Corel Designer 10

[DTP Reviews]
[Vector Reviews]
[Bitmap Reviews]
[Web Reviews]
[3D Reviews]

[3ds max 6]
[3DSOM Pro ]
[Acrobat 7]
[Acrobat 6]
[Acrobat 5]
[Acrobat 4]
[Acrobat 3]
[Acrobat Capture 2]
[Advanced Render 2.5]
[Articulate Presenter 5]
[AutoEye 2]
[AutoEye 1]
[Avenue.Quark]
[Bryce 5.5]
[Camtasia Studio]
[Canvas X]
[Canvas 9]
[Canvas 8]
[Canvas 7]
[Canvas 6]
[Canvas 5]
[Captivate 1]
[Carrara 5 / Pro]
[Carrara 4 / Pro]
[Carrara Studio 3]
[Cinema 4D 9.5]
[Cinema 4D 9]
[Cinema 4D 8.5]
[ColorDrive 1.5]
[CompuPic Pro 6]
[CompuPic Pro 5]
[Contribute 2]
[Contribute]
[Corel Designer 12]
[Corel Designer 10]
[Designer 9]
[Designer 1/8]
[CorelDraw X3]
[CorelDraw 12]
[CorelDraw 11]
[CorelDraw 10]
[CorelDraw 9]
[CorelDraw 8]
[CorelDraw Office 9]
[CorelDraw Premium 9]
[Creative Suite 2]
[Creative Suite 1]
[Deep Exploration 3]
[Deep Paint 2]
[Deep Paint 3D 2]
[Digital Image Suite 9]
[Director MX]
[Director 8.5]
[Director 8]
[DreamSuite 1]
[Dreamweaver 8]
[Dreamweaver MX 2004]
[Dreamweaver MX]
[DrawPlus 8]
[Expression 3]
[Expression 2]
[Eye Candy 4000]
[Fireworks 8 ]
[Fireworks MX 2004]
[Fireworks MX]
[Fireworks 4]
[Fireworks 3]
[Fireworks 2]
[Fireworks 1]
[Flash Professional 8]
[Flash MX Pro 2004]
[Flash MX 2004]
[Flash MX]
[Flash 5]
[Flash 4]
[Flash 3]
[FlashCom MX]
[Flightcheck 3]
[Flix Pro]
[Fontographer 4.1]
[FrameMaker 6]
[FrameMaker 5.5]
[FreeHand MX]
[FreeHand 10]
[FreeHand 9]
[FreeHand  8]
[FrontPage 2003]
[FrontPage 2002]
[FotoFusion 3]
[Generator 1]
[Genetica 2]
[Genuine Fractals 3.5]
[Genuine Fractals]
[GoLive CS2]
[GoLive CS]
[GoLive 6]
[GoLive 5]
[GraphicXtras]
[Headline Studio 1]
[Hexagon]
[Illustrator CS2]
[Illustrator CS]
[Illustrator 10]
[Illustrator 9]
[Illustrator 8]
[Illustrator 7]
[Image Doctor]
[InDesign CS2]
[InDesign CS]
[InDesign 2]
[InDesign 1]
[ImageReady 1]
[ImageStyler 1]
[Intellihance Pro 4]
[Intellihance 3]
[KnockOut 2]
[KnockOut 1.5]
[KPT 7]
[KPT 6]
[KPT 5]
[KPT 3]
[LiveMotion 2]
[LiveMotion 1]
[Mystical Lighting ]
[Mystical Tint]
[Namo WebEditor 5.5]
[NetObjects Fusion 7.5]
[OnOne Photoshop Suite]
[PageMaker 7]
[PageMaker 6.5+]
[PageMaker 6.5]
[PagePlus 6]
[PagePlus 5]
[PagePlus 4]
[Paint Shop Pro X ]
[Paint Shop Pro 9]
[Paint Shop Pro 8]
[Paint Shop Pro 7]
[Paint Shop Pro 6]
[Paint Shop Pro 5]
[Paint Shop Pro 4]
[PSP Album 5]
[PSP Studio]
[Painter IX]
[Painter 8]
[Painter 7]
[Painter 6]
[Painter 5.5]
[Painter 5]
[Painter 4]
[Painter Essentials 3]
[Photo Album 6]
[PhotoArtMaster]
[Photo-Brush]
[PhotoDeluxe BE]
[PhotoDraw 2000 2]
[PhotoDraw 2000 1]
[PhotoFrame 1]
[PhotoGraphics 1]
[PhotoImpact 11]
[PhotoImpact 10]
[PhotoImpact XL]
[PhotoImpact 8]
[PhotoImpact 6]
[PhotoImpact 5]
[PhotoImpact 4]
[PhotoImpact 3]
[Photo-Objects 2]
[PhotoPaint 8]
[PhotoSEAM]
[Photoshop CS2]
[Photoshop CS]
[Photoshop 7]
[Photoshop 6]
[Photoshop 5.5]
[Photoshop 5]
[Photoshop 4]
[Photoshop Album 2]
[Photoshop Album]
[Ph/shop Elements 4]
[Ph/shop Elements 3]
[Ph/shop Elements 2]
[Photoshop Elements]
[PhotoSuite 7 ]
[PhotoSuite 5]
[PhotoSuite 4]
[PhotoSuite III]
[PhotoSuite II]
[PhotoTools 2]
[Picture Publisher 8]
[Piranesi 4 ]
[Piranesi 3]
[Portfolio 3]
[Poser 6]
[Poser 5]
[Poser Pro Pack]
[PrintOffice 2000]
[PrintOffice 1]
[PressReady 1]
[Publisher 2003]
[Publisher 2002]
[Publisher 2000]
[Publisher 98]
[Pxl SmartScale]
[QuarkXPress 6.5]
[QuarkXPress 6]
[QuarkXPress 5]
[QuarkXPress 4]
[Real-Draw Pro 3]
[Real Draw Pro 2]
[Sapphire Plug-ins]
[Satori 3]
[Satori 2.5]
[Sketch and Toon]
[SketchUp 5]
[SketchUp 4]
[SketchUp 3]
[SketchUp 2.1]
[SnagIt 6.2]
[Streamline 4]
[Studio 8]
[Studio MX 2004]
[Studio MX]
[Studio Pro 2 ]
[Swift 3D 4 ]
[Swift 3D 3]
[Swish 1]
[Swish 2]
[Test Strip 3]
[Texture Maker 2]
[Toon Boom Studio 3]
[Toon Boom Studio 1]
[Type Manager Deluxe]
[Vector Studio 2]
[Vector Studio 1]
[Ventura 10]
[Ventura 8]
[Ventura 7]
[Virtual Painter]
[Vue 5 Esprit]
[Vue 4 d'Esprit]
[Vue 5 Infinite]
[Vue 4 Professional]
[Web3D 2]
[Web3D 1]
[WebEasy Pro 5]
[WebPlus 8]
[WildFX]
[WildPresenter]
[Windows Draw 6]
[Windows Draw 5]
[Wright Design 1]
[Xara Xtreme]
[Xara X1]
[Xara X]
[Xara 2]
[Xara 1]
[Xara3D 6]
[Xara3D 5]
[Xenofex 2]
[Xfrog 3.5 / 4.x]
[XPress 6.5]
[XPress 6]
[XPress 5]
[XPress 4]
[xRes 2]


[Home / What's New]
[DTP / Publishing]
[Vector Drawing]
[Bitmap / Photo Editing]
[Web Design]
[3D Software]
[All Reviews]
[All Articles / Tutorials]
[Book Search / Shop]
[Site Map / Search]
[Contact]
 

you can help support the site with a direct donation or by shopping via the following links:

[Amazon.com]
[Amazon.co.uk]
[Amazon.ca]

Thank you!

 

 

The modern interface and impressive functionality will be very new to Designer's existing users - but others will have a strong sense of déjà vu.

At one point Micrografx Designer and CorelDRAW had the world of PC-based vector graphics pretty much to themselves, with Designer taking care of technical drawing and CorelDRAW concentrating on graphic design. Since then competition has arrived from the Mac and market share has fallen. Now Corel has swallowed its former rival and this is the first major release since the take-over. So is it good news at last for Designer's long-suffering userbase?

Well, after the disappointment of version 9 where the highlight was the ability to add halos around call-outs, they are certainly in for a shock. To begin with there's the interface. This is unrecognisable and existing users will simply not know what's hit them. CorelDRAW users will be rather more familiar with the new environment immediately recognising its context-sensitive property bar for controlling tools and no less than 23 docker windows for controlling everything else.

In fact there are only two obvious indicators that tell you that you are working in DESIGNER rather than CorelDRAW. The first is that your cursor is constantly giving feedback on underlying objects and snapping to their paths, mid-points, quadrants, tangents and so on - essential when producing technical work. The second is that DESIGNER offers a slightly different toolbox, two icons wide and with alternatives appearing at the bottom of the toolbox rather than as fly-outs.

So just what power is on offer? Designer users will be most interested in the more technical functionality and there's plenty to choose from (again almost all of it familiar to CorelDRAW users). DESIGNER's Dimension tools are used for marking up precise measurements and include horizontal, vertical and parallel options as well as one for marking up angles. The Callout tool lets you automatically pick out object properties, or you can add your own text. More advanced features include the ability to automatically increment values and to produce callouts with up to three line segments - and the halo option is still there.

DESIGNER offers plenty of technical functionality.

Another common use for Designer is the production of flow diagrams and here again there are changes. The former Sticky Line tool for creating lines that follow the objects they are linked to, has been replaced by the Connector Line tools which again offer up to three segments. Completely new for Designer users are Corel's Perfect Shape tools that let you add common diagrammatic symbols with in-built editing intelligence. DESIGNER also ships with thousands of industry-standard architectural, electrical and mechanical symbols for use as building blocks. These can now be handled via DESIGNER's dedicated Symbol Manager docker which is ideal if you need to update multiple instances or save your drawing to an efficient Flash SWF file for web viewing.

Further technical drawing strengths become apparent when it comes to editing your work. DESIGNER 10 provides powerful ways of combining objects and shape editing. Completely new are the Shape tool's Reflect Nodes options which let you mirror changes around a horizontal or vertical axis. Equally handy are the new ability to divide lines into equal segments and the Virtual Segment Delete tool which trims line segments back to the nearest intersection. Most useful of all will be the Transformation Docker window where you can take precise and centralized control of positioning, rotation, scaling and skewing and now of producing isometric projections.

It's when it comes to new creative power though that Corel's experience really comes to the fore. In the past Designer's formatting capabilities were reasonable but tended towards the technical, with a strong bias towards hatching patterns and dashed lines. Now DESIGNER 10 offers all of CorelDRAW's formatting controls including access to Pantone libraries, fractal fills and so on. There's even the Gradient Mesh tool for adding state-of-the-art PostScript-friendly graduated shading.

It's the same story when it comes to special effects. Designer always seemed to frown on these as if they were showing-off but now all of CorelDRAW's interactive effect tools are on offer. The Extrusion tool will be of most interest to the target audience with the ability it provides to bring 2D drawings into 3D, or at least pseudo-3D, life. Other options include the interactive Blend, Contour, Transparency, Drop Shadow and Envelope tools. Corel clearly thought that adding CorelDRAW's art-based "Artistic Media" brushes would be a step too far so it's given them some spurious technical respectability by renaming them as "Linear Patterns".

DESIGNER is effectively a tweaked version of CorelDRAW.

As always with Corel, there's more in the box than just the main application. Particularly useful is the inclusion of the Trace utility which converts scanned bitmaps to vectors. I'm also a big fan of Bitstream's Font Navigator for taking control of your fonts and the support for Visual Basic for Applications means that DESIGNER can now be used for fully automated workflows. The major downside is that Picture Publisher is no longer bundled so you'll need to have a separate bitmap editor.

All told there's a vast amount for Designer users to get to grips with. It looks like Corel's developers must have been working overtime to graft all this power onto Designer. Except that's exactly what they haven't done. Instead they've simply taken CorelDRAW, dropped certain functionality such as the print preview and Photo-Paint effects, and then tweaked the interface and the odd tool to give a slightly more technical feel. It's not the same thing at all and many Designer users will be horrified at the unacknowledged demise of their favoured solution. Others will simply be amazed at how much new power they suddenly have access to.

Corel is doing its best to obscure the fact but ultimately DESIGNER 10 isn't actually a new release of the longstanding Micrografx application, rather it's a competitive upgrade to a tweaked version of CorelDRAW. All things considered, it's probably the best option available.

Features
5
Ease of Use
4
Value for Money
4
Overall
4

ratings out of 6

Designer
Software / Upgrade
Save $$!   Save ££!
Books / Reference
Save $$!   Save ££!

System requirements: Pentium II or higher, 128MB of RAM, 200MB of hard disk space, Windows 98, NT4 (SP6), Me, 2000 (SP3) or XP, CD-ROM.

Tom Arah

May 2003

Hopefully you've found the information you were looking for. For further information please click here.

For free trials and special offers please click the following recommended links:

For further information on the following design applications and subjects please click on the links below:

[3D], [3ds max], [Adobe], [Acrobat], [Cinema 4D], [Corel], [CorelDRAW], [Creative Suite], [Digital Image], [Dreamweaver], [Director], [Fireworks], [Flash], [FreeHand], [FrameMaker], [FrontPage], [GoLive], [Graphic Design], [HTML/CSS], [Illustrator], [InDesign], [Macromedia], [Macromedia Studio], [Microsoft], [NetObjects Fusion], [PageMaker], [Paint Shop Pro], [Painter], [Photo Editing], [PhotoImpact], [Photoshop], [Photoshop Elements], [Publisher], [QuarkXPress], [Web Design]

To continue your search on the designer-info.com site and beyond please use the Google and Amazon search boxes below:

Google
Web designer-info.com

       
designer-info.com: independent, informed, intelligent, incisive, in-depth...
 


All the work on the site (over 250 reviews, over 100 articles and tutorials) has been written by me, Tom Arah It's also me who maintains the site, answers your emails etc. The site is very popular and from your feedback I know it's a useful resource - but it takes a lot to keep it up.

You can help keep the site running, independent and free by Bookmarking the site (if you don't you might never find it again), telling others about it and by coming back (new content is added every month). Even better you can make a donation eg $5 the typical cost of just one issue of a print magazine or buy anything via Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk (now or next time you feel like shopping) using these links or the designer-info.com shop - it's a great way of quickly finding the best buys, it costs you nothing and I gain a small but much-appreciated commission.

Thanks very much, Tom Arah


 
[DTP/Publishing] [Vector Drawing] [Bitmap/Photo] [Web] [3D]
[Articles/Tutorials]
[Reviews/Archive] [Shop]  [Home/What's New]

Copyright 1995-2005, Tom Arah, Designer-Info.com. Please get in contact to let me know what you think about a particular piece or the site in general.