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D'Lynn Waldron, Industry Insider - Corel Suite Bundle

"a great value for the amateur working in small files"

Corel Suite Bundle

by D'Lynn Waldron, PhD. ©1999

Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are the universally accepted publishing and graphics industry standard, but they are expensive. (If you are a student look for special pricing on Adobe products in your school's bookstore.)
... For those who are not graphics arts professionals, and who want a fully featured, affordable Paint and Vector package, The Corel Draw 8 Suite is astoundingly good value at a final street price of $99.98, and even $89.99 with the $10 in-store rebates from some vendors.
... Corel Photo-Paint 8 and Corel Draw 8 have been totally revised from previous versions. The interface, tools and menus now resemble the Adobe products, however Corel's interface is more complicated and less intuitive.

The Corel Draw Suite has printed manuals and catalogs for everything, including the fonts and
clip art.

The Corel Draw Suite Includes Corel Photo-Paint
Contents of the Suite:
- Corel Draw 8
- Corel Photo-Paint 8
- Plug-ins from major companies.
- Corel Trace to vectorize images
- Font Reserve to organize fonts
- Cumulus to catalogue images.
- 1200 EPS line and color clip art images
- 100 high res photographs
- A collection of Web goodies.
- 1600 fonts in both Postscript and TrueType which amount to the essential core of a high priced font collection. A color catalog shows the clip art, and shows the fonts both alphabetically by name, and grouped in categories.
... If you buy Corel Photo-Paint as a separate product, the box contains everything but Corel Draw, but adds a second book on using Photo-Paint by David Huss, and more clip art.
File Compatibility
With the exception of text and layer effects, Corel Photo-Paint can read Photoshop files, and can export in Photoshop 4 format, as well as EPS. (To transfer files from Photoshop 5 to Corel Photo-Paint you must first render the text and effects layers.)
Corel Photo-Paint uses the same plug-ins as Photoshop and Painter.

Speed
Corel Photo-Paint is much, much slower than Photoshop. Photo-Paint can be glacially slow opening and working with large files and therefore it is not suitable for professional production work.

Facilities
Corel's products contain enough features to satisfy most users. Photo-Paint has many features to be found in Photoshop and some that are only found in Painter.
... Corel Photo-Paint's type and effects facilities are not as powerful or easy to use as those in Photoshop 5.

Documentation
Corel provides printed manuals for all the programs in the package and even a color catalogue of the typefaces and clip art. Unfortunately the Photo-Paint manual and the Huss book are poorly organized and not well indexed.
... There is no chart showing the location and function of the tools, menus, and sub-menus and such a chart is much needed due to the complexity of the interface structure.
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Technical Support
There is 30 days free technical support but you must make an international toll call to Canada to get it. (Corel fails to mention that their support number is outside the United States.)
... After 30 days there is technical support for $25 per call. There is an 800 number for the paid support, but Customer Support vigorous denied this to me and said the same toll number must be used.

Prices
Almost any application you own qualifies you for Corel's competitive upgrades.
... The Corel Draw Suite bundle lists for $399.98 and streets as a competitive up-grade for $149.98, followed by a $50 mail-in rebate from Corel, for a final price of $99.98.
... Photo-Paint by itself lists for $474.98 and streets as a competitive upgrade for $99.98, followed by a $20 mail-in rebate, for a final price of $79.98. There is an additional $10 in-store rebate at some vendors.

Conclusion
The Corel bundle called Corel Draw Suite is certainly the best value for money on the market. It should meet the needs of nonprofessional users who will not be working in large files. Many of the skills that can be learned using Corel Photo-Paint 8 and Corel Draw 8 can be applied later to Photoshop and Illustrator.

D'Lynn
http://home.earthlink.net/~lwaldron/ D'Lynn Waldron THE IMAGE PERFECTED copyright 1999

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