Customer Reviews: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6 [Old Version]
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on April 10, 2012
I'm a lifelong designer that was raised and taught on Adobe products. After college, one of my first jobs was with an architectural sign company, which used CorelDraw. I consider myself lucky to have learned to use the software. Corel had some amazing features not found in Illustrator such as the ability to set your Scale so you don't outgrow your artboard (which I believe is a 3rd party add on for Illustrator), and the ability to quickly clip pictures by manipulating the surrounding nodes with the Shape Tool, and the list goes on...

Adobe has great software which I have used extensively over the last 15 years, there is no question about it. However, I am amazed at the value that the CorelDraw suite offers... especially given the price point at almost 1/4 the cost. The beautiful 300+ page book that comes with the suite is fantastic (a whole chapter on colors spaces? How awesome is that to have as a reference no matter what level you are as a designer). Plus all of the fonts, clipart, etc... I highly recommend the hard copy vs the download just for the book.

The only slight drawback to me is that the Corel hotkeys are different than Adobe's hotkeys. But, Corel provides a fold-out chart labeling all of the hotkeys (very cool on their part).

I will add to this review as I delve more into this latest release. But at the moment, it's such a great tool to use. My goal is to slightly break away from Photoshop and see what Photo-Paint can do.
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on October 16, 2012
Platform: PC Disc|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm an illustrator and graphic designer, and I've been using CorelDraw Graphics Suite since... oh, gosh, probably version four. I don't know exactly, but I've been using it at least since the early nineties, so I've been using it almost from the start.

The school where I studied digital illustration, design and animation used mostly Adobe products on Macs. At the time, I'd take what I'd learned, go home, and then do the same thing with CorelDraw on my computer. I quickly discovered that there are two, maybe three, major differences between CorelDraw and those other programs.

1. CorelDraw Graphics Suite gives you several programs--like a vector-design program and a photo-manipulation program--in one and doesn't make you pay extra for filters and other features that should be included.

2. CorelDraw Graphics Suite is a lot cheaper than the full version of even one of those products. (Check out Adobe Photoshop CS6 to compare, and remember that Photoshop doesn't include a vector-design program.)

3. Most other illustrators and graphic designers still prefer Adobe products. I have no idea why, but they often look down on CorelDraw.

The fact is that there's nothing you can do with those other programs that you can't do with CorelDraw Graphic Suites. I once met a woman who ran a design studio, and she told me all the designers who worked under her used Adobe products--but she preferred to fix their work in CorelDraw. We both agreed it was the better program.

Why would you want to pay more to get less?

If you're an illustrator or artist looking for something that does a better job of imitating brushes and the like, I'd recommend a different Corel product: Corel Painter 12. That, too, costs less than the Adobe equivalent and gives you more. It works best with a decent Wacom Tablet, or better yet, a Wacom CINTIQ. Several of my friends who are illustrators or cartoonists consider the CINTIQ with Corel Painter to be essential, but the CINTIQ is very expensive. Still, if you're an illustrator or artist and you want the best of the best, that would be the way to go.

CorelDraw Graphics Suite just keeps getting better and better (although one thing long-time users know is that you only buy the even-numbered versions, because the odd-numbered ones tend to be buggy). X6 is the best version yet. I would recommend it to any designer.
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Platform: PC Disc|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have no problem strongly recommending the two main products in this package, CorelDRAW and PHOTO-PAINT, but the packaging may make it seem you're getting more than you think you're getting. This review is for the entire package as marketed. I'll comment on the individual pieces in the review below. I'd like to underscore, as others have noted, that the 300+ page hardbound GUIDEBOOK is outstanding. Reviewing that alone it would get 4 out of 5 stars from me.

Also, note that this is not currently available for native Macintosh platforms. I can't downgrade my rating for that, but it should be noted. If you're a Mac person, read no further.


* CorelDRAW X6 and PHOTO-PAINT X6 are professional grade digital imaging and graphics products
* Outstanding included GUIDEBOOK
* Interfaces are superior to Adobe's similar products
* "Hints" dock is like an interactive teacher
* Online videos are VERY useful and well done
* Utilizes 64-bit multi-core technology (VERY noticeable speed differences)
* Large library of images, frames, backgrounds, templates, etc. included


* Extra included applications are ho-hum (see my specific comments on these below)
* Corel Website Creator X6 is NOT on DVD - you must download (see my negative comments on that product below)
* Documentation for extra included applications is sorely deficient

After a full install from the DVD, these are the components that appeared in my Windows menus:

* CorelDRAW X6 (64-bit)
* Corel PHOTO-PAINT X6 (64-bit)
* Corel CONNECT X6 (64-bit)
* Corel CAPTURE X6 (64-bit)
* Bitstream Font Navigator
* Duplexing Wizard (64-bit)

Additional folders for Content, Video Tutorials, and Documentation were also installed.

== CorelDRAW X6 (64-bit), Corel PHOTO-PAINT X6 (64-bit) ==

Please read other reviews for specifics, but overall these two programs are professional grade. Previous versions have long been used by practicing graphics designers and in business settings. You may love or hate these products, but the array of features is far beyond that of other products, save the Adobe Creative Suite line. I personally find the interfaces to be cleaner than those on the similar Adobe products. Both of these programs are part of my own graphics toolbox. I actually prefer DRAW which seems less obscure to me than Adobe Illustrator (my opinion only).

== Corel Website Creator X6 ==

This program is NOT part of the initial install from the DVD even though it's advertised as part of the Suite. I did receive an email upon registering which then directed me to a download link to retrieve Website Creator. The link did not work, so I ended up downloading the trial version of the software. After putting in the serial number for the main product, Website creator still shows up as a 30 day trial even though it also displays the serial number. I have a pending request to resolve this issue. Simply putting a registerable product on the DVD, or including a second DVD in the package, would have saved me several hours of installation grief.

Website Creator is also just a rebranded version of an old workhorse, NetObjects Fusion. With its templates, etc., this is a fairly useable "roll your own website" program, but nothing a serious web designer would probably use (I use Dreamweaver and do a lot of manual coding).

== Corel CONNECT X6 (64-bit) ==

Your basic image, background, assets management package. The use of "trays" for collecting images for specific product is quite good. The ability to extract images for Flickr, Fotolia, and iStockphoto (you just get those three) is less impressive than you would think. Online images remain online (even in the tray) so you're not really downloading assets. I'm disappointed that the largest depository of freely usable (for the most part) images, the Wikimedia Commons, is not included. You can't add your own sites, though you can put in a URL and have images extracted (but not downloaded) from any web page. If you lose your network connection, or the sites from which you harvested the image changes, you can't use them. CONNECT does integrate nicely as a "dock" with the main two products, but should probably be part of both of those in the first place.

== Corel CAPTURE X6 ==

This is a standard, low-end screen capture program. Detailed documentation is sparse, but it's pretty easy to use. I was able to capture paused video of a current commercially released DVD. A useful utility, but I'm not sure why this is part of a commercial graphics software package (a recurring theme for me).

== Bitstream Font Navigator ==

Your basic font (typeface) manager. Useful and underwhelming.

== Duplexing Wizard ==

Allows me to set up my printer to print on both sides of a sheet of paper. Something most native drivers (including mine) already do. Redundant.

Conclusion: If DRAW, PHOTO-PAINT, and CONNECT were released alone, this would be an easy 4 to 5 star rated product. But since this is released as a package with all sorts of other features, I have to review it based on the entirety, with DRAW itself a superior and excellent product. But throwing in other software that doesn't add anything to the package, and consider the installation grief Website Creator has caused (not to mention that it's not a very good product in itself), I have to give this "suite" 3 stars (probably 3 1/2 but Amazon doesn't do half stars).
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VINE VOICEon July 18, 2012
Platform: PC Disc|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I first came across Corel Draw in version one. In those days (~1980) there wasn't the pressure on companies to provide copy protection to their software, so I put in the floppies one by one. I think that in those days Corel wanted their program to get the most exposure so maybe they didn't mind.

If so, it was worth their while, because I upgraded to version two, and carried on until version 6. To start with, Corel was the only program on the block that gave PC owners the kind of programs that Adobe was supplying for the Mac. Corel took that one step further and gave us a one-stop shopping product that had everything that a PC owner would want in graphics at the time.

That meant a drawing program, and usually a couple of other graphics programs as well. But Corel also included in the box a number of fonts, and plenty of clip art. This attitude has continued up to now with a whole bunch of applications, most in the box, but some (like Painter) have a separate existence.

Unfortunately, putting all this graphics power into the hands of people who weren't trained led to some recurring design mistakes, like heading text that went across the whole page in an arc, or parts of the page having a box around it. Add to that the people who would add clip art to every blank space, and it was easy to tell a document that had the "Corel Treatment."

Luckily most of those people have decided to drop the superfluous touches since then, and reasonably carefully used Corel Draw can help would-be artists improve their work. In fact, the program is probably the most user-friendly in that Corel includes a high-quality color book that invites the user to "Give it a try" for each feature. Corel comes with the book, a slipcase, the DVD, and a quick keyboard guide.

Included in the book are some winners of the Corel Design Award, and as I looked at them, not only was I impressed with the work that could be created on something other than the "industry-leader" applications, I notice that the majority of the creations came from areas outside the USA. This, I believe, shows the popularity of the low price around the world. In fact, you're paying around a third of the price of the equivalent Adobe apps.

And if the list price of nearly five hundred dollars is too high, Corel on Amazon offers numerous lower-priced versions, including Home and Educational (i.e. not Commercial) and previous versions of the programs and suites. If you can afford $200 then CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5 [Old Version] is available, and upgrading to the current version leaves you spending no more.

I love Photoshop but I'd be willing to use Corel's PhotoPaint if times were tough. Like the relationship between Corel Draw and Illustrator, PhotoPaint has most of the features of Photoshop. Add to that the things to help the beginner, and unless you're committed to a career in Graphics CorelDraw's X5 suite will probably have all you need.

So, it's nice to revisit an old friend. It's even nicer to find that the old friend has not only kept the features that you like, but has become even more attractive.
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on July 19, 2012
Platform: PC Disc|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
CorelDRAW is usually thought of (at least by most people who don't use it) as a second tier application (with Adobe being the "gold standard") but even if that was the case at some point, it's not true now as Corel have evolved their last few releases to the point that it's a very polished and complete package for "drawing" style vector illustration, and the associated raster tools are completely competent as well.

There are certain market segments (pretty much anything involving the driving of external hardware peripherals like laser engravers or vinyl cutters) where CorelDRAW is *the* application that everyone uses. In those markets it just doesn't make sense to try to use anything else.

If you are a light user of CorelDRAW who has a recent version already, then I haven't found anything here that's really a "must upgrade immediately" feature, but if you're a frequent user or a prospective new user looking to get into things like laser cutting, then this is definitely a worthy upgrade/purchase.

When it comes to handling vector-based images, Corel pretty much handles every file format imaginable, which makes it a great tool to add to your repertoire.

Definitely order the physical version unless the download is a lot cheaper, as the manual "book" that comes with the physical version has lots of great information in it for a new user looking to learn the package. It might save you the cost of a how-to book. The quick-reference card is also really nice for learning the keystroke shortcuts if you're new to the package. If you're a long-time user though, you probably won't use the physical materials much, so a digital upgrade would probably be fine.

I have all the Adobe products via subscription as well, but for some things Corel is just a more straightforward way to get things done, and for things like laser cutting it just makes sense to start with the app that's going to be used to produce the final output rather than trying to import an Illustrator file and fine tune it.

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Platform: PC Disc|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a very comprehensive drawing and graphics package, that is affordable, thereby giving many users with "home" and small businesses graphics tools that were, in the past, in the hands of only the big boys. I have been using the product to create flyers and professional looking ads for awhile now, and I realize I am actually using only a small set of the features available with this software. I have also played with the photo editing/processing functions, and, while there are other software products designed for photo editing that are more comprehensive, the features available with this package have more than served my marketing needs. Everything, so far, has gone smooth--from installation of the software to using the different functions (I am running this using a Windows PC). I highly recommend this product if it fits your budget. What you can create by yourself may pay for the price of the product in the long run. Have fun!
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Platform: PC Disc|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm reviewing this from the perspective of a casual user of this software. I have been using X5 (and previous versions) to edit and clean up photos, create greeting cards, posters, and mailing labels, and do lots of other little graphics jobs that other software sometimes could handle, but not nearly as well or easily. I'll look at the overall package, then review each component.

The package comes with a Guidebook (user manual) which will help get you started. If you've never used CorelDraw before though, be aware that you're facing a steep learning curve. Fortunately, when you use the different tools, there's an area on the right of your screen that offers context-sensitive hints and videos. The videos can be amazingly useful, as they show exactly how to perform a given operation. There are also videos that give an excellent overview of what's new in this version of the software. For the first time ever, Corel includes a Website Creator. Well, they don't actually include it, you have to register your software, then they e-mail you a web link so you can download it. They sent me the wrong link, and it took 2 more e-mails to tech support and a couple of days to resolve. Corel support is highly frustrating to use, and only free for 90 days, so make sure you find any issues early. Now for a look at the major components.

CorelDraw. If you've been using X5, then you can open all of your old work without problems. You can open a new file from a blank form, or choose from a wide range of "templates", spanning from brochures to letterhead to newsletters. I use the scare quotes because they're really examples, so you can pick something you like and customize it to fit your needs. This is where the Corel's Connect tool comes in handy. Used either as a docker or a stand-alone program, you enter a search term and it will scan the extensive Corel clip-art library, and optionally, stock art you can buy from Fotolia, iStockphoto, and Flickr. One annoyance is it will try to loosely interpret your request. Enter "beer", and you'll get lots of pictures of bears! CorelDraw takes some getting used to, but it is tremendously powerful and loaded with features. Comparing this to PowerPoint is like comparing a Cray supercomputer to an abacus.

Photo-Paint. The X6 edition also opens all of my old X5 files. If you like to edit, touch-up, or otherwise improve your photos, Photo-Paint is the best tool I've ever used. Once you open your file, try "Adjust/Auto Adjust" and you should get an immediate improvement. But if you don't like it, just Undo and then you can manually work through the other tools to fix exactly what you want. If your shot is a bit crooked - as most are - there's a nifty Straighten Image tool that adds gridlines and lets you rotate the image until everything lines up perfectly. Then you have the option to automatically crop the resulting image. You can also remove redeye in a heartbeat using a tool on the right toolbar. Most shots can be cropped, corrected, and saved in well under a minute. If you're using a point-and-shoot camera, you can skip the rest of this paragraph. If you're serious and shoot RAW files, Photo-Paint has a huge bug. There is a "Camera Raw Lab" which will open RAW files from any major camera manufacturer, and let you make small or large changes before entering Photo-Paint proper. When you're done, you can't save the fine as RAW, but you can save it in any standard photo format. The problem is, the EXIF information for important fields is deleted or changed. If you want to go back and see what the exposure was, or lens, or ISO, or almost anything else, it's either garbled or gone. I contacted customer support 2 ½ weeks ago, and they won't admit it's a problem, but they're "communicating with our Subject Matter Experts with regard to this." I'll update this review when they decide to fix it or not, but for now, consider the software to be pretty useless for RAW files.

Website Creator. I spent several years creating and maintaining military websites using FrontPage. I only maintain a personal webpage now, but wanted to give this tool a try. First, I tried "File/New Site/New Site From Existing Site". This imported the HTML for one of my web pages and associated subpages. Then things got ugly. Most of the pages wouldn't open, saying: "The page is too large to be loaded. You can reduce the size of the page by using smaller font sizes (the font sizes can be set in the Style view), or you can open the page when you run Fusion from Windows NT." Fusion is an obscure Corel product I've never heard of, and nobody I know runs Windows NT any more. After a lot of trial and error, I never was able to open these pages, even though I can click on the .htm files and the pages open perfectly in Windows Explorer. The pages I could open were totally mangled. Creator refused to accept the existing format and insisted on trying to make everything fit one of its own styles. So, if you have an existing site and want to use Creator, plan on starting over from scratch. I tried using the Wizard to start a new site, and if you can find exactly what you're looking for, you can use one of their templates. If none of them is exactly right, you'll have your work cut out for you.

Conclusion: CorelDraw continues to be a superb package, worth the price all by itself. Photo-Paint is good for casual photographers, not so good if you use RAW files. Website Creator is fine if you're starting a new site, but worse than useless if you have an existing site. Overall, if you have X5, you probably don't need X6, unless you're really pushing the envelope of this software's capabilities. If you've never used Corel or have an older version, then this is definitely worth a try. Go to the Corel site and download a free trial version; if you like it, come back here and buy a copy!
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on August 1, 2014
If you're looking at this, you must have considered buying into Adobe's overpriced creative cloud as well. I'm glad I got this instead because the CorelDraw X6 package gives you most of the features you will likely need in a vector drawing software at a fraction of the cost, for as long as you need it, because it's not subscription based.

That said, I do use AI at work because of file compatibility issues, but for my own personal work I use CorelDraw. I find it easier to use in general. But AI has a graph drawing tool which I wish CorelDraw would add at some point.

Just an additional tip -- if you subscribe to one year of the Corel premium membership, you get to upgrade to X7 for free! At least it was still valid when I did so a few months after X7 was out. I see myself using both CorelDraw X7 and Adobe AI in time to come, each are good but if you're on a budget like me, CorelDraw is worth serious consideration.
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VINE VOICEon July 9, 2012
Platform: PC Disc|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As a technophile with a strong interest in photography, website design and logoart as hobbies, this suite is a powerhouse of features one cannot possibly utilize as an amateur (no matter how informed). One of the easiest way to get acquainted with the features and even determine if this suite will address your needs (it will) for the pricepoint (depends) is to scan through books such as CorelDRAW X6 The Official Guide and use a trial version. One could also use the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6 Education Edition version to determine if this version is sufficient for your non-commercial needs. It is difficult to locate a feature comparison matrix for the full suite and the "subdued" versions. Of course, one cannot expect all the features of a 500$ package in something that is at 1/5th the price....

Compared to X5, the key difference in X6 are a collection of enhancements such as image slicing and optimization, improved MS product support, improved file format support for graphics, etc. and a collection of new features such as new tools for design asset management and flash animation. From a developer standpoint, Corel emphasizes the ability of this suite to leverage multi-core environments better (I dont have a workload that will ever need that nor would I know how to reliably measure the difference). Corel, however has provided a very detailed and useful comparison matrix for X1 through X6 in their website. Scanning through that matrix in itself will give a prospective buyer a good sense of the tools and determine if it is worth the upgrade.

Overall, the addition of flash animation and better asset management tools makes this a worthwhile update for the professionals - for non-commercial use - it is perhaps best to try out the Education version or wait for a Home edition similar to the CorelDRAW Suite X5: Home and Student or even stick with X5 suite which is now attractively priced relative to X6.
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on September 21, 2013
CorelDraw is pretty much eclipsed by Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop but it costs a lot less. Plus if you already know how Corel works then it makes sense most of the time to stick with it rather than tackle the huge learning curve to change to another product. The only real complaint I have is that sometimes the program will randomly crash. Not a lot, but in this day and age this behavior is unusual among "flagship" products.
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