Corel Draw Graphics Suite x4
- Affordable price for what it offers, fast and effective work flow, lots of useful tools, services and templates
- Not as fully realised as Adobe Creative suite (but also significantly cheaper)
CorelDraw Graphics Suite x4 is a solid vector graphics package that adds some useful improvements over its predecessor. Thanks to a range of new tools which boost productivity, professionals will find it worth the upgrade.
Price$ 829.95 (AUD)
CorelDraw Graphics Suite x4 is the vector editing application of choice for people unwilling to fork out for an expensive Adobe software bundle. Unlike Adobe Illustrator, which is a stand-alone drawing application, x4 is an all-in-one suite; combining vector design tools and desktop publishing in one streamlined package.
This latest version comes equipped with full versions of Corel PHOTO-PAINT X4 (a bitmap editor), Corel PowerTRACE X4 (for converting bitmaps into vector images) and the titular CorelDraw x4. In addition, a host of supplementary software and material is also thrown in, including Corel Capture (for one-click image capture), Duplexing Wizard (for the creation of two-sided documents), WhatTheFont (an online service that tracks down unidentified fonts) and a massive selection of royalty-free photos and clipart (around 1000 and 10,000 respectively). While $829.95 isn't exactly pocket change, it remains one of the most affordable graphics suites on the market. With the exception of Web designers and their online ilk, it will suit almost any type of user; from industry professionals to do-it-yourself business lackeys.
Like most regularised software upgrades, CorelDraw Graphics Suite x4 doesn't attempt to reinvent the wheel with any earth-shattering changes. Instead, it refines upon the excellent x3 with some noteworthy – if mostly unessential – new features. The most immediately obvious of these is the redesigned interface. While it retains the same basic layout as its predecessor, everything has been streamlined to improve productivity, with the 'functional' controls of old receiving a professional new face lift. It makes for an uncluttered, intuitive and highly welcoming interface – especially for inexperienced users. If you weren't a fan of CorelDraw's previous look, the new interface is almost worth upgrading for on its own.
Apart from its re-polished appearance, one of the biggest changes to Graphics Suite x4 is the inclusion of ConceptShare; an online workspace that allows you to share designs and feedback in real time with other users. This makes it easy to collaborate with international colleagues – simply upload your output into the workspace and it will remain there for other permitted users to see.
As mentioned earlier, another online-based feature fresh to Graphics Suite x4 is WhatTheFont. As its cheeky name implies, this intriguing new service attempts to find matches for 'mystery' or unidentified fonts (i.e. – a scan from a poster, say). To test the service, we highlighted a few fonts that we already knew the type for, and found that it struggled to recognise some of the rarer examples. Nevertheless, it remains an interesting new addition to the suite which is bound to prove useful when clients ask you to replicate a vague style of font.
While it is still no match for Adobe Photoshop, the latest iteration of Corel PHOTO-PAINT benefits from a few notable improvements; including support for the RAW camera format and an easy image-straightening tool. The real-time histogram feedback tool will also be greatly appreciated, as it allows you to compare photo adjustments and select the best tone. Likewise, CorelTRACE x4 offers a lot more control than the tracing tools found in Graphics Suite x3. The new colour palette allows you to simplify, alter or enhance which colours appear in converted bitmap files for optimum results. What's more, it's fast and easy to use too.
The desktop publishing options have also received several improvements; mostly geared towards boosting work efficiency. We were particularly impressed by the ability to manage independent page layers across multi-page documents; a feature that wasn't offered in previous versions of CorelDraw. You can also preview changes via the Live Text Formatting tool, which saves you the trouble of applying a change and then removing it if it doesn't meet your requirements. Novice users are also rather well catered for, with a range of professionally designed, fully customisable templates.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 2 Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review
- 3 Portable power: Venom Blackbook 13 Zero review
- 4 Alcatel Idol 4S review: King of the mid-range?
- 5 Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Review
Latest News Articles
- Hackers have a treasure trove of data with the Yahoo breach
- Hands-on: Opera's free, unlimited browser VPN is ready for secure surfing
- Microsoft sues repeat software pirate who owes company $1.2M from prior case
- New Skype Preview lets Windows 10 Insiders manage phone texts on PCs
- New call-blocking apps in iOS 10 can stop spams and scams before they reach you
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCVideo Conference Support Officer- VoIP, LAN, WAN, RemedyNSW
- FTMDM EngineerNSW
- CCIT Security ArchitectACT
- CCLAN ConsultantWA
- FTOutbound TelesalesVIC
- CCBI Reporting AnalystACT
- CCSenior Change ManagerVIC
- CCPMO AnalystNSW
- FTTeam Leader Full Stack, Python, FinanceNSW
- CCData Analyst | Data Management Framework | Experience in RNSW
- CCJava / J2ee ProgrammersACT
- FTEMC Storage ConsultantWA
- FTPositive Vetted ICT positions - Defence intelligence and information securityACT
- FTSenior PHP DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Project ManagerACT
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web DeveloperNSW
- FTJava DeveloperNSW
- CCWAN Architect and ConsultantWA
- CCData Analyst | Data Feeds | Catalogue and MapNSW
- CCContract Systems Analyst (IT Security) 160928/JP/653Asia
- CCDesktop Infrastructure SpecialistACT
- FTSenior Front End DeveloperNSW
- FTDesktop/Application SupportVIC
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- FTTest Manager (HP Quality Centre / ARIBA)NSW