Review: CorelDraw X3 graphics suite - What's New

Page 2 of 4: What's New

What's new?
For starters there are two new applications - PowerTrace and Pixmantec Rawshooter essentials. PowerTrace is essentially a repackaged version of CorelTrace 12, however the colour handling has been enhanced, even allowing you to merge different colours from the original bitmap into a single colour in the outputted vector drawing. RawShooter allows digital images to be converted to RAW format, with support for all of the major formats of different manufacturers such as Canon, Olympus and Nikon, as well as the Adobe DNG standard.

The Image Adjustment Lab is more of an applet than a fully blown app, being accessible from both Draw and Paint. It gives the usual array of image adjustments, such as tempurature, tint, brightness, contrast  etc. PhotoPaint also boast an enhanced cutout 'lab' tool, making it easier to remove backgrounds from images. Spot colour handling has been added, allowing users to create and modify images that contain spot colours.

CorelDraw X3
When you open up the main app you immediately notice the new Hints docker. Now, we all know that grown men don't read manuals, but it is worthwhile leaving this open for reference. As you click on and use different tools a suitable hint is shown - while more advanced users won't need this, occasional users who need a reminder will find this invaluable. A particularly nice touch for those upgrading from older versions is the ability to highlight changes from versions 9 through 12 - very useful! A new 'step and repeat' docker menu is also a welcome addition - previously if you wanted, say, 100 small stars each spaced 2mm apart you'd have to use the transformations menu and create a duplicate item X distance from the previous one - now you can simply specify that you want X number of items with Y distance, along with the direction.

CorelDraw X3 review - Hints docker

The new CorelDraw X3 hints docker

Drawing tools have been beefed up as well, with several new dockers - a rudimentary (read: basic) bevel facility, chamfer and scallop, and the ability to create more complex star shapes. While their uses may be limited at first glance their inclusion is a welcome one - if you've ever previously tried to reshape a rectangle using nodes you'll know that even the most basic of design changes can require a few minutes of work - these tools do away with that, adding further relief to your RSI-riddled wrists.

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