Pros / Not only is this graphic design software easy to use, but it has all the tools you need to create unique logos, animations, posters and more.
Cons / While the software comes stacked with illustration tools, it lacks some photo effect features, like HDR imaging and panorama merging.
Verdict / Serif DrawPlus X8 has the illustration tools that top-rated graphic design software programs require for both online and print designs. While the software falls short with its photo editing features, the software is easy to learn and navigate, making it perfect for beginner and experienced graphic designers.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it is no longer available. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
Serif’s DrawPlus X8 is full-featured graphic design software. The graphic program has the illustration tools you need to create anything, from a moving animation to a logo for a poster. It lacks some photo editing features; however, the software offers strong support and sharing options.
Ease of Use
To test how easy the software is to use, we tracked what tasks we could complete with the software and how long it took. The best graphic design software allowed us freedom to create our own unique designs and had tools readily available. DrawPlus X8 had all of the tools we needed to create logos, posters, headers and to add effects to photos. After scanning the interface, we were able to complete the tasks quickly and efficiently. The graphic software also employs a customizable workspace that you can adjust to fit your own preferences.
This graphic software comes with a wide assortment of illustration tools. With the software’s various vector tools, you can create illustrations with the assurance that the image will maintain its quality at any size. The pen tool is one of the most useful design tools available. With it, you can create illustrations with lines and curves, as well as isolate or remove objects from busy backgrounds.
In addition to the vector tools, the software has a variety of brushes you can use to paint. If none of the pre-made brushes is what you need, you can create your own custom brushes, altering the color, weight, opacity and tip. You can even adjust the pressure of your strokes using a drawing tablet.
In addition to adjusting the brushes, you can change the gradients and opacity of your images, objects and text. The software comes with Pantone swatches. If you use them in your designs, the colors that appear on your computer screen will appear the same way when printed.
The software has several tools that help you create your design as accurately as possible. The graphic program has grids, custom guides and even snap-to alignment. The snapping feature automatically draws the object to align with other objects or to the nearest intersection of lines in the grid, whether it is visible or not. You can also employ the text wrap feature to align your text next to objects or images.
With over 670 font styles to choose from, you can customize the typography you use in your designs. Whether you add 3-D effects to the font or your images, adjust the color or size, or use effects, you have the freedom to create custom images, fonts and designs.
Photo & Image Editing
The graphic design program comes with several editing features you can use to alter and adjust your photos. With 48 photo filters, you can add subtle elements or drastically change your images by adding texture or adjusting color. With noise removal, color correction and automatic lens correction, you can create vivid pictures and remove any flaws caused by the camera. In addition to the filters, you can use the color tools, histogram, channel mixer or black-and-white conversion tool to adjust the coloring of your photos to fit your preference.
If you need help with your design, the software has 16 layout templates you can use to help you find the right placement of objects and images. When resizing images, the software is aware of the content and will scale accordingly. Similarly, when cropping an image, you can view what areas will be cropped before they are cut. The program also offers perspective-based editing. You can use this feature to give more dimension to your 2-D designs. The software even allows for animated GIFs, so that you can create animations that move. Like most graphic design programs, DrawPlus uses masks to help you cover up unwanted objects or to add intricate details.
While Serif’s software offers several graphic design tools and features, it lacks some basic photo editing elements. The software does not have a history log that you can use to see each change you have made to your designs. This feature helps when you make small mistakes or want to alter a specific aspect of your design. The software also lacks batch processing, which reduces time spent editing by adjusting several images and objects at once. If this is an important feature for you, consider looking at PaintShop Pro.
The DrawPlus software does not include some common photo effects. It is missing the panorama merging and HDR imaging features. You also cannot export directly to social media sites; however, the software supports several exportable and importable file types, as well as extensive printing options.
Help & Support
DrawPlus offers several support options both within the application and on the company's website. The application has links to the website, as well as a searchable manual that shows you how to perform common tasks with the software. Additionally, DrawPlus’ website has support forums, online manuals, video tutorials, as well as email and phone support.
Serif’s DrawPlus X8 comes with a wide assortment of tools. Whether you are creating vector illustrations or adding effects to your images, this software has the features and capabilities to help you create all kinds of different designs. On top of that, you can export most files or use the software’s printing capabilities to share your designs. These features make DrawPlus X8 one of the best graphic design programs available.