Corel Designer Technical Suite X4
With the addition of the X4 tag, Corel has moved Designer further away from the 2-D technical drawing market towards the 3-D CAD space.
- Extended CAD file support, new dockers, layers, interface and connection enhancements.
- 3-D CAD system support needs $629 upgrade, no Mac or Linux support.
There is a wealth of Windows technical illustration software around the sub-$500 mark, but if you want the bitmap and 3-D functionality offered here too, as well as library of 4000 ready-to-use symbols, this suite probably provides better value in the long run. If you work with 3-D CAD models, you should be aware of the import limitations of Deep Exploration CSE, though.
Price$ 1,349.00 (AUD)
With the addition of the X4 tag, Corel has moved Designer further away from the 2-D technical drawing market towards the 3-D CAD space. Not that Designer can now create 3-D models, but the addition into this suite of Right Hemisphere’s Deep Exploration 5.5 CSE allows you to convert 3D models into accurate 2-D graphics. This is useful for creatives who often work on technical illustration assignments, diagrams or other complex projects where accuracy is crucial.
The new version has enhanced software support: it can handle files in the latest AutoCAD 2009 format, while Microsoft Visio support has been updated to handle v2007 and v2003 files; there’s also support for PDF 1.7 and PDF/A, Word 2007, Microsoft Publisher and JPEG 2000.
However, the included CSE version of Deep Exploration doesn’t handle some of the major 3-D CAD formats.
If you want to import SolidWorks files or output from Autodesk Inventor, for example, or publish to a 3-D PDF, you’ll have to spend another £1,100 to purchase the upgrade to Deep Exploration 5.5 CCE.
There’s a new Objects Coordinates Docker, which can be used to create and modify shapes and lines with precision. It’s worth noting that once you’ve modified a shape with the Docker’s adjustment sliders, a new object is created in the drawing window and some transformations and effects will be lost. Therefore you’re offered the option on the Docker to either create a new object and begin working with that instead or replace the original object.
You can now control and edit layers independently for each page, adding local guidelines or master guides across the range of the document, which certainly suits a highly technical workflow — particularly architectural and engineering projects. You can set multiple layers from imported CAD documents to display on a single page.
Also good for this market are the X4 enhancements to connector lines, dimension lines and callouts, such as reverse arrowheads and support for monospaced text. Arrowhead attributes such as size, offset and rotation angle can be specified, and there’s a new facility to add halo masks to connector lines, to make diagrams more readable.
There’s a lot of crossover from CorelDraw Graphics Suite X4, including Corel’s bitmap-to-vector tool PowerTrace, useful for scanning and editing drawings. Bitmap-editing tool Photo-Paint X4 now includes Raw file support and enhanced cut-out tools. Screengrabber Corel Capture X4 and the ConceptShare Web-based collaboration service also feature. Greater integration with Vista is offered through improved search and thumbnail features, and there are also enhanced print-merge capabilities.
It’s tempting to view this suite as a ‘Creative Suite lite’ for technical illustrators. However, while Adobe has been targeting that market with new cutaway and measurement features in the pro versions of Acrobat 9 and Photoshop CS3, Corel’s central component goes a lot further in serving this type of work.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung unveils Bixby voice assistant for upcoming Galaxy S8
- Pwn2Own hacking contest ends with two virtual machine escapes
- It's time to turn on HTTPS: the benefits are well worth the effort
- HBO brought its best shows to life at SXSW with an awesome escape room
- Windows Vista has just 30 days to live
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- LG 2017 OLED and Super LED UHD 4K TVs: Hands-on review
- Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTService Desk Analyst (Level 1 Support)NSW
- FTOracle DeveloperACT
- FTIT Security Team LeadNSW
- FTField Hardware Deployment EngineerNSW
- FTHR Application Architect - WorkdayVIC
- CCSenior Network Architect l Checkpoint firewalls l Cisco ACINSW
- FTWeb Support LeadQLD
- FTService Desk ConsultantACT
- FTBusiness Improvement ManagerNSW
- FTInside Sales Consultants - SMSF SoftwareNSW
- TPGIS Developer - 6 month ContractQLD
- FTDatabase DeveloperSA
- CCOrganisational Change Manager - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- FTField Deployment EngineerNSW
- FTOracle eBusiness Functional Consultant. (Procurement)NSW
- FTSeeking all Java Developers!ACT
- FTSnr Salesforce Technical Consultant/Architect Global IT Company - SydneyNSW
- FTICT Change AnalystSA
- FT.Net DeveloperACT
- CCMigration EngineerACT
- FTData Storage Support Consultant (EMC)QLD
- FTMS Dynamics DevelopersNSW
- CCFullstack .Net DeveloperNSW
- FTService Desk Operators (Part time and Full Time)SA