CorelDraw X4 Overview

Overall CorelDraw and PhotoPaint still beat out Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop for general and wide variety uses especially in the areas of sign making, producing files for cutting machines, engraving and multi-page documents short of a hundred pages.

Photo Paint remains a good program and is a terrific complement to CorelDraw. On its own it is quite capable but lacks the outstanding tools or capabilities that make Adobe’s Photo Shop a more productive tool for full time professionals.

My choice is to use CorelDraw for the majority of my work and using Illustrator when I need to work with other designers that solely use Adobe, especially the Mac gurus since CorelDraw is not on their platform.

But as for mass photographic work and the touch up of graphic designs, Adobe PhotoShop & Bridge prevails – especially since the integration of Dreamweaver and Flash that are now products of Adobe.

Is CorelDraw Worth the Expense?

Without a doubt! Especially if you are just getting started, a small business that needs graphic design capabilities, a screen printer, an engraver, a sign maker, an engraver, or you make booklets, lots of graphics based in vector art, for page layouts, or just as a hobby. Or if money is a consideration.

Is CorelDraw X4 Worth the Upgrade Price?

The older the version you are currently using makes it more feasible. I’d definitely suggest an upgrade if you are using CorelDraw 11 or older. For those of us using CorelDraw 12 or X3, I’m not so sure. Reviewing the program did not solidify my confidence that it is worth the cost, I’d be more tempted if we were not already using CorelDraw X3.

Yet I have purchased a single copy that will be given to one of the graphic specialist that develops student handbooks, flyers, and information packages of various kinds. Many of these can significantly benefit from the new table function. After 3 months we’ll review the benefits and see. That should also allow some time to see if we can figure out a digital management asset solution with the X4 files.


CorelDraw Graphics Suite X4

CorelDraw X4 Box- First Look

Corel Draw Tables

Finally! After a decade or more of being asked, Corel finally included a table function. It is not what I expected, overall it is far superior to what I expected.

CorelDraw tablesIn a matter of a few minutes I was able to make a 5 columns by 5 rows table, combine cells and then for the surprising part, right clicking on an image or Corel Draw objects - then dragging over to a cell - lets you insert that object into a table cell!

Excel table to CorelBoth Microsoft Word and Excel tables pasted in to Corel as tables, not a bunch of lines and positioned text.

You can insert and delete rows and columns, combine cells, select a cell, row, column or the table and distribute rows and columns. The only thing I could not figure out how to do easily was to change the text color of all items in a row or column. But I only played with it for 10 minutes.

Illustrator exportBetter Adobe Illustrator compatibility

Didn’t do much testing here except to export a Corel file to Adobe Illustrator and then open it in Ai. Woeful results. Import to AiSo I doubt if moving files the other way works significantly better. But we’ll have to check and see.


A web site that you enlist the services of for $19-$199 per month. Didn’t try it, nice idea. There are other less expensive alternatives if you have a little PC or computer server savvy. Adobe Acrobat professional is one of those alternatives another is to use SharePoint server or something similar. Above I mentioned that Corel had included programs that have come and gone with each version. I simply don’t have much trust in what Corel will keep around after all of these years. My investment will be in other best practice proven applications for the time being.

Color Management

color comparisonColor management has its up and downs until you think you've learned enough to make it work right - then you learn a little more. When you get experienced with color management, setting up Adobe and Corel to have virtually the same appearance on the same files is fairly easy. Now Corel has added in the capability to use Adobe's new Color Management Module. Yea, it actually works!

Other Things

I had several buggy things happen, drop shadows from text that took on a whole rectangular shape but would then change back to normal if I resized the text and a couple of times when I went to use the bevel tool the program crashed. But I could not consistently recreate these and it seems that after working with CorelDraw X4 for a couple of hours this stuff went away.

refresh neededI did get one to reoccur many times – draw a shape and type some text below the shape, right click the text and drop it on the shape, select Fit Text to Path. The original text should disappear, it remained. The picture on the right is after the text was moved.

I just went back and tried this again, except it didn’t reproduce. I just opened a new document, drew an oval, and below the oval I typed “Wrap Around”, gave it a fill of orange with a red outline. Right click drag up to the center of the oval and selected Fit Text to Path, it did it again, but a screen refresh fixes it.

Not reviewed were the new templates that will be available. I have to wait for the full version.

On the next page you'll find a few concise comments about Corel Photo-Paint and list of links images provide by Corel in one of their Virtual Press Kits.

Corel Photo-Paint

New Items

Straighten Photo

It works, not bad but nothing to brag about.

Raw Photos

I tried with two formats, Nikon and Olympus. Both opened, but slowly about 10 seconds for each. The photos were 8 - 13 MB each.

The Camera Raw Lab gives you White Balance, Temperature, Tint, Saturation, Exposure, Brightness, Shadow, Sharpness, Luminance Noise and Color Noise to alter and you can also make Snapshots.

It’s slow to open and slow to show changes.


Histograms - Now show up in several places. Nice touch, but not a significant benefit.

New Lenses

There is black and white conversion lens, works real nice, channel mixer, map gradient colors or adjust with photographic filters.

Corel's Images

Here are images supplied by Corel.

  1. Advanced Search, 257.3 KB
  2. CDGSX4EN_Left, 114.2 KB
  3. CDGSX4EN_Right, 115.7 KB
  4. ConceptShare, 190.6 KB
  5. CorelTutor, 107.1 KB
  6. Gallery, 179.7 KB
  7. Hints Docker, 186.3 KB
  8. Independent Page Layers, 205.9 KB
  9. Insights from the Experts, 115.8 KB
  10. Main UI, 162.2 KB
  11. New From Template, 145.6 KB
  12. Power Trace,153.7 KB
  13. Print Merge Wizard, 111.5 KB
  14. Professional Template, 680.3 KB
  15. RAW lab, 820.2 KB
  16. Straighten image, 518.3 KB
  17. Tone curve, 49.9 KB
  18. Video Training, 437.7 KB
  19. Welcome Screen, 83.9 K

I hope hope you found the information useful. My first looks and reviews I think are pretty truthful, but sometimes a little - well as one writer put it "snarky." Although she didn't think that was a word - I looked it up: crotche, snappish!

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