CorelDRAW is a powerful drawing package but very overshadowed, why?

Hello there! few years ago I saw myself in the obligation to use CorelDraw and to be honest I liked working with this package.

The printers in my locality and nearby places would only accept * .cdr (corel) files and for a few years I was designing from logos, catalogs to bags in corel. I discovered that it has very good tools and I have seen drawings and vectors created in CorelDraw that are amazingly beautiful which leads me to my question, why is it so despised and little used compare to the Adobe package?

Someone here has ever used corel or is still using it, what do you think about?

I don’t know anyone who despises it. It’s a very capable drawing application.

The problem, in my opinion, isn’t so much with the software as it is with the company that owns it and their terrible business and marketing decisions throughout the history of the company. Corel has always positioned itself as the alternative to something else rather than the go-to product for what’s needed.

For example, heading back into the late 1980s, graphic design was not possible on on DOS computers and horridly difficult on the first few generations of Windows. So what did Corel do? They positioned themselves squarely on the side of PCs in thinking, I suppose, that designers would abandon Macs once Windows got up to speed, which they didn’t do. Even now, when Windows is roughly comparable to the Mac OS, Macintoshes still tend to dominate (or at least be overrepresented in) the creative professions.

Corel has never offered good support for Macintoshes. Even now, they treat Macs as an afterthought market. I haven’t looked lately, but I don’t even think CorelDraw is available for Macintoshes, which in the combination Mac/Windows design environment that exists today, is a deal killer for both platforms.

Adobe has aggressively integrated their three main design products (Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign) as a tightly knit suite that is equally adept on both Macs and Windows. If you have one, you’re not totally set up until you get the others. Corel, instead, has failed to do this, and still treat their products largely as one-off Windows applications. This being the case, it really doesn’t matter how good CorelDraw might be since it would be an oddball purchase that doesn’t fit comfortably — both financially or practically with Photoshop or InDesign.

I could go on, but Corel, much like Quark, is a company that has made a whole series of blunders that, despite their one-off products being quite good, has kept them perpetually lagging behind in marketshare.

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I did a lot of things with CorelDraw and they worked, still do…

But Corel sticked to some concepts to approach a problem that didn’t fit in my head.

So I didn’t felt comfortable with their approach and used Illustrator, Indesign (Pagemaker), Photoshop to get a fluid flow.

Sometimes they were smarter than Illustrator or Freehand in their approaches, but the technical side like creating pdf or gradients and many more options don’t are graphical but practical.

A gradient will always be rasterised, kerning is set to % instead of ems and so on… I even don’t want to talk about their PDF output. Printdriver could tell you a lot about it.

So final conclusion: It does an OK job and if you feel comfortable with the interface and the way of thinking it’s OK. By the way it want’s to do too much (Vector, Pixels and Layout) what result in an app that start lagging in speed with a lot of pages. And it is only PC based.

This is only my view, I am not an aficionado of Adobe products. But it works… most of the times

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I end up using Corel Draw a lot at work. My boss uses it and wont even attempt to switch to Illustrator for some reason.

I’m not exactly sure why, but it seems a lot of smaller print shops that we do printing for will use Corel. Maybe it’s bundled with something else, or maybe it’s just a cheaper option.

There are some things I like better about it than AI. The way it aligns things, the “lasso” selection, and it also seems to convert images to vector better. For example, if someone sends a paragraph of low quality raster text, and they don’t want to pay to have it retyped- AI will butcher it, while Corel Draw’s convert to line settings will produce pretty good output.

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For a long while, Corel was bundled with the lower end wide format entry-level printing machines. A small sign shop might still have Corel as an add/alt to Illustrator and the ISA still has Corel seminars at their yearly Expo event.

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Yes, the same thing happened to me in 2 countries and I had the same situation with my boss for a long time until he changed the contract for a bigger and more modern printing company.

This explain a lot…for what I see this still happening, recently I was forced to use Corel because the print shop where my client printed his works only accepted .cdr files

I have been teased by some colleagues who claim that Corel is for “old” designers hahaha. I really like you insight of this thanks.

I agree with you! lag of speed was always one of my inconveniences working on large files.

Well, they’re just showing their immaturity. Software has nothing to do with age, style or what others might feel is cool to use. The best software is whichever one(s) it takes to get the job done.

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I learned vector graphics with CorelDRAW!, and thought it was great. When they began distributing on CD-ROM, their releases included VOLUMES of fonts and clipart, some of which were pretty valuable to me back at that stage of development. Eventually (and somewhat reluctantly), I moved to Illustrator as an all-Adobe workflow became inevitable, but continued using CD long after that for all kinds of thing when Adobe integration was a non-factor. It’s been a long time now, but I’d love to dabble in it if I had time to dabble in anything.

My classmates use to give me grief about using CorelDRAW back in college. The only reason why I stopped using it was because it wasn’t available for Mac.

Corel Draw may be OK for Vector Illustration and (at a push) Logo design, but if you use it for anything with fonts on you are going to have problems. Many people can only afford one package and think Corel Draw can be used as a page layout program.

The first thing it does on startup is load all installed fonts into its own memory. When you have a lot of fonts installed (and I have) this is a real handicap.

If it’s not PostScript it’s not going to produce decent PDFs.

It seems to nerf fonts badly - if you zoom in on a curve it’s usually dozens of points instead Bezier curves. This will cause problems on some RIPs and seems to be down to a redefining of the font metrics to get around PostScript.

you’re right, Corel for me it has been that several times.


I leave you a video with the new features that Corel 2018 brings, maybe it encourage you to use it hahaha who knows?

same happened to me, but I used it recently.

I see for the points you mentioned and those that others mentioned for more good tool that is CorelDraw still needs to improve a lot to cover efficiently the needs of us designers.

I actually debated stepping into this conversation. last post seems to be back in Sep 2018. But here’s my two cents worth. I have been a Corel Draw user ever since Corel 1.0, hell I was even a beta test on Corel Draw 7.0 ( that and a toonie will get me a coffee at timmies LOL) Anyway think of when and why Corel was created. Back in the late 80’s you had your choice of Apple or apple or apple if you were doing any form of work that could resemble what is known now as desktop publishing. So you had two main industries that needed access to this typ of tec. Traditional printers and publishing houses and the sign industry. the printers and publishers had already embraced the concept of technology improving their work flow with stat cameras and film work for producing photo plates etc… But on the sign industry side they were still firmly entrenched in the traditional manual brush and paint skills. For most moving to a keyboard was alien and cost prohibitive. In swoops the “personal computer” 286, 288’s then the 386’s and so on Sitll in the beginning Adobe held fast to being Mac only, and for those who could not afford the investment were left out in the cold. Now the Corel Corp of Canada… developed Corel Draw for the IBM and other class of PC computers. Looking at it, it was a blend of CAD tools and basic drawing tools. Sign shops gravitated to this application because of it’s low investment needs. 1500 for the computer and about 200 for the software. Now as time has gone on Corel has added a tonne of features and for my money can run rings around Illustrator. But that’s me. I’ll work in Corel draw for example on a design for a 45’ Scarab Off Shore boat Hull and Deck. In Corel I’ll be working full size, I’ll create my shapes and layout my lines and then export direct from corel to adobe photoshop for the filters and other effects. Why? well simple I just like how a Raster program like Photoshop handles and manipulates things. But then I’m back in Corel for the layout and vector work. There are very distinct advantages of one over the other as in Corel over Illustrator and vise versa all based on what you are working on.
I guess what I am really trying to put across in my Corel slanted view is choose the tool based on the job. After all as a carpenter you would not only use a hammer but might actually need to know how to use a saw or a screw driver. All software has a place in our world of Graphics and Creative Design and we should embrace it. As to the comments about Corel not running on a Mac well true in the native OS no, but run Parallels or dual boot into a Microsoft partition on your Imac and it’ll work just fine. Please keep the flaming to a min

I’ve never had great luck with Parallels. It’s always given me problems of one sort or another. I’ve finally mostly abandoned it in favor of an old Windows laptop I can use for when I really need Windows for something.

Booting into a Windows partition, of course, makes Corel Draw run natively on a Mac, but it’s a bit of a hassle switching back and forth between operating systems and having to reboot the machine in the process. It’s a rare situation where I’m only using one application at a time, so those back-and-forth reboots are a deal-killer for me.

Partitioning the drive is also problematic given that it’s something not easily done unless one starts from scratch with an empty drive. And given the relatively small size and popularity of solid-state drives, sacrificing a good chunk of it to a Windows partition comes with a price. It also requires buying a copy of Windows.

It’s also a tough sell given that other increasingly capable Mac drawing programs exist in addition to Illustrator.

Add all this up, and it amounts to a significant practical hurdle for Mac users considering CorelDraw as an alternative to Illustrator. Like I’ve said, CorelDraw, given my limited exposure to it, is a very capable application, and if a Mac user prefers it, it’s certainly an option, but still inconvenient. Then again, someone experienced with and preferring CorelDraw is likely using a PC and not a Mac anyway.

Personally, I wish that Corel had committed itself more consistently to both Macs and Windows earlier on and competed head-to-head with Adobe. At this point, though, it might be too late in the game, but I’d still like to see it happen.

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