CorelDraw Graphics Suite X6 is more than just powerful page layout software. This suite has photo editing, screen capture and even website creation features. All these come together to make CorelDraw X6 a powerful layout design tool. But it's also overwhelming for first-time users. If you have never used this type of software, you may be bewildered. Luckily, hints pop-up when you select certain tools and can give you direction on anything from vectors to gradients.
Nothing about Corel's layout stood out to us. It has a traditional setup with tools located on the left side of the window and a string of shortcuts along the top. You can place the color swatch either on the bottom or the right side of the program. We do like the object manager, which shows each layer and sub-layer, and with a master page section, you can easily make color or character changes that will affect your whole project.
One of the drawbacks of this page designer software is that it's vector based, so you create your graphics using lines. There are a few graphics preloaded in the software, so your main option is through line creation. Even with the vectors, you can add things like 3D effects and other filter effects to imported images, or retouch photos – all with the artistic text tool.
PhotoPaint inside Corel is another feature for adjusting and manipulating graphics. When you select an image, PhotoPaint opens up with options to adjust the color and contrast, or to add any other effects to your image. Cutout Lab is also a great way to mask areas you want to keep and delete parts of an image that just don't work for you. This is useful if you want to overlay an image onto text.
CorelDraw is pretty average when it comes to text capabilities. You can draw a text box if you want to insert a string of text or paragraphs, or select the text tool to start typing. Text reflow recognizes if your text box is too small and flows into an extra box. You can also select your text to wrap around your graphics and images, as well as follow any path you set for the text.
All text you enter has options to add gradients or effects such as mosaic or reflections. You can select individual characters or whole strings of text to adjust the object properties as well, giving you more freedom for your creativity.
It seems that Corel knows its product is tricky to learn, so the company has included a truckload of ways to get help, with hands-on training you can sign up for and videos. These videos range from beginner to advanced and cover business card creation and even school mascot design. You can get tips from professional designers that are both in written and video formats. The site also has tips of the week, design contests and a gallery of designs from beginners and professionals.