Title: X5 Review – General Review
Blurb: In this article we will start our review of the new Corel X5 Graphics Suite.
Well well. It has been just over two years and our friends at Corel have finally followed up their flagship version of CorelDraw to a new version, Dubbed X5 the new version carries on with the previous naming conventions of the last two versions. So you can be sentimental and call the new version CorelDraw 15 or go with Corel and call it X5. What ever you want to do is fine.
I have had the new version for the last 3 months and must admit the movement from Beta to Released candidate was welcomed. The one thing you can always count on with beta software is that it is a work in progress. And when it comes to software “work in progress “ means a lot of crashes.
The purpose of this article is to do a general review of the new release. In future articles we will be dissecting the new version feature by feature. So let us get started and let us review this new version.
As with any previous versions of CorelDraw the new version has more than one program that is included in the release. In this version Corel has included the following programs.
– CorelDraw® X5: Is a vector illustration and page-layout application, which meets the demands of today’s busy graphics professionals and graphics non-professionals.
– Corel PhotoPaint X5: Is a professional image-editing application, which lets you quickly, and easily retouch and enhance photos.
– Corel® PowerTrace X5: Is a powerful utility that lets you quickly and accurately convert bitmaps into editable vector graphics.
– Corel Capture X5: This one-click screen capture utility lets you capture images from your computer screen.
– Corel® CONNECT: This full-screen browser lets you peruse the suite’s digital content and search your computer or local network to quickly find the perfect complement for a design. Fully integrated, it is also available as a docker in both CorelDraw and Corel PhotoPaint.
Supporting applications that are also included
– Barcode wizard: The Barcode wizard lets you generate bar codes in a wide range of industry standard formats.
– Duplexing wizard: The Duplexing wizard helps you optimize your work for printing two sided documents.
– Bitstream® Font Navigator®: The Bitstream Font Navigator is an award-winning font manager for the Windows® operating system. It lets you manage, find, install, and preview fonts.
– SWiSH miniMax: This utility lets you quickly and easily create stunning interactive animations, banners, and more
– PhotoZoom Pro: This plug-in let’s you enlarge digital images and export them from Corel PHOTO-PAINT X5.
– More than 2,000 vehicle templates, half of which are new
– More than 350 professionally designed templates
– More than 1,000 additional OpenType® fonts, including 75 Windows Glyph List 4 (WGL4) fonts
– A collection of more than 10,000 high-quality clipart and digital images
– The documentation has been completely redesigned. The Guidebook introduces each application’s workspace and includes tips and techniques for users of all skill levels, in-depth tutorials, and insights from various industry experts
– Quick-reference card
– Help files
– More than 2 hours of training videos on the DVD
Minimum system requirements
– Microsoft® Windows® 7, Windows Vista®, or Windows® XP, with latest service packs installed (32-bit or 64-bit editions)
– Intel® Pentium® 4, AMD Athlon™ 64 or AMD Opteron™
– 512 MB of RAM (1 GB recommended)
– 750 MB of hard disk space (1 GB for typical installation without content)
– 1024 °— 768 or better monitor resolution (768 °— 1024 on a Tablet PC)
– DVD drive
– Mouse or tablet
– Microsoft® Internet Explorer® 7 or higher
As I have done in previous reviews I will break the new features down and categorize them via those found in each program. For instance any feature that is new to CorelDraw I will list as a new feature in CorelDraw. Those that are found in other programs such as say PhotoPaint will be categorized in PhotoPaint.
There are also features found in the new program that are found in all programs. Those will be indentified also in this review.
Across All Programs
File format compatibility
CorelDraw (A number of these filters are in PhotoPaint) now supports the ability to access over 100 file formats, including
JPEG, PNG, TIFF, RIF, CGM, AutoCAD DXF™, PLT, EPS, PDF Visio®, DOC, DOCX, RTF. With DOC and DOCX, text from all languages and formatting are better supported. The TIFF import filter provides greater compatibility with a variety of standard file compression methods and multipage files. (Note: a lot of times TIFF files are compressed to save space. If the file is compress and the CorelDraw does not recognize the compression than the file is rejected). In addition, imported Corel® Painter™ (RIF) files now retain embedded color profiles.
Encapsulated PostScript® (EPS) support
The EPS filter has been upgraded to support files created with PostScript® 3. When a file is exported using the EPS filter, the color integrity of objects that use the RGB color space are now preserved. You’ll also find that EPS files will export and print with brighter and more vivid colors.
Adobe® product support
In CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5 provides enhanced support for the latest Adobe® Illustrator®, Adobe® Photoshop®, and Adobe® Acrobat® products (CS4). You can import and export PSD files using the Adobe Photoshop file format, and CorelDraw X5 preserves the appearance of adjustment layers and Masks palette effects.
In addition, you can import and export PDF files, with support for Acrobat® 9, heightened security encryption, and Bates Numbering — including headers and footers. When you export a PDF using the Acrobat 9 file format, you can embed color profiles and define page size by object.
Updated Educational Features
The new suite has included in a lot of new educational features. The suite provides many learning aids including an upgraded guidebook and new video tools.
The new guidebook has a number of tips included in it. The guidebook introduces each application’s workspace, and includes tips and techniques for users of all skill levels. With the popular Insights from the Experts, you can learn from graphic design professionals who use the suite regularly in such industries as jewelry design, book illustration, vehicle wrapping, and product packaging.
Upgraded Video tutorials:
Video tutorials provide a fast and fun way to learn how to get the most out of the suite. CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5 provides a new utility for watching the videos. You can also install the tutorials to your hard drive, which lets you access the tutorials without using the DVD.
Upgraded Create a New Document/Image dialog boxes
CorelDraw X5 introduces a Create a New Document dialog box, which provides a selection of presets for page size, document resolution, preview mode, color mode, and color profiles. For new users, the Description area clarifies the function of the available controls and settings. With Corel PhotoPaint X5, the Create a New Image dialog box has been updated to match its
CorelDraw counterpart. It also provides color information, such as color mode and color profile.
For new users, the formatting of tooltips has been enhanced to improve readability and provide more information about each tool’s purpose.
Corel has increased the Colour Ability of CorelDraw Suite
CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5 makes it easier than ever to achieve accurate color representation every step of the way. Whether you’re importing a client’s mock-up, working with previous designs, or sending a project to a print shop or manufacturing facility, you can be certain that your colors are true.
With both CorelDraw X5 and Corel PhotoPaint X5, a custom color palette is automatically created on the fly for each design project. The palette is saved with the file, which gives you quick access to this project’s colors in the future. This makes you workflow a lot cleaner and repeat jobs where you need to modify a file are easily with all the existing colours at hand.
New! Default Color Management Settings dialog box
For CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5, the color management engine has been completely redesigned. The new Default Color Management Settings dialog box lets you set default color profiles, policies, and rendering intents for each application. This new approach helps you easily achieve accurate color representation while also providing greater control for more advanced users.
Corel PowerTrace X5
Many Engravers are often faced with the challenge of reusing poor-quality bitmap images from business cards, brochures, signs, or other promotional items. You can now convert bitmaps into editable vector graphics and achieve smoother curves and more accurate results. This version of Corel PowerTrace produces the best
Trace results yet.
CorelDraw New Features
Enhanced! Application of sampled color
When you sample color with the Eyedropper tool in CorelDraw X5, the Apply Color mode is automatically activated so that you can immediately apply the sampled color to another object. You can also drag a color directly from one object to another.
New & Updated Drawing tools
Corel has added a couple of new and enhanced drawing tools. These tools include a B-Spline tool, an Object Coordinates docker, scalable arrowheads, enhanced Connector and Dimension tools, and the new Segment Dimension tool.
The B-Spline tool allows you to create smooth curves with fewer nodes than you typically see with curves drawn by using freehand paths. For maximum precision, the Object Coordinates docker lets you specify both the size of a new object and its location on the page.
Updated Mesh Fill tool
For many years the mesh tool has languished. In this new version the Mesh Fill tool now let us design multicolored filled objects with more fluid color transitions. With the new Smooth Mesh Color option on the property bar, you can achieve color transitions that retain color richness. The property bar now contains an eyedropper and a color picker that make it easier to select or sample color for the mesh that you are creating. Also, any colors added to the mesh nodes will now blend seamlessly with the rest of the object. The number of nodes per mesh object has also been greatly reduced to make the objects easier to manipulate. And, with the new Transparency Per Node option, you can now reveal objects behind individual nodes or patches in a mesh.
Updated Curve tools
When drawing with the curve tools, you can now show or hide the bounding box. This new update allows you to draw continuously without accidentally selecting the bounding box of a previously created object. In addition, you can specify the amount of space between joined curves. You also have multiple options for the type of join, including extending the curves to an intersection point, defining a radius to add between the segments, or defining a chamfer to add between the segments.
Color Palette Manager docker
The Color Palette Manager has been enhanced. It now makes it easier to create, organize, and show or hide both default and custom color palettes. You can create Web-specific RGB palettes or print-specific CMYK palettes. For optimal color consistency, you can also add third-party color palettes when working with multiple applications.
In previous version of CorelDraw you could create chamfered, scalloped, or round corners from the Rectangle property bar. Now in X5 when you stretch a rectangle, the rounded corners are preserved without distortion, and the original radius of a corner is maintained during scaling. Also in the rectangle tool, corners are now expressed in units of true radii, which make the rectangles easier to work with.
CorelDraw PhotoPaint X5 Tools
In PhotoPaint Corel has updated the Objects docker. The Object docker helps you achieve greater workflow by being more efficient in organizing your design elements and by making commonly used features more accessible.
You are now able to use nested grouping when organizing a complex image, which facilitates round tripping between multiple applications.
Thumbnails of objects and masks have been improved and can be easily adjusted at any time.
In PhotoPaint you can experiment with exciting new photo effects included with Corel PhotoPaint X5. These new effects help you in modifying your photos. Tools such as the Vibrance effect re great for balancing color saturation. It can also add richness to colors with low saturation while maintaining colors with high saturation. The Grayscale effect is ideal for removing the saturation of an object, layer, or region of a photo. It also lets you choose the colors used in the grayscale conversion. The Photo Filter effect lets you simulate the result of having a camera lens filter installed when a picture was taken.
Convert to Grayscale dialog box
New to PhotoPaint is the Convert to Grayscale dialogue box. Corel PhotoPaint X5 now provides greater control when converting images to grayscale by letting you choose the range of colors used in the conversion. This eliminates results that appear washed out because of predominant blues or reds in the original photo. The new dialog box provides a preview window, which lets you adjust the colors to create a more realistic conversion.
Brushes and nibs
New to PhotoPaint is a new set of brushes and nibs. You can choose from a variety of new brushes and nibs that are included with Corel PhotoPaint X5
Lock Toolbars option
How many times have you accidently moved or deleted a toolbar? Toolbars are now locked in position by default so that you do not accidentally move them while selecting a tool. You can still choose to unlock them at any time and reposition them on the screen.
Windows® Touch support
Coming soon to a PC near you. If you purchase a new PC that recognizes gesture technology than CorelDraw will support this technology. You can navigate each application workspace by using finger gestures. Support for taskbar thumbnails lets you switch between open documents quickly.
Please note: I get asked a lot as to what is the difference between and upgrade version of CorelDraw and a Full version. The answer is nothing. The upgrade version is for those that have purchased a previous version of CorelDraw. The full version is for those that have not purchased the software before.
Here is the upgrade requirements from the Corel web site
To purchase the upgrade version, you must own a previous licensed version of:
• CorelDRAW Graphics Suite
• CorelDRAW (standalone)
• CorelDRAW Classic
• CorelDRAW Select
• CorelDRAW Graphics Suite – Special Edition
• Corel® PHOTO-PAINT™ (standalone)
• Corel DESIGNER®
• Corel® Painter™
• Micrografx Designer®
• Micrografx Graphics Suite®
• Micrografx® Picture Publisher® or Corel® Picture Publisher®
Note: Upgrade eligibility excludes academic, OEM and Not For Resale (NFR) versions. Corel products not listed above are not eligible for the upgrade version.
The purpose of this article was to give you a general overview of the new features that are found in the new release of Corel X5 Graphics Suite. As with previous versions Corel has tried to give each industry segment a couple of new features. As well you will see that each of the new programs CorelDraw and PhotoPaint have in total been given a number of new features. The new features in CorelDraw and PhotoPaint can be real time savers and can expand the way you create documents, edit photos and create or recreate artwork.
I must admit though that for me I do not see that one real compelling reason that they have managed to give us in previous versions. For example X4 gave us a better print merge function. X3 gave us trace and cutout lab. However X5 falls short in terms of features that I feel are geared to wards the awards and engraving industry. It is not to say that some of the new additions to the software are not features that can be beneficial to some users. The problem is that the features are not upgrades that can be used by all. Only by a few.