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|The Tuesday Letter
CorelDRAW 6 is a comprehensive 32-bit package that should fulfil all but the most demanding graphics, image-editing, 3D-rendering and multimedia tasks. As usual Corel have managed to include just about everything except the kitchen sink and Ventura 6 in this major upgrade. Ventura 6 will be available as a standalone product.
Corel also appear to have jumped on the Windows 95 bandwagon. This suite of programs has been specifically designed to only work with Windows 95. Although they are planning a Macintosh version at some stage they are not planning to offer an OS2 Warp version.
I have been using CorelDRAW 6 for some weeks now, and would have been using it a lot longer if I had not been so hesitant to install Windows 95 on my system. I didn't see the point in upgrading to Windows 95 just to use CorelDRAW 6.
Not only that, my friends recoiled in terror every time I mentioned Windows 95. So, after hanging garlic from the ceiling, strategically placing crystals around my computer, backing up my hard drives, unplugging my modem and disabling my other hard drive, I installed Windows 95.
Quite frankly, I don't see what all the fuss is about. It is just another wannabe operating system - even if I am only using it to run CorelDRAW.
So what do you get with CorelDRAW 6? Lots! It comes on 4 CDs, and as well as CorelDRAW you get Corel PHOTO-PAINT, Corel PRESENTS, Corel DREAM 3D and Corel MOTION 3D. Plus a heap of new or improved utilities and added features. You also get 1000 True Type and Type 1 fonts. There is also enough clipart packaged with DRAW to spruce up your newsletters and garage sale fliers well into the next century.
Two new features, which I like, in CorelDRAW are the Knife and Eraser tools. These enable you to slice through filled objects, cut irregular paths and erase. Slanted Guide lines are also available, as well as angular dimension lines.
Layer control has been improved. You can now select, rename, edit, activate or print layers from the first roll-up level.
If you have ever tried to space objects evenly, you will find the new distribution command useful.
Unfortunately though, none of these helpful features is likely to be incorporated into CorelDRAW 5. If you want any of the benefits of the new features offered in CorelDRAW 6 you have to upgrade to Windows 95.
Time will tell if that has been a wise decision by Corel. After all the latest version of PageMaker does not need Windows 95.
As expected from a Windows 95 program you get to use long file names. To some people this may be useful, but I am quite comfortable with the 8 letter coding system I use for my files and am unlikely to change.
Are there any problems with the program? Well, the text editor is so large it disappears off my screen and I have to move it around before I can see and click on the OK button. It's irritating and not something you would expect from a high end graphics program.
Overall though, CorelDRAW 6 is such a huge suite of programs the average home user could be churning out neighborhood newspapers for months without noticing any problems.
And in spite of some initial muttering from bureaus, art work I have sent off has come back without any problems.
I have always thought of Corel PHOTO-PAINT as a fairly medium level paint and photo retouching application until now. A host of new features has made it a lot more powerful. New tools include natural media brushes such as Pencil, Pen, Crayon, Chalk and Charcoal. Text is now live and at long last fully editable.
Corel DREAM 3D is a new application included with CorelDRAW 6. This has been ported to Windows 95 from RayDream Designer. It is an easy to use modeling and rendering application for creating 3D illustrations.
Creating presentations is now easier with Corel PRESENTS. This is a new business and multimedia presentation application. An on-line tutorial and built in wizards guide the complete novice through all the steps. Professionally designed templates help make the job a lot easier for the inexperienced.
With Corel MOTION 3D, it is possible to animate 3D objects and text. Corel MOTION 3D also works with DRAW and PRESENTS to add a whole new dimension to your presentations. It is possible to create compressed or uncompressed AVI or FLC movies and preview them in a single frame or full animation mode.
I wouldn't rush out and buy the program unless you really need to have it. Corel 5 works, does the job just as well, costs a lot less, and doesn't need Windows 95.
However, new from Corel and being released as a stand alone program is CorelXara. This is a fast vector and bitmap drawing tool with full anti-aliasing features and low system requirements. From what I have seen, it may well be worth upgrading to Windows 95 just to use it. I will be reviewing it sometime soon. More information about Corel products can be obtained from their web page at http://www.corel.com
Minimum requirements for CorelDRAW is a 486 with 8 MB of RAM, a CD-ROM player, a mouse, a VGA display and of course Windows 95. Although, if that is all you have, I wouldn't recommend this program at all. Doing any complicated graphic work with such a set up would be as much fun as watching paint dry and about as fast.
The upgrade price from CorelDRAW 5 is AU$399. Upgrading from version 3 or 4 is AU$599. Recommended retail price for the full product is AU$822. Plus of course the cost of Windows 95. If you upgrade to CorelDRAW 6 before 31 January you could win a Corel Photo Stock Library worth AU$1,666.
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