When we are looking at using CorelDraw we have to start some where. For most of us this means creating some sort of layout. When you are working in CorelDraw everything you do is a layout. In this section we will look at creating two different products. These exercises are intended to be easy and straight forward. The first product will be a basic 3 line engraving name plate. There will be no logo just text. The second lesson will deal with creating a laser engraved plate which incorporates a logo and some text.
Creating a Layout for a plastic Lamacoid (Engraving Plastic) plate
The first thing that we need to do is to setup our plate. For this example our customer requires a 1 by 3 inch engraved plate. Thus we need to create a plate / page that is 1 by 3 inches in CorelDraw.
Figure 1 shows us the easiest way to do this. To reach this menu go to LAYOUT | PAGE SETUP.
You Can Also Use the Property Bar to Create Your Page Size
Within this menu you can chose your plate / page size that you want to use. Type in a 1 by 3 size. Click okay.
Note: An alternative way to create a page size is to enter the dimensions right into the property bar that is located directly above the page layout. Figure 2 shows that I have entered in the 1 by 3 plate size. You will also note that there are two icons to the right of the page size input boxes. These tell CorelDraw whether you want to use a Portrait or a Landscape setup (blue box).
Select the Text Input Icon
Once the plate has been setup the next thing that we need to do is to create the text that is needed for the job. Typically I will place in my guidelines at this point. However I will save this for when I setup my plaque layout.
To activate the text command all we need to do is to click on the text icon that is located on the tool box to the left of our page. Figure 3 blue box, shows the text icon that we need to click on.
Our Cursor Changes to an “A”
Figure 4 shows us that our cursor has changed to the letter “A” and a “+” symbol.
Change the Justifaction to Center
Now click on the page in CorelDraw where you want the text to start. You will be presented with a flashing cursor. Before you start typing I suggest that you make your text “center justified”. To do this you can use two methods. One is to click on the justification icon located on the property bar located at the top of your page. Figure 5 shows the different justifications. The second way is also listed in Figure 5 is to press the ctrl key and the “E” key together (Anytime that you see a command with a letter or say ctrl and the letter this is a hot key and can be pressed at anytime within CorelDraw so that you can activate the command with out having to go to the menu) or better yet the ctrl key and than the “E” key. Let go of the “E” key and than the ctrl key.
Select the Arial Font
If you want more information on text than I suggest you read the section on text. Once the justification is changed we need to change any of the other font attributes that we want. For this example I would suggest that we change the font to Arial. Click on the font list and you can move down the list to select the font that you want. In this case I have selected Arial – see Figure 6.
Change your font size to 18 point text as per Figure 6.
Now start typing. I want 3 lines for this job so press enter when you get to the end of each line. Figure 7 shows my text. Do not worry about where the text is on the page as we will correct this later on.
Our Text Changes
Our Text changes to Arial and is not 18 pt
Select the Pick Tool
Click on the Pick tool located at the top of the toolbox see the blue box in Figure 8. Your text will be selected. If it is not than click on it to select it.
Select the Center of Page
Now we need to place our text in the center of the page. There are a number of ways to do this. For this exercise let us identify two ways. The first entails the “place by eye” method. This tends to be the method for most new users. For this example the better way is the second method which is use the align command. This command is located in the ARRANGE | ALGIN AND DISTRIBUTE | CENTER OF PAGE. Figure 9 shows us the command location. You will also see that the hot key is “P”. So instead of migrating all the way up to the menu you can just press the “P” key – make sure that you are not in Text mode.
Your image is now in the center of the page and you can now send it to the laser. Because most of the laser manuals are quite good at explaining how to print from CorelDraw I will end here. If you need more information on printing to your laser than I suggest that you reference your machine manual.