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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
Best of all: No subscription required.

CorelDraw X8 implements a multitude of new vector drawing features, from letting you hide objects and groups of objects so only needed ones are displayed, to an improved Knife tool that lets you split vector objects, groups of objects, bitmaps, and text with straight, freehand, or Bézier lines.

An enhanced node selection feature lets you shift-click to select adjacent nodes with the Shape tool. Then, you can copy or cut specific parts of a curve segment and paste it as an object, making it easy to create similar new shapes.

A new Feathering Direction button on the property bar helps to create natural-looking drop shadows, complete with Gaussian Blurs.

Photo-Paint expands its palette of tricks

Photo-Paint, the other major tool in the suite, has its share of new visual treats.

The new Healing Clone tool—great for anything from landscapes to faces—removes unwanted items from images by painting with a sampled color or texture.

A slider-based Straighten Image dialog lets you correct perspective distortions and tilt, especially for photos with straight lines and flat surfaces.

The Gaussian Blur special effect is now available as a lens, so you can blur images non-destructively (without overwriting the original).

The lens is created as a separate object on a layer above the background, so you can edit it separately.

Customizable interface lets you make it your own

CorelDraw Graphics Suite X8 continues to offer extensive interface customization options. In addition to the scaling discussed earlier, you can also choose among light and dark themes and any background and window border colors you want.

You can expand your creative tools by downloading applications, plug-ins, and extensions directly from within CorelDraw and Photo-Paint—as well as obtain a free license for the company’s Website Creator. 

The new version is available for download now (boxes ship on April 5) for $499, with upgrades at $199. Subscription pricing is $30 per month or $198 per year. Like Adobe’s Creative Cloud, subscribers get early access to updated features as they emerge. An upgrade program is available for perpetual license holders for $99 per year. Commercial and educational volume licenses are also available. In addition to Windows 10, it’s compatible with Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 in 32- and 64-bit versions.


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