OK, I thought this session would be real easy to do until I had to whittle
my favs down and document them for CorelDRAW versions 8 through 10. We all
have our favorite ways to do things in life, but sometimes it's hard to
categorize them into some sort of logical sense. So here goes my list of
DRAW features that I frequently use and would like to share with you. Hang
onto your hats!
Setting up the DRAW screen is much like re-arranging your car interior after
your wife (husband, son, daughter, thief) has been behind the wheel. You probably
need to adjust the seat, move the rear view mirror and side mirrors, choose a
different radio station or CD, and then find the damn keys! Fortunately,
DRAW not only allows you to display or hide screen elements but it also allows
you to program shortcut keys, change ruler settings, and tear off toolbars.
So without further delay, here are some things you can customize in DRAW:
Tear off a docker from the side to float anywhere on the screen. Once you do,
the docker becomes a Roll-Up. Click the up arrow in the upper right corner as
illustrated in Figure 1 to temporarily roll up the window. Click again to roll
it back down. And they told you that they got rid of Roll-Ups in version 9?!
Figure 1 Thought they got rid of Roll-Ups? Think again!
Double-click a docker to quickly make it a Roll-Up. Repeat again to convert
it back to a docker.
Group floating dockers (Roll-Ups) by dragging one on top of the other.
To ungroup, simply drag the tab of one to another area of the screen.
Tear off a tool flyout such as the Fill tool and dock to any part of the
screen as illustrated in Figure 2. My favorite location is right below the
toolbar since there's space.
Figure 2 Tear off a flyout and stick it where you want for easier access.
Reset the ruler's "0" setting by dragging the box where the vertical and
horizontal rulers intersect (top left corner) and placing the crosshair cursor
at the desired coordinate. Double-click the box to reset and move the ruler
back to its default location. A good way to finally change the vertical
ruler's "0" setting to the top of the page rather than the default bottom of the page!
Hold [Shift] and drag the box where the vertical and horizontal rulers
intersect (top left corner) to move the ruler down into the drawing page as
illustrated in Figure 3. Hold [Shift] and double-click the intersection area to reset.
Figure 3 Move your rulers down closer to your objects.
Hold [Alt] and drag a button in any toolbar or toolbox to move it to
another toolbar or toolbox. Hold [Alt] and drag to a blank white space of
the screen to delete it.
Hold [Ctrl Alt] and drag a button in any toolbar or toolbox to copy it
to another toolbar or toolbox. I like to move the Guideline Snap button to an
area where it's always accessible.
In CorelDRAW 8 and 9, you can change the appearance of an icon in the
toolbar by activating the Options dialog box and click on the Customize,
Toolbars category. Right-click the icon and select Properties. The Button
Properties dialog box appears as in Figure 4. To access basic commands such
as Undo in the Properties dialog box, right-click to activate the pop-up menu.
In CorelDRAW 10, the ability of changing the appearance is built within the
Options dialog box. Click the Customization, Commands category, then click
the Appearance tab on the right side.
Figure 4: Ever tried to make a picture with small squares? Now's your
chance to make a new icon!
To reset a toolbar back to the original buttons in CorelDRAW 8 and 9,
right-click it and select Toolbars. Click Reset in the Options dialog box
and click Yes to the confirmation prompt.
In CorelDRAW 10, right click the toolbar, select Customize followed by
[name of toolbar] Toolbar, Reset to Default.
Customize what's displayed in the Status Bar in CorelDRAW 8 and 9 as
in Figure 5 by right-clicking it and selecting Customize. Click Status Bar
in the list and drag any component to the Status Bar. If you need to reset,
right click the Status Bar and select Reset Status Bar.
In CorelDRAW 10, right click the Status Bar and select Customize, Status Bar,
Add New Command. Select Status Bar in the Commands list and drag the appropriate
commands (e.g., Memory Allocated) to the Status Bar. To reset the Status Bar,
right click it and select Customize, Status Bar, Reset to Default.
Figure 5: Impress your friends by putting Memory and Swap file allocations in
your Status Bar. If only we knew what they meant…
Did you know that you can enter arithmetic expressions in the Property
Bar? Try it. To increase an object's height by 75%, enter *.75 after the numbers
appearing in the Height box. To decrease an object's size by half, enter /2 after
the numbers appearing in the Property Bar. To find out how much wood a
woodchuck... You get the point, right?!
OK, let's get this time-saver gem out of the way. If you can't quite figure out
all the options in the Arrange, Align and Distribute dialog box use the following
keyboard shortcuts to align objects:
Center horizontal [C]
Center vertical [E]
Page center [P]
Zooming and Selecting
Zooming and selecting are a necessity when using a program such as DRAW. We all know how to do this, but here's my list of real quick shortcuts:
Press the following keys to zoom:
Zoom in [F2]
Zoom out [F3]
Zoom to all objects [F4]
Zoom to page [Shift F4]
Zoom to selected objects [Shift F2]
Pan drawing [Alt cursor]
Hold [Alt] and touch any object to select it.
Hold [Alt] and click to select an object that is obscured by another object that is on top.
Hold [Alt] with the Shape tool to marquee enclosed nodes with a freehand shape.
Double-click Pick tool to select all objects on the page including any that may be on the desktop as well as inside the page.
Press [Ctrl A] to select all objects.
To select all text, guidelines, and nodes select Edit | Select All followed by the desired choice.
Hold [Ctrl] and click on grouped objects to select the child. Once the child of the group is selected you can move, delete, size, and change it's properties.
Working With Color
Try the following the next time you need to apply some color to your objects:
In CorelDRAW 8 and 9, turn off Calibrate colors for display in the
Options dialog box (in Global, Color Management category-see Figure 6)
for true RGB display colors. Turn on only when you are creating documents
to be output on the printing press. You can add a Calibrate colors button
in your toolbar to quickly turn this feature on/off.
In CorelDRAW 10, the color management feature has been beefed up and more
visually oriented (but still hidden and misunderstood by the majority of
users). Select Tools, Color Management to display the visual diagram. For
ease of use, select the appropriate style in the Style list at the bottom
(e.g., Optimized for the Web). For advanced use, click each device and
load profiles for each. Click to activate the directional arrows as desired.
For example, to enable ICC profiles to be embedded in exported files click
to activate the arrow going from the internal RGB profile to the
Import/Export (papers) icon.
Figure 6 This sneaky option was turned on by default after DRAW version 7.
Double click the Fill or Outline boxes in Status Bar (bottom right corner) to activate the dialog box that contains the current fill/outline.
Hold [Shift] and click on a color in the Color Palette to activate the Find Color by Name. This is beneficial for finding specific colors such as PMS color values.
Point and hold on a color in the Color Palette to display various tints of that color (Figure 7).
Figure 7 Need a different tint? Hold down on the color in the Color Palette.
Hold [Ctrl] and click on a color in the Color Palette to add 10% of that color to the object's fill.
You can also change the fill or outline color of an object by dragging the color swatch from the on-screen Color Palette to the outline or fill of the object.
Copy color outline and fill attributes from one object to another by right-dragging one object to another. Select the appropriate command from the pop-up menu as illustrated in Figure 8.
Figure 8 Use right-drag popup menu to copy properties such as fill and outlines.
To assist you in choosing complimentary solid colors, click the Mixers tab in the Uniform Fill dialog box (Shift F11) and select a Complimentary Hue with either a lighter, darker, cooler, or warmer variation.
Select Window | Dockers | Color or click the Color Docker Window button in the Fill flyout to activate the Color Docker and apply any color for the selected object's fill or outline. New in CorelDRAW 10 is the ability to display and choose hexadecimal colors using the Web Safe Colors option in the list.
Working With Text
Here's some tips that you can use with text:
Activate text edit mode by double clicking on selected text. Press [Ctrl spacebar] to activate Pick tool.
You can type text directly in a shape by selecting the Text tool and pointing to the perimeter of the shape. When the cursor changes to an I-beam with an "AB in a box", click and type the text. You are actually typing paragraph text into the shape. Format the text and, if desired, choose center vertical alignment in the Column tab of the Format Text dialog box. This feature is beneficial when creating text boxes for organizational charts.
You can break paragraph text into separate lines by selecting Arrange, Break Paragraph Text.
To proportionally size text when resizing the paragraph frame, hold [Alt] while dragging the sizing handles.
Use the Shape tool and drag the right-pointing arrow (lower right) to interactively adjust the inter -character spacing. Hold [Shift] to adjust the inter word spacing. Drag the down-pointing arrow to interactively adjust the inter-line spacing.
To collectively change the color of bullets for successive paragraphs, use the shape tool and marquee the bullet nodes. Click desired color in Color Palette. Hold [Alt] and freehand marquee bullet nodes for non-successive paragraphs.
These are tips that you can try to increase your DRAW performance and reset the factory defaults:
In the Workspace, Memory category of the Options dialog box as illustrated in Figure 9, set the primary and secondary swap disk to your largest (and preferably fastest) hard disk. Change the RAM allocation percentage to your preference at the expense of other applications that run in the background.
Figure 9 Set the Primary and Secondary swap disks to your largest, fastest drive.
If you have trouble printing bitmaps on your printer and use CorelDRAW 8 and 9, choose Global, Printing in the Options dialog box and set the Send Large Bitmaps in Chunks to Yes. Experiment with the Bitmap Output Threshold. This option sends bitmap data one chunk at a time and prevents the entire data from being downloaded (and possibly overflowing) to available printer memory. In CorelDRAW 10, sending large bitmaps in chunks is the default setting.
Hold [F8] and start DRAW to reset the workspace (toolbars, toolbox, defaults, styles, and any other setting in the Options dialog box) back to the factory defaults. Click Yes to the reset prompt. Works also with Photo-Paint and Corel RAVE 10. Use this method before resorting to a full reinstallation of the program.
Post questions or review answers in the Corel newsgroup. Unfortunately, the Corel newsgroups were restructured January 28, 2001 so you will have to reset the news://cnews.corel.com newsgroup. There are dedicated newsgroups for CorelDRAW, Photo-Paint, Ventura, and all other major Corel applications. For example, visit news://cnews.corel.com/corel.graphic_apps.draw10 for the DRAW10 newsgroup.
Figure 10 In CorelDRAW 8 and 9, you may be able to link to the restructured (still free) Corel newsgroups by first clicking Update Links, then clicking Corel Newsgroups. If that fails, go to http://www.anzai.com/new.html for the latest locations.
In CorelDRAW 8 and 9, you can download recent patches and maintenance releases by selecting Help, Corel on the Web, Corel FTP site. Note that some downloads may be up to 40Mb and require over an hour (at 33.6kps) to download the necessary files to your computer.
This should be easier than it is but DRAW has evolved from its simpler
predecessors to a fully customizable version that allows you to choose
specific settings for just about anything. In doing so, it has hidden the
way that you globally set defaults whenever you create new documents.
Here's how you do it:
Choose any of the Document options in the Options dialog box. For example, click the + sign beside Document in the category list, or double-click Document. You'll see sub-categories expand beneath Document. Click Styles. Go ahead and change any of the listed styles by clicking on one of the following styles: Default Graphic, Default Artistic Text, or Default Paragraph Text. Continue by choosing the options listed to the right side (e.g., Fill, Text, Outline). In some cases, you may need to click the Edit button on the extreme right side.
When finished, click the Document category on the left side of the Options dialog box.
Check Save options as defaults for new documents as illustrated in Figure 11. Then, check all options including Styles. If you don't do this step, then the styles you changed for Default Graphic, Artistic Text, etc. will not be used when creating new documents.
Figure 11 An easily forgotten option to save settings for all new documents.
The last step is very important. You don't want to know how many users, even
veteran DRAW users, have posted this question in the Corel newsgroup!
Creating Soft Shadows Without the Drop Shadow Tool
Before the development of the Interactive Drop Shadow tool in DRAW 8, DRAW
users had to find another way to create a soft shadow. In doing so, one
of the better ways was to implement a series of grayscale blends to
simulate a shadow look such as in Figure 12.
Figure 12 Problems with Interactive Drop Shadows? Try blended shadows instead.
Even today, this method may be more reliable than using the Interactive Drop
Shadow tool should you experience file bloating or printing problems.
Here's how we do it:
Create the object or text and color it with the light gray color (10%).
Press [Ctrl D] to duplicate the object and apply a black color.
Select the Interactive Blend tool in the toolbox.
In the Property Bar, enter 15 steps or so in the Number of Steps box.
Point to the light gray object and drag to the black object to blend them together.
Select the original black object. Make sure the Status Bar confirms that you have selected the Control object.
Copy then Paste a separate object on top of the black object.
Apply a color of your choice to complete the soft shadow.
Tom Anzai of Anzai! Inc. is a Corel-certified trainer who authors one of the most
respected step-by-step Corel-approved training manuals for CorelDRAW®, Corel
PHOTO-PAINT®, and Corel VENTURA®. He has trained thousands of users and is a
regular presenter at CorelWorld. To learn more about Anzai! courseware as
well as upcoming hands-on training sessions, visit http://www.anzai.com.
Tom Anzai's Step-By-Step Tutorials and Training Manuals