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 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft shows the power of its Pen with a new Whiteboard app and other upgrades
- Windows 10 S will not run Linux, even though it's a downloadable Windows app
- The Windows 10 Game Bar: What PC gamers need to know
- Microsoft redesigns OneNote UI to make it more universally accessible
- Windows 10 Insider build 16199 fills some holes in the Creators Update
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.
- MSI GE62 7RD Apache gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Oppo A57 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 Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- CCApplications Support/ DevOps EngineerQLD
- FTNetwork EngineerQLD
- CCJava / J2EE DeveloperVIC
- CCWeb DesignerQLD
- CCSenior Teradata Developer/Analyst ProgrammerNSW
- FTSales Client Services Manager (Mid-market)QLD
- CCSolution ArchitectQLD
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- CCPega DeveloperACT
- CCImplementation Manager/PlannerNSW
- FTSenior Procurement Specialist -| 3mth ContracVIC
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Microwave Transmission EngineerNSW
- FTSoftware DeveloperQLD
- FTLead ArchitectVIC
- CCBusiness SpecialistVIC
- FTInfrastructure Engineer - End User ComputingNSW
- FTDevelopment LeadVIC
- TPLevel 1-3 Helpdesk OfficerQLD
- FTSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTSolution ArchitectWA
- FTSenior Solution Designer/ ConsultantVIC
- FTSCRUM Master, CX, Financial ServicesNSW
- TPIT Support AnalystNSW