PROS / Regardless of its advanced tools, features and capabilities, this software is easy to learn and use.
CONS / The software lacks some photo effects, such as color correction, HDR imaging and panorama merging.
VERDICT / Corel’s graphic design software has a wide selection of both illustration tools and image editing features. While it lacks a few features that help you design more efficiently, the software is compatible with more file types than any other graphic program.
CorelDRAW Home & Student Suite X7 includes several different design applications with its suite that provide you with vector illustration tools, image editing capabilities and more. In addition, the graphic software is compatible with most programs. For these reasons, we give CorelDRAW Home & Student X7 our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.
Ease of Use
While the software has advanced tools, it maintains user-friendliness with its clean interface. All the illustration tools are available on the left side of the screen with the image editing tools and other features available on the drop-down menus. While testing the software, we were able to find the tools quickly. The tools are all clearly labelled so you can quickly access and employ them into your designs. In addition, you can customize the workspace to make it more familiar and efficient for your projects or use the Lite mode, which provides a clean interface by showcasing less tools.
This graphic software comes loaded with various illustration tools to help you create intricate designs. Using the pen tool, you can add precise curves to your lines, adjust anchor points and remove backgrounds or objects from pictures. The software also has an assortment of brush styles you can use on your designs, or you can create your own custom brushes. However, it does not include vector brushes. If you are using a raster image, the software will trace and convert the image into a vector image.
The program includes several effects that you can use on your designs. You can alter the opacity of the entire page or just an image, as well as add gradients to an object’s fill. You also can add 3-D effects to photos, objects and even fonts. The software has a Pantone swatch that you can use for the designs you plan to print, ensuring that the colors on your screen will remain the same shade on paper.
The software has several tools to help you create a design with accuracy. Between the grids, guides and snap-to alignment, you have the necessary tools to align objects in your design. If you add text to your design, you can also employ the text wrap so that it fits around your design or image.
The software has customizable typography. With over 460 different font styles, you can adjust the color, size and placement. If the software lacks the font or brush strokes you want, you can use a tablet to create your own. Using a tablet allows you to alter the pressure of a stroke to create a completely unique brush stroke.
Photo & Image Editing
Corel's graphic design program comes with a wide selection of photo filters. With over 76 photo filters, you can add elements that completely change your photos. Using those filters, you can convert your photos into black and white or vivid colors. The editing features also include effects that help improve the quality of a photo. For example, the noise removal and automatic lens correction can both adjust the photo so that it is of the highest quality.
There are several tools available to edit your photos. The software has content-aware scaling so you can resize your images without distorting them. It also allows for perspective-based editing. In other words, you can add depth and perception to your images manually. The history log tracks and displays every editing task that you do so that you can undo any unwanted changes.
The graphics program has 148 templates that you can use to help you create posters, logos, cards, book covers and more. It also has mask tools, as well as the ability to create animated GIF files. While the software includes the features of even the most robust graphic design software, it lacks tools that help you design more efficiently. For example, the program lacks batch processing, where you can apply the same edit to multiple objects. You also cannot directly export your designs to social media platforms, like you can with some of the other design programs on our comparison. Additionally, the program lacks HDR imaging and panorama merging, two popular effects to add to your photos.
Help & Support
CorelDRAW offers several different support options. While designing, it has in-application support and access to its online manual. The company’s website also includes support forums and video tutorials, as well as email, phone and live-chat options. It also has a knowledgebase where you can search for information about specific questions or problems.
The various applications on CorelDRAW Home & Student Suite X7 include a variety of vector illustration tools and image editing capabilities, which allow you to create unique designs and riveting images. While the software lacks some basic photo editing features, it offers robust illustration tools that only the best graphic design software programs offer.