Corel Draw X3

Review Date : Mon, 3 Apr 2006

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At the heart of the suite is CorelDraw, a vector-based illustration application....

Corel has launched CorelDraw Graphics suite X3. At the heart of the suite is CorelDraw, a vector-based illustration application. CorelDraw X3 includes: Power Trace X3; Photo-Paint X3; Capture X3; and Picmantec’s RawShooter. Here we will look at Corel’s photo-editing application, Photo-Paint X3.

Photo-Paint has a great selection of image-editing tools including Mask selection, Image sprayer, Red-eye removal and Effect brush, to name a few. Some of the tools are hidden in fly-out menus, but they can be easily accessed via shortcut keystrokes. The tools’ behaviours and control are superb: they are fast and responsive, especially when using a graphics tablet.

Corel has bundled plenty of creative effects and filters to add that extra touch to your pictures. The Lens Flare filter leaves Photoshop’s one looking weak. However, the default brightness settings are a bit overpowering for most users. Fortunately, Corel offers control on all aspects including precise placement, brightness, size, falloff, rays, streaks, colour etc.

The Image adjustment lab is a ‘one-stop shop’ for image improvement. From this palette you can adjust colour temperature, tint, saturation, brightness, contrast, highlights, midtones and shadows.

The Cut out lab is based on Corel Knockout 2, and makes easy work of cutting out parts of an image.

It has a similar feel to Photoshop’s Extract filter (it made a better cut-out than Photoshop using the same test image).

The hints and tips palette changes with the current tool and is a real bonus for people who are just starting to work with digital photos.

Channel mixer is regarded as the ideal tool for creating b&w images from colour files, but for some unknown reason Corel has omitted the single most important feature, a monochrome option. You can preview each channel (RGB) in monochrome and apply the settings, but once you press the OK button the image reverts to a full-colour image – not the best implementation of the channel mixer that I have seen.

By default, images open at 100% magnification, but you can customise the application settings so images will open to best fit, or any other magnification you choose. Photo-Paint has many options for customising the application including an easy-to-use Colour management interface – just select profiles that are associated with the various devices, such as the printer or monitor.

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Price as reviewed

£329.00