A professional suite full of drawing, illustration, image editing and graphic-design tools
Windows XP / Windows 8.1 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows 8
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite is a set of apps that work together to provide photo editing, page layout functions, vector illustrations, and fully professional design. The software is relatively resource-light considering it performs so many graphical functions, and it has a user interface that is both aesthetically pleasing and exceptionally intuitive for those with any digital art experience.
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite actually contains five smaller components that combine to provide the full functionality of the suite. The first of these tools is the foundational app called CorelDRAW. This tool is based on vector illustrations, and it is surprisingly easy to use if you have used vector art apps before.
The next app is called Corel PHOTO-PAINT, and it acts as the image editor and artistic graphics production center. It contains a number of advanced editing tools, and it could easily be compared to a slimmed-down version of Photoshop, which is the benchmark photo editing app from Adobe.
Next in the suite is Corel PowerTRACE. This small tool has a single function, and that is to convert bitmap image files to vector image files. It can also convert in the other direction as well for added convenience.
The fourth tool in the suite is called Corel CAPTURE, and it gives you the ability to capture images of your computer screen with the click of a single button.
Lastly, Corel CONNECT finishes out the suite. This piece of software is used to browse through files, and it helps organize the Corel suite with all your media content. You can also use the file browser to view files on your local network and entire PC system.
When used individually, it's easy to see these pieces of software were built to be easy to use. The UI for every tool is clear and straightforward, and each tool is also documented online so you can learn more about the software and its functions.
The creators of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite aimed their software directly at professional content creators, but those aren't the only ones who could take advantage of the software to produce stunning results. If you are an amateur trying to reach the next level, this would be a great place to start. It has a number of effects, filters, and a clutter-free work zone. You can also customize the menus to help streamline your most common workflows.
Perhaps the only real problem with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite is that each individual app doesn't seem to be integrated with the others. One of the main reasons why modern photographers and designers flock to Adobe is that Adobe products all work together seamlessly, but that doesn't mean this software isn't worth trying. It might not be able to stand up to the popularity of Adobe, but it is still loaded with a superb selection of tools for editing and design.
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite is a deluxe graphic-design tool set containing software programs for design, drawing, image editing and layout.
This free version of the installation package includes CorelDRAW, for vector-based illustration, and Corel PHOTO-PAINT, for image editing. These are the two main applications in this trial version of the software, and they are accompanied by several additional tools. PowerTrace is a bitmap converter, and the Website Creator tool, as its name implies, is a website builder. Capture is a screen-capture tool, Connect is a browsing program and the PhotoZoom Pro 2 utility allows you to export photos and images.
This version of the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite has been updated to work on 64-bit machines and has added a number of new in-program apps to assist your workflow. Also included in this version is an image-storage tray that allows you to keep track of images in your workspace and search popular image websites for photos to use in your work. The suite has also been spruced up with tools and apps that make website design easier whether you know code or not.
While this suite may not have the same range and functionality as the Adobe Creative Suite, it is more lightweight and arguably more intuitive. The programs contain extensive documentation, and the Corel website includes a library of videos that introduce you to new features. It is professional-grade software, yet non-professionals who may need this software can learn to use it. The paid version, should you decide to upgrade, is also much less expensive than the Adobe packages.
Some hardcore designers, artists and photo editors may miss certain features and compatibility issues present in the Adobe Creative Suite. However, this program set is suitable for professional quality work, and it is free, so if you are looking to try out a high-quality design and image editing toolbox, CorelDRAW is worth exploring.
Professional quality graphic-design suite
Includes new and improved tools for graphic and web designers
Extensive documentation and online resources
More intuitive interface than Adobe
Fewer functions than the Adobe Suite
Occasional stability issues
Only available in Windows