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 newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo AX7 review: New looks, same old budget buy
- 2 JBL Free X review: Better battery life comes at a cost
- 3 Samsung Tab S4 review: Freestyle
- 4 Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- 5 Sony WF-SP900 review: One step forward, two steps back
Latest News Articles
- Windows Lite: what it is and when it might be released
- CBA capitulates, will support Apple Pay next year
- Intel unveils the Intel Neural Compute Stick 2
- Fetch TV expands with Aussie Broadband
- Adobe announces next generation of Creative Cloud
PCW Evaluation Team
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
- Everything we (already) know about the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10e, S10+ and Galaxy F
- Want to play Apex Legends?
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?