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CorelDraw Graphics Suite X6 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 349
inc VAT

The extra applications don't add much value, but CorelDraw is still coming up with new ways to design sophisticated vector graphics

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Most of the other new features are concerned with how content is managed. Master Layers, for elements that repeat across multiple pages, can now place them on odd, even or all pages. The Object Properties panel has been reworked to show only relevant information for the selected object type. A new Object Styles panel makes it easier to duplicate outline, fill and text character, paragraph and frame properties, and edit all occurrences at once. Style Sets brings the various Object Styles together so they can be applied and edited in combination.

CorelDraw WebsiteCorel’s late entry into the web-design market struggles to make it out of the gates

The Color Styles panel can show all the colours used in an illustration. These are shown on the Harmony Editor as a series of dots on a colour wheel, giving an at-a-glance view of the palette of colours used. Individual colours can be moved around the colour wheel, and it’s also possible to select multiple or all colours and adjust their hue and saturation en masse. It’s disappointing that colours aren’t selected automatically on the wheel when the corresponding object is selected in the workspace, but even so, this is a novel approach to colour management that taps in to the way illustrations use a limited palette of colours.

CorelDraw is friendlier than Adobe Illustrator and it’s more powerful than Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 7 with features such as the new Smear tool and Mesh Fill with discrete transparency values for each node. It’s a shame that it can’t match Xara’s instant, continuously updating screen redraws, though. Despite a move to 64-bit code and improved multiple-core support, CorelDraw still isn’t as responsive as Xara. It’s a lot more expensive, too, but on balance it’s worth it for those who will appreciate its extra power.

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Price £349
Details www.corel.com
Rating ****

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