Historically, Corel Graphics Suite has been one of the best in its class. Its three bundled applications, CorelDraw, Corel PhotoPaint, and Corel RAVE, provide most everything you need for vector illustration, photo editing, and animation, respectively--all in an easy interface. Will Corel 11.0, due out in late July, carry the torch? You'll have to tune in for our full review in July, but so far, prospects look good.
Corel's hearty vector illustration program may not dominate the market, that title currently belongs to , but its ease of use has won it many loyal fans. In the past, CNET has praised CorelDraw for its simplicity, but don't be fooled: version 11.0 piles on plenty of new effects and tools.
From what we've seen so far, CorelDraw 11.0's work space is now more customizable than ever. The new Polyline tool lets you create curves and lines in one stroke, so you can leave the tricky Bezier pen behind. Version 11.0 also adds support for the latest graphics standards, including JPEG 2000 and enhanced Scalable Vector Graphics (). Like Adobe Illustrator 10.0, CorelDraw now supports Symbols, which allow you to edit recurring objects in a batch and save your edits to use at any time.
Corel PhotoPaint 11.0
PhotoPaint 11.0 will include a complete photo-editing toolset and a painting application. Version 11.0's new CutOut tool promises to let you mask complex objects quickly and easily, and the Image Stitching function will create 360-degree panoramas from a collection of images. PhotoPaint also contains several new tools for Web graphics. To make sure your Web-bound images don't take forever to load, for instance, image slicing (a standard among Web graphics applications) cuts your file into smaller segments.
Check out RAVE, a.k.a. Real Animated Vector Effects, a Web graphics and animation program, if you want to create dynamic Web content, including rollovers and SWF animation. It, too, supports Symbols, which in this case generate smaller file sizes for Flash files. The enhanced Flash filter will also help compress animation for the Web.