Top critical review
48 people found this helpful
Main 2 products are stellar, entire package less impressive
on May 30, 2012
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).