CorelDRAW is a vector graphics editor developed and marketed by Corel Corporation of Ottawa, Canada. It is also the name of Corel's Graphics Suite. Its latest version, named X5 (actually version 15), was released in February 2010.
The CorelDRAW Graphics Suite combines three heavyweight graphics tools--CorelDRAW 11, Photo-Paint 11, and R.A.V.E. 2--which can be used individually or together. Now in version 11, the CorelDRAW Suite shows Corel still has plenty of ideas on how to improve the effectiveness and ease-of-use of these major applications.
For example, in CorelDRAW there are now new "three-point" tools for drawing rectangles, ellipses, and curves. With each, you click to fix the first point, stretch out to define an axis or baseline, and click again to complete the object. The new Polyline tool enables you to create lines and objects segment by segment, where each segment can be straight or curved. The Pen tool offers a quick way to create Bezier curves.
CorelDRAW 11 introduces Symbols to its repertoire, too, so you can save and reuse drawing elements in a clip-board-style library. Using symbols saves considerable file space, which can be particularly important when drawing Web graphics.
Corel Photo-Paint 11 is to bitmap editing what CorelDRAW is to vector drawing. In many ways a competitor to Adobe Photoshop, the new version of Photo-Paint includes more improvements for Web artists. You can now slice images into a number of small parts to aid quick downloads and create rollovers for buttons and image maps, so they appear differently when pointed to or clicked. The program also supports JPEG 2000 files, so you can save your images in this new high-compression format.
The Cut-out masking tool helps extract foreground images from picture files and create objects from them that you can incorporate into other pictures. While not as comprehensive as Corel's own stand-alone KnockOut product, it's a useful tool in its own right. Red-eye removal from portrait photos can be a nuisance, but the new red-eye removal tool replaces red pixels with their greyscale equivalents. Various other effects within Photo-Paint add to its usefulness--things like enhanced lens flare, improved bevels, and reworked image stitching for panoramic photos.
The third part of the suite is Corel R.A.V.E., a Macromedia Flash animation creator. This module now uses a very similar interface to CorelDRAW and incorporates most of the same tools. It also offers tools and effects specific to its animation role, such as tweening of text on a path and of the program's predefined library objects, Perfect Shapes. Export of graphics to Macromedia Flash has been improved and includes the ability to export text as text rather than curves, which saves considerable file space.
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