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CorelDraw Graphics Suite X8: The un-Adobe choice steps up to Windows 10 and 4K displays

Jackie Dove | March 16, 2016
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With the release of CorelDraw Graphics Suite X8, Corel has unleashed a coordinated update to its multi-app creative flagship targeted to businesses, entrepreneurs, graphics pros, and hobbyists. The suite welcomes Windows 10 with a new Font Manager app, variable screen resolution, and an array of additions and enhancements to ensure that users stay focused and productive.

Major updates to Corel’s two main apps—CorelDraw and Photo-Paint—provide advanced object editing options, including improved Knife and Shape tools, new font handling and filtering, Healing Clone and Gaussian Blur lens tools, enhanced interface customization, and more.

If that sounds intimidating for newcomers and past users, it doesn’t have to be. Corel’s new built-in interactive Startup tours help mitigate the learning curve, while the apps’ user guides are now available as e-books.

Why this matters: CorelDraw Graphics Suite is a PC-only app that specifically targets the Windows workflow and competes directly with Adobe Illustrator, offering similar features and benefits. The 27-year-old CorelDraw is an institution for PC artists who don’t need or want to adopt Adobe’s subscription-based Creative Cloud for the sake of standardizing around Photoshop and Illustrator.

4K compatibility comes to CorelDraw

CorelDraw X8’s updated interface now supports Ultra HD 4K monitors, letting you view apps on the highest-resolution screens available. New multi-monitor support and individual monitor interface scaling let you use a range of higher-resolution monitors and laptops while offering flexibility and optimal scaling for those with lower-resolution displays, even when used side by side.

I was able to open a X8 window on my HP Spectre x360 laptop at native resolution alongside my 27-inch HD monitor. I could adjust them independently via the Workspace Appearance control.

Corel is already compatible with Wacom tablets, however, the new X8 version also supports Windows Real-Time Stylus, with no-driver pressure sensitivity and tilt that gives you full stroke control in the drawing and image editing apps.

You can now use different pen-compatible tablets and styluses (such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, or any other RTS-compatible tools) with the software to tailor them to your own stroke strength.

More font management and graphics tools

For the font-obsessed, a new Font List Box in both CorelDraw and Photo-Paint lets you find, filter, and view specific fonts while streamlining the selection process. You can sort fonts by weight, width, scripts, and more or use keywords to find new fonts.

Corel’s new Font Manager—a standalone utility—lets you access online fonts from the company’s Content Exchange as well as your own system. 

You can browse, search, and preview glyph sets and add customized collections. When you add folders and collections, all fonts—even ones that aren’t installed—are accessible and usable from the apps’ Font List Box.

 

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