CorelDraw X5 under Windows 7
|Initial release||Jan 1989|
|Stable release||X7 / 27 March 2014|
|Written in||C++, C#|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
|Type||Vector graphics editor|
CorelDraw (styled CorelDRAW) is a vector graphics editor developed and marketed by Corel Corporation of Ottawa, Canada. It is also the name of Corel's Graphics Suite, which bundles CorelDraw with a bitmap image editor, Corel Photo-Paint, and other graphics-related programs (see below). The latest version is designated X7 (equivalent to version 17), and was released in March 2014.
In 1987, Corel hired software engineers Michel Bouillon and Pat Beirne to develop a vector-based illustration program to bundle with their desktop publishing systems. That program, CorelDraw, was initially released in 1989. CorelDraw 1.x and 2.x runs under Windows 2.x and 3.0. CorelDraw 3.0 came into its own with Microsoft's release of Windows 3.1. The inclusion of TrueType in Windows 3.1 transformed CorelDraw into a serious illustration program capable of using system-installed outline fonts without requiring third-party software such as Adobe Type Manager; paired with a photo editing program (Corel Photo-Paint), a font manager and several other pieces of software, it was also part of the first all-in-one graphics suite.
Features by version
|Release date||Version||Reading files||Writing files|
|Jan 1989||1||1||1||2.1||First version|
|Mar 1989||1.01||1||1||2.1||Introduces backups on save, and draw rectangles from their centre|
|Apr 1989||1.02||1||1||2.1||IBM PIF file format support|
|Jul 1989||1.10||1||1||2.1||102 new fonts|
|Feb 1990||1.11||1||1||2.1||AutoCAD DXF import/export support|
|Sep 1991||2||1, 2||1, 2||3.0||Envelope tool (for distorting text or objects using a primary shape), Blend (for morphing shapes), Extrusion (for simulating perspective and volume in objects) and Perspective (to distort objects along X and Y axes). CorelDraw for Unix also became available.|
|15 May 1992||3||1, 2, 3||2, 3||3.0, 3.1 (preferred)||Included Corel Photo-Paint (for bitmap editing), CorelSHOW (for creating on-screen presentations), CorelCHART (for graphic charts), Mosaic and CorelTRACE (for vectorizing bitmaps). The inclusion of this software was the precedent for the actual graphic suites. CorelDraw for Unix also became available.|
|20 May 1993||4||1, 2, 3, 4||3, 4||3.1||Photo-Paint (for bitmap editing), CorelSHOW (for creating on-screen presentations), CorelCHART (for graphic charts), CorelMOVE for animation, Mosaic and CorelTRACE (for vectorizing bitmaps). Multi-page capabilities, Powerlines, support for graphic tablets, Clone tool, elastic node editing, Envelope tool.|
|27 May 1994||5||1, 2, 3, 4, 5||3, 4, 5||3.1||This is the last version which was made for, and works on Windows 3.x. Corel Ventura was included in the suite (and then sold as a separate program). It was a desktop publishing application akin to PageMaker, Quark Express, or InDesign.|
|24 Aug 1995||6||3, 4, 5, 6||5, 6||95||This is the first version which was made exclusively for 32-bit Windows. New features were customizable interface, Polygon, Spiral, Knife and Eraser tools. Corel Memo, Corel Presents, Corel Motion 3D, Corel Depth, Corel Multimedia Manager, Corel Font Master and Corel DREAM (for 3D modelling) were included in the suite.|
|8 Oct 1996||7||3, 4, 5, 6, 7||5, 6, 7||95, NT 4||Context-sensitive Property bar, Print Preview with Zoom and Pan options, Scrapbook (for viewing a drag-and-dropping graphic objects), Publish to HTML option, Draft and Enhanced display options, Interactive Fill and Blend tools, Transparency tools, Natural Pen tool, Find & Replace wizard, Convert Vector to Bitmap option (inside Draw), Spell checker, Thesaurus and Grammar checker. The suite included Corel Scan and Corel Barista (a Java-based document exchange format).|
|27 Oct 1997||8||3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8||6, 7, 8||95, NT 4||Digger selection, Docker windows, Interactive Distortion, 3D, Envelope and tools, Realistic Dropshadow tool, interactive color mixing, color palette editor, guidelines as objects, custom-sized pages, duotone support. Corel Versions was included in the suite.|
|31 Aug 1999||9||3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9||5, 6, 7, 8, 9||95, 98, NT 4||Mesh fill tool (for complex color filling), Artistic Media tool, Publish to PDF features, embedded ICC color profiles, Multiple On-screen Color Palettes and Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications 6 support. The suite included Canto Cumulus LE, a piece of software for media management.|
|13 Nov 2000||10||10†||10 ‡||98, Me, NT 4, 2000||CorelR.A.V.E. (for vector animation), Perfect Shapes, Web graphics tools (for creating interactive elements such as buttons), Page sorter, multilingual document support, navigator window. Open, save, import and export in SVG format.|
|1 Aug 2002||11||11 †||5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11||98, Me, NT 4, 2000, XP||Symbols library, image slicing (for web design), pressure-sensitive vector brushes, 3-point drawing tools.|
|10 Feb 2004||12||12 †||12 ‡||2000, XP||Dynamic guides, Smart Drawing tools, Export to MS Office or Word option, Virtual Segment Delete tool, Unicode text support.|
|17 Jan 2006||X3 (13)||X3 †||7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, X3||2000, 2003, XP (32-bit, 64-bit), Vista (32-bit only)||Double click Crop tool (the first vector software able to crop groups of vectors and bitmap images at the same time), Smart fill tool, Chamfer/Fillet/Scallop/Emboss tool, Image Adjustment Lab. Trace became integrated inside Draw under the name PowerTrace.|
|22 Jan 2008||X4 (14)||7 to X4 †||7 to X4||XP, Vista, 7 (32-bit, 64-bit)||Whatthefont font identification service linked inside CorelDraw, ConceptShare, Table tool, independent page layers, live text formatting, support for RAW camera files.|
|23 Feb 2010||X5 (15)||7 to X5||7 to X5||XP, Vista, 7 (32-bit, 64-bit)||Built-in content organizer (CorelConnect), CD, web graphics and animation tools, multi-core performance improvement, digital content (professional fonts, clip arts, and photos), object hinting, pixel view, enhanced Mesh tool with transparency options, added touch support, and new supported file formats. It has developed Transformation, which makes multiple copies of a single object.
For the first time, OpenType versions of Helvetica, Frutiger, Futura and Garamond #3 font families (32 fonts total) from Linotype foundry are included instead of the Bitstream counterparts. All but Garamond are in OpenType Pro format.
|20 Mar 2012||X6 (16)||7 to X6||7 to X6||XP, Vista, 7, 8 (32-bit, 64-bit)|
|27 March 2014||X7 (17)||7 to X7||7 to X7||Windows 8 (32-bit, 64-bit), Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit)|
† CorelDraw 10 to X4 can open files of version 3 and later, but certain features may not be supported.
‡ The list of file formats that CorelDraw 10 to X4 can write may not be complete in this table.
Versions for Mac OS and Mac OS X were at one time available, but due to poor sales these were discontinued. The last port for Linux was version 9 (released in 2000, it did not run natively; instead, it used a modified version of Wine to run) and the last version for OS X was version 11 (released in 2001). Also, up until version 5, CorelDraw was developed for Windows 3.1x, CTOS and OS/2.
Several innovations to vector-based illustration originated with CorelDraw: a node-edit tool that operates differently on different objects, fit text-to-path, stroke-before-fill, quick fill/stroke color selection palettes, perspective projections, mesh fills and complex gradient fills.
CorelDraw differentiates itself from its competitors in a number of ways:
The first is its positioning as a graphics suite, rather than just a vector graphics program. A full range of editing tools allow the user to adjust contrast, color balance, change the format from RGB to CMYK, add special effects such as vignettes and special borders to bitmaps. Bitmaps can also be edited more extensively using Corel PhotoPaint, opening the bitmap directly from CorelDraw and returning to the program after saving. It also allows a laser to cut out any drawings.
CorelDraw is capable of handling multiple pages along with multiple master layers. Multipage documents are easy to create and edit and the Corel print engine allows for booklet and other imposition so even simple printers can be used for producing finished documents. One of the useful features for single and multi-page documents is the ability to create linked text boxes across documents that can be resized and moved while the text itself resets and flows through the boxes. Useful for creating and editing multi-article newsletters etc.
Smaller items, like business cards, invitations etc., can be designed to their final page size and imposed to the printer's sheet size for cost-effective printing. An additional print-merge feature (using a spreadsheet or text merge file) allows full personalization for many things like numbered raffle tickets, individual invitations, membership cards and more.
CorelDraw's competitors include Adobe Illustrator and Xara Photo & Graphic Designer. Although all of these are vector-based illustration programs, the user experience differs greatly between them. While these programs will read their native file types and vice versa, the translation is rarely perfect. CorelDraw can open Adobe PDF files: Adobe PageMaker, Microsoft Publisher and Word, and other programs can print documents to PDF using the Adobe PDFWriter printer driver, which CorelDraw can then open and edit every aspect of the original layout and design. CorelDRAW can also open PowerPoint presentations and other Microsoft Office formats with little or no problem.
CorelDraw Graphics Suite
Over time, additional components were developed or acquired and bundled with CorelDraw. The list of bundled packages usually changes somewhat from one release to the next, though there are several mainstays that have remained in the package for many releases now, including PowerTrace (a bitmap to vector graphic converter), Photo-Paint (a bitmap graphic editor), and Capture (a screen capture utility).
Below is a list of the applications and utilities included in the latest version of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite:
- CorelDRAW X7, a vector-illustration and page-layout application
- Corel PHOTO-PAINT X7, an image-editing application
- Corel PowerTRACE X7, a utility that is embedded in CorelDRAW and allows you to trace bitmap images and convert them to editable vector graphics
- Corel CONNECT X7, a full-screen browser that allows you to browse and search for content that is available on the Content Exchange or on the websites of online content providers
- Corel Website Creator, an application that helps you create websites and design web pages (Note: To use the application, you need to have a CorelDRAW Standard Membership.)
- Corel CAPTURE, a utility that allows you to capture images from your computer screen
- Barcode Wizard, a wizard that lets you generate bar codes
- Duplexing Wizard, a wizard that helps you optimize your work for printing two-sided documents
- Bitstream Font Navigator, a font manager that helps you manage fonts
- PhotoZoom Pro 3, a plug-in that lets registered users enlarge digital images and export them from Corel PHOTO-PAINT
- WhatTheFont, an online font identification service that is integrated with CorelDRAW
- ConceptShare, an online collaboration tool that lets you share your work with others
CDR file format
Hex dump of the header of a CDR file, written with version 3
|Developed by||Corel Corporation|
|Latest release||X6 (i.e. 16)|
|Type of format||Vector graphics, raster graphics|
In its first versions, the CDR file format was a completely proprietary file format primarily used for vector graphic drawings and developed by Corel Corporation, recognizeable by the first two bytes of the file being "WL". Starting with Corel Draw 3, the file format changed to a Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF) envelope, recognizeable by the first four bytes of the file being "RIFF", and a "CDR*vrsn" in bytes 9 to 15, with the asterisk "*" being in early versions just a blank, and beginning with Corel Draw 4, the version number of the writing program in hexadecimal ("4" meaning version 4, "D" meaning version 14). The actual data chunk of the RIFF remains a Corel proprietary format.
In December 2006 the sK1 open source project team started to reverse-engineer the CDR format. The results and the first working snapshot of the CDR importer were presented at the Libre Graphics Meeting 2007 conference taking place in May 2007 in Montreal (Canada). Later on the team parsed the structure of other Corel formats with the help of the open source CDR Explorer. As of 2008, the sK1 project claims to have the best import support for CorelDraw file formats among open source software programs. The sK1 project developed also the UniConvertor, a command line open source tool which supports conversion from CorelDraw ver.7-X4 formats (CDR/CDT/CCX/CDRX/CMX) to other formats. UniConvertor is also used in Inkscape and Scribus open source projects as an external tool for CorelDraw files importing.
In 2007, Microsoft blocked CDR file format in Microsoft Office 2003 with the release of Service Pack 3 for Office 2003. Microsoft later apologized for inaccurately blaming the CDR file format and other formats for security problems in Microsoft Office and released some tools for solving this problem.
In 2012 the joint LibreOffice/re-lab team implemented libcdr, a library for reading CDR files from v1 to the currently latest X6 version and CMX files. The library has extensive support for shapes and their properties, including support for color management and spot colors, and has a basic support for text. The library provides a built-in converter to SVG, and a converter to OpenDocument is provided by writerperfect package. The libcdr library is expected to be used in LibreOffice 3.6, and thanks to public API it can be freely used by other applications.
Support in other applications
CDR file format import is partially or fully supported in following applications:
- Adobe Illustrator - CorelDraw 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
- Corel PaintShop Photo Pro
- Corel WordPerfect Office
- Inkscape with UniConvertor installed; partial support
- LibreOffice with libcdr installed - CorelDraw 1 to X6
- Macromedia Freehand - CorelDraw 7, 8
- Microsoft Visio 2002 - CorelDraw! Drawing File versions 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0 and 7.0 (.cdr), Corel Clipart (.cmx)
- sK1 - partial support
- Xara Designer Pro and Xara Photo & Graphic Designer - early versions of CorelDraw CDR and CMX
Notes and references
- "A Short History of CorelDraw", at corel.com, retrieved 11 Jan 2011. (PDF version)
- Gerard Metrailler, "A little history of CorelDraw Graphics Suite", Fri, Oct 26 2007 at coreldraw.com/blogs/
- Lisa Picarille, "CorelDraw to be ported to Sun, Dec HP Unix, InfoWorld, 11 Mar 1991, page 27
- "New Products: Unix", Computerworld, 21 Sep 1992, page 58
- "Corel Announces 'CorelDraw 3.0'", May 15, 1992 /PRNewswire/ via www.highbeam.com
- Heck, Mike (July 13, 1992). "CorelDraw 3 moves faster, integrates modules". InfoWorld (San Mateo, CA: InfoWorld Publishing) 14 (28): pp. 66–67. ISSN 0199-6649.
- "Index of ftp://ftp.corel.com/pub/CorelDRAW/DRAW_Unix/" at corel.com
- "New Products", Computerworld, 30 Aug 1993, page 55
- "CorelDraw 3 will remain on market as low-price option", InfoWorld, April 19, 1993. (Anticipated date)
- "Testers praise CorelDraw 5", InfoWorld, April 18, 1995.
- "Corel Corporation Begins Shipping CorelDraw 6 Suite for Windows 95", August 24, 1995, at corel.com via archive.org
- "Corel Corporation Announces the Launch of CorelDraw 7", October 8, 1996, at corel.com via archive.org
- "Corel Corporation Launches CorelDraw 8", October 27, 1997, at corel.com via archive.org
- "Corel Launches CorelDraw 9 Premium Color Edition", August 31, 1999, at corel.com via archive.org
- "CorelDraw 10 Graphics Suite Available Now", Nov. 13, 2000, Corel Press Release via findarticles.com
- Troidl, David (2007). "SVG – From CorelDraw to Your Browser". Graphics Unleashed. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- "CorelDraw Graphics Suite 11 Now Available", Aug 1, 2002, at corel.com via archive.org
- "CorelDraw Graphics Suite 12 Marks a New Era of Intelligent Graphics Software", Corel press release, via Archive.org
- "Corel Introduces CorelDraw Graphics Suite X3", Jan 17-06, at corel.com. Full text at hexus.net
- "CorelDraw Graphics Suite X4 Unveiled Today", January 22, 2008, at Corel.com
- Arah, Tom (January 2008). "Product Reviews: CorelDraw Graphics Suite X4". PC Pro. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
- "CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5 Delivers More Versatility, Content and Color Tools for Graphics Professionals", February 23, 2010 at corel.com
- "CorelDraw X5 Whats New: CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5". Corel Corporation. February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-27.
- Iconic Fonts from Monotype Imaging Part of CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5
- "Corel Releases CorelDraw Graphics Suite X6", March 20, 2012 at corel.com
- "CorelDRAW Graphics X7 Press release", March 27, 2014, corel.com
- System Requirements — CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5
- Supported file formats, CorelDRAW X7 Help
- "CorelDRAW X7 Supported file formats : CorelDraw (CDR) - CorelDraw (CDR) technical notes".
- Corel Corporation. "Corel Draw file format". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- ".CDR File Extension". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "CorelDRAW X7 Supported file formats : CorelDRAW Template (CDT) - Additional file formats".
- "Corel Presentation Exchange (CMX), CorelDRAW X7 Help".
- "sK1 illustration program - The history of sK1". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Libre Graphics Meeting 2007 - Friday May 4". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "CDR explorer". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Can I open/import *.cdr (Corel Draw Vector drawing file) files in Inkscape?". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "UniConvertor at Sourceforge.net". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "sK1 - UniConvertor - universal vector graphics translator". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Information about certain file types that are blocked after you install Office 2003 Service Pack 3". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "CorelDraw .CDR file format and Microsoft Office 2003 SP3". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Microsoft admits to 'mistakes' in Office format fracas". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Support for Corel DRAW files in free software gets another chance". Libre Graphics World. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
- "LibreOffice CorelDraw Import filter - text support hatches out". Fridrich Strba. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
- "Libcdr resurrects Waldo, gets basic spot colors support". Libre Graphics World. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
- "Supported file formats in Illustrator CS4 and CS5". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Adobe Freehand MX 11.0 - Minimum System Requirements". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Visio2000: File Formats That Can Be Imported into Visio". Retrieved 2010-12-01. "You can import the following file formats into your Visio drawings: CorelDraw! Drawing File versions 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0 and 7.0 (.cdr), Corel Clipart (.cmx)"
- "What you won't find in Microsoft Office Visio 2003". Retrieved 2010-12-01. "The following file formats and converters are no longer supported:CorelDraw! 3,0-7.0, Corel Clipart Format, CMX"
- "UniConvertor 1.1.5 review". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Xara Designer - Import and Export". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- CorelDraw X7 official site
- Old CorelDraw 4 product announcement (May 20, 1993 / Listing availability for Windows, OS/2, CTOS and Unix)