for Corel not being as can save you Corel files as Illustrator files to get them to your printer if they don't have Corel, or EPS or PDF...plenty of options there.

      I would just visit these sites and do a comparison: and

      Again..I think most importantly that you should go with which one of them works best for you.
      Good luck!

      Boobie Island or Bust!
      I blog, you blog, we all blog!


      • #4
        Thanks guys, I will let you know of the outcome, there are too many IT restrictions and politics working for a large organisation. I was hoping there was some info on the net that I could hand to the 'powers that be' to prove my point for getting Illustrator over Corel, I suppose it is because I use Photoshop a lot and it would be nice to have two compaticle softwars running together, also it is industry standard.

        But thanks once again for your info guys!


        • #5

          Hello Sharon, I am in the same boat that Patrick is in, that is I can't give you any websites for comparison but I can tell you about my experiences. I am the only designer/illustrator/... working for a manufacturing firm and the guy who had the job before me had been here for 18 years. He started here as an engineer and migrated into my position because they needed someone and he wanted to do design work. Well he refused to use Illustrator so when I started here 2 1/2 years ago I had about 1200 artwork files that were nearly all Corel Draw files not to mention all of the logo files for companies etc. that he had converted to Corel Draw files. All the files were strictly PC files because he didn't want to use a Mac either, but that is a different story. After 2 1/2 years I don't have a week go by that I don't need to convert Corel files for various reasons and it continues to be a pain in my back side. Yes you can convert Corel files to Illustrator files and EPS files, but you need to check them thoroughly to be sure there has been no corruption. I'm not trying to bash Corel here I think both programs have some good features and if I wasn't sending things to printers all the time I probably wouldn't care to much. But I live in the real world where most of the things I design get sent out to the printer and that is where the big difference exists between these two programs.

          When I first started here and didn't know much about the pre-press aspect of sending files I sent artwork for an industrial cleaner label to the printer and we had 5,000 labels printed that were wrong. Thankfully the labels were still usable but the problem occured when I converted a Corel Draw 9 file to EPS format. I didn't notice it when I reviewed the file before sending it to the printer and our QA department didn't see it when the approved the proofs. Inexplicably the conversion had increased the line weight of the HMIS boxes from 1pt to about 6pt lines. In case you don't know HMIS boxes contain safety information for proper use and are important, but as I said the information in the boxes was readable so the labels were not trashed. There are so many different things that can go wrong I now spend a sizable amount of time proofing conversions when I have to use a Corel file. Sometimes I just recreate the artwork in Illustrator if the design is simple enough because it takes less time and there is a far smaller chance that a problem will occur.

          Another thing that has given me problems is my upgrade to Corel Draw 11 and opening files created in older versions. It seem that the Corel files don't recognize some of the fonts and I have to go in manually and select them and confirm the correct font. The program knows what font should be there it just seems to want to put in TTF rather than a Type 1 font. This may just be a glitch in my system, but I haven't found a cure for it yet and it has been over a year.

          I also work with a lot of files from our customers and 95% of the vector files I receive are AI or EPS from Illustrator. Working in Corel I would need to convert them and then check them to be sure no corruption occured during conversion. It would be a lot of work if I didn't work in Illustrator.

          As I said I don't want to bash either program I think each one has good features, but if you are going to work with the rest of the world save yourself some time and frustration and use software that is the most compatible.

          Hope this helps, Greg

          The more people I meet, the more I like Morea's cats
          I could give you a dose
          but it would never come close
          to the rage built up inside of me
          fist in the air in the land of hypocrisy


          • #6
            I know Keyare swears by his CorelDraw program.

            I know I swear every time someone threatens to send me one. Usually I can deal with the Corel to Illustrator conversion issues but it can be a pain. Also, even though it has multipage capability IT IS NOT A LAYOUT PROGRAM!!!

            You mention wanting to purchase the latest version of Photoshop 7. Photoshop CS (version 8) is actually the latest and greatest. If you are gonna get the two (photoshop and Illustrator) you may as well go in for the full Creative Suite and get InDesign as well - a truly excellent page layout program. Go for the Premium upgrade and get Acrobat and GoLive (though it doesn't sound as if you'll use GoLive). Having Acrobat is worth it.

            However, I don't think an LE version of Photoshop will get you the upgrade discount on Adobe CS. You might try threatening the sales rep with buying Quark instead. LOL!
            Hey, could work.

            PrintDriver is a grande format digital print dude (bigger than a proofer, LOL). His advice/opinions may not apply to the 4color/offset/web world of printing


            • #7
              LOL @ PD!!


              Boobie Island or Bust!
              I blog, you blog, we all blog!


              • #8
                >>I know I swear every time someone threatens to send me one. Usually I can deal with the Corel to Illustrator conversion issues but it can be a pain. Also, even though it has multipage capability IT IS NOT A LAYOUT PROGRAM!!!<<

                And, this may sound strange, nor does it claim to be. You might say the same thing is true for Freehand. But it's more the proportion of professional users/amateur abusers that has earned CorelDraw the 'garlic waving' reaction in the prepress rooms and studios. You could even say the same thing for PageMaker. Once an application's software focus switches from user functionality to market functionality, these things happen. And as the reputation generated by amaetuer users spreads, so does the fear by professionals, and the whole thing polarizes. Negative publicity is almost alwasy faster and stronger than a serious examination of positive possibilities (ask any political candidate!).

                The biggest difference though is that Corel STARTED by going after the business market -- and when you think about it, there wasn't much choice: the market for a good Windows drawing app was all theirs, why would they want to spend money competing a new product on the establishment platform for pro designing?

                Anyhow, I was there. I've been with Draw, in one version or another since v. 1. After those 13 (I think?) years of working with it, and AI, and FH too, by the way, I would never try (not anymore, at least) to convince anyone of it's 'superiority' over any other drawing program. The program out of the box does nothing to inspire confidence. A crowded UI, seemingly stacked with what appear to be frivolous 'features'. And that's where it usually ends for reviewers too.

                The point is, that unless you have a real seasoned Corel user to help customize the UI (and it has, hands down, the most flexible UI system out there), and give you a guided tour through it's many hidden but extremely useful features and innovations, it'll never persuade you to look any closer. And with all this, the test driver has to have that rare ability to consider the possibility that alternate ways of doing familiar things can exist, some even better than what they're 'hardwired' into believing.

                Personally, I can live with that reality. It may not be something I'd mention at a gathering of designers (especially Mac users, once the PC bashing begins) but, I'll save my laughter for the run to bank of time and money, that I have saved with this greatly under-rated program.


                • #9
                  Broacher, you are correct. In the right hands, CorelDraw is a decent program and I do know many people who use it for package design. It's also very prevalent in the sign industry where almost all the machine tools are PC based. I work in a split environment. Mac for all digital stuff and PC for all 3D and signage stuff. Corel's decision to no longer support Mac that is kind of a bummer.

                  In the wrong hands ANY program is a printer's nightmare.

                  PrintDriver is a grande format digital print dude (bigger than a proofer, LOL). His advice/opinions may not apply to the 4color/offset/web world of printing


                  • #10
                    Well iīm using Corel Draw 11 and i must say that i donīt have any problem, it was not the same with 10 version, but this works great for me and has a lot of new features, all my vector works are made by this program. The Corel Trace is great and the Corel Photopaint has some filters that default photoshop donīt. I tryed to use illustrator, but i could not feel confortable using this software, iīm not saying, adobe software is bad, i usually use Photoshop and there is no doubt, that program is the best to images.
                    About printer expirience i do not have problems with corel, here the most of printers has the software. But itīs just my expierience. Anyways, I want to start using illustrator and Xara to be able to compare them. Well thats my point of view.
                    Good luck…

                    Be quite and drive (far away)
                    I have nothing to say, The Strokes...


                    • #11

                      PrintDriver said...
                      In the wrong hands ANY program is a printer's nightmare.
                      PD - that should be you or someones new sig...I really like that! ;o)

                      Boobie Island or Bust!
                      I blog, you blog, we all blog!


                      • #12

                        Be quite and drive (far away)
                        I have nothing to say, The Strokes...


                        • #13
                          These three articles show a good reason for going with the two Adobe apps as a set, also not sure if Corel has the same level of Opentype features support as Illy, much better implimentions of PDF and postscript than Corel, these two formats are the printing standards and afterall Adobe created them both - if you go Corel you prob really need Distiller to make PDF's reliably, with Illustrator and Photoshop they are not as safe as the Postscript > distiller route but are a lot better than Corel from experience...


                          Well thats my 2 cents...


                          • #14
                            I would print off this forum page and send it to your IT guys. Hopefully the opinions of many professioanl graphic designers will show them that the only option is Adobe here, especially if you can get Adobe CS. It's a fantastic package, and the one you really need if you are going to send a lot of stuff to a printer.

                            Alternatively you could just try to bribe them with a crate of beer. I share my office with the IT department, which is nasty and geeky in some ways, but it means that I usually get what I want software-wise, because they hear me whinging on every day if they don't!

                            Searching for creative juices


                            • #15
                              >>These three articles show a good reason for going with the two Adobe apps as a set<<

                              Written by a man who has never ventured off the Apple platform, no less!

                              >>much better implimentions of PDF and postscript than Corel, these two formats are the printing standards and afterall Adobe created them both<<

                              Still driving a Ford I see.

                              Okay, look-- OpenType? Yes. Corel just supports the Unicode standard. AI has the advanced layout stuff, yada yada. But is that what I'm looking for in a drawing program? Hmm... what about, oh, I dunno... drawign tools? And even if you want to argue with me about other stuff like Photoshop layer support (first arrived, along with transparency support in CorelDraw 6, more than a decade ago), or styles (even further back for both graphics, and type), or getting paths into Pshop as vectors (again, PPaint had this ability over a decade ago and was not restricted by the protective 'Adobe only' gateway that Pshop had built into it). Or let's say we want more than drawing tools-- like better UI integration within a suite. Again, a standard established and still much better implemented and customizable on the Corel side. Raster image options? How about native mono/duo/tri/quad tone generation/control in Draw? Full screen, interactive imposition print preveiws. And the big owie: multi-pages.

                              >>much better implimentions of PDF and postscript than Corel, these two formats are the printing standards<<

                              Hold the phone. AI and PS (or even ID) Exported PDFs are not anywhere nearly as reliable as Distiller generated ones. In fact, that's what makes Distiller a must have. But as far as PDF Export options go, hands-down CDraw does have much more control over most of the process-- and it does it without hanging onto uneccessary PDF baggage that is reserved for retaining proprietary AI editability (take any newer AI file and rename it with a PDF extension-- see?).

                              There is a big difference between the way Adobe and Corel approaches product development. One leads with innovation, one follows. One innovates within the restraints of a standard dictated by the other, the other takes advantage of their propietary grip on the standard and asks the printing industry to upgrade and buy more software from them too, so it can sell more features, to more people. One practices a pro-active approach to wide open import/export connections with the rest of the software world, the other grudgingly opens the doors a little more, only when the rest of the world forces them to.

                              To me, Adobe always seems to be the one 'appropriating' features from Corel--mostly years after. But the biggest regret is that they seem to be also appropriating the one thing I don't like about Corel: the marketing principle that more features sell more product to more people, which ain't necessarily a good thing for the people who have to accept these files to work with. Talk to prepress people who've been around long enough and ask them to compare the reliability of Adobe postcript and native files before and after they started targetting the general market with additonal features.

                              Sometimes I wonder why, with so many of us working in the half-truthed world of marketing, more of us don't recognize the myth of brand infallibility. Just because a suite has integration, doesn't make it the be all and end all in workflows. Keep your eyes and ears open. Don't believe everything you read.

                              Hmmm... except that last bit!

                              My... 2.43 (Cdn) cents worth.






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