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CorelDRAW Hacks You Can Use

Did you know there is an easy way to open a tuna can without a can opener? Did you know that you can break open a padlock with a pair of wrenches? Have you ever wondered how many uses there are for an empty roll of toilet paper?

CorelDRAW Hacks You Can Use

Quick Tips Will Reduce Clicks And Save Time

By Shon Roti, JDS Industries

Did you know there is an easy way to open a tuna can without a can opener? Did you know that you can break open a padlock with a pair of wrenches? Have you ever wondered how many uses there are for an empty roll of toilet paper?

Me neither, but that doesn’t stop people from posting videos about these and other “life hacks” on social media and YouTube. To save time, energy, or money, these hacks need to be implemented into our daily lives.

As a frequent CorelDRAW® user, I’m always looking for tips, tricks, shortcuts, and techniques to enhance a design or save time in the creation process. Today, I’m sharing some of the CorelDRAW “hacks” I use often that you’ll find useful, too. For this tutorial, I’m using CorelDRAW X7, however most of these tools have been available since before CorelDRAW 9.

The tools and techniques highlighted here are:

  • Align and Distribute shortcuts
  • Using the Snipping and Eyedropper tools for color matching
  • Fillet, Scallop, and Chamfer corner options
  • Various text options

Align and Distribute

When you’re creating a design or layout, the Align and Distribute tools are going to get used often—or at least they should. As an alternative to opening the Align and Distribute window, you can quickly align two or more objects using keyboard letters as shortcuts. For instance, if you select two or more objects and type the letter T, those objects will align themselves to each other at the top (FIGURE A). Do this with letters B, C, R, or L, and the objects will align themselves at the bottom, center, right, and left, respectively. When selecting the objects, hold the shift key down and click each object. Objects will align themselves to the last object selected. Also, by selecting one or multiple objects and typing the letter P, those objects will center themselves in the middle of the page.

Likewise, you can distribute a group of objects evenly — horizontally or vertically—by selecting the objects and holding the Shift key and typing the letter P or the Shift key with the letter A (FIGURE B).

Snipping Tool and Eyedropper Tool

A few months ago, a retailer called with a particular color issue. He was given a vector logo to sublimate but the colors provided were not turning out to match the logo on his customer’s website. I was able to provide a technique using the Snipping tool and Eyedropper tool to get a closer match to the customer’s preferred colors.

The Snipping tool operates like a controlled screen shot. It isn’t a CorelDRAW tool at all but a utility that comes with the Windows operating system. Most PCs run windows and have access to this tool. To find it, go to the Start button and look into the Accessories folder. Click on the tool that looks like a pair of scissors (FIGURE C). Now click and drag over any image area on your monitor that you want to color sample. Save the file. Now go back into CorelDRAW and Paste (Ctrl+V); the PNG file should appear in your document.

When you sample the image, it will be in the RGB color gamut. This is handy, because we recommend using the RGB color palette for sublimation.

Next, use your Eyedropper (FIGURE D) to sample an area of the image and then click on any vector graphic to mimic/change that color (FIGURE E AND FIGURE F). In CorelDRAW X7 and X8, the Eyedropper tool automatically turns into a Paintbucket after sampling a color. In earlier versions of CorelDRAW, you will have to go back to the Eyedropper to manually change to the tool to the Paintbucket before you can change the vector object color.

Fillet/Scallop/Chamfer Docker

There are several ways to modify the corners of a vector graphic but few tools offer the control and options available in the Fillet/Scallop/Chamfer Docker. To access these tools, go to Window>Dockers>Fillet/Scallop/Chamfer (FIGURE G).

To see what each of these options look like, create three 2-in.-by-2-in. squares and keep one selected. Now choose the Fillet option, change the radius to .25, and click Apply. To see the Scallop and Chamfer options, choose the next square and click the Scallop corner option and keep the radius at .25. Click Apply. Do the same with the third square for the Chamfer corner. You should now have a square with rounded corners, one with notched corners, and one with dog-eared corners (FIGURE H). These tools are particularly handy with inside corner angles such as the objects in FIGURE I.

Fit Text To Path, Letter Tracking, & Leading

When it comes to modifying text, there seems to be no end to the number of options. The following are just a few that I use often.


Figure I

Fit Text to Path
When arcing text around a curve, most of us learned to select the text, shift-select the object, and then go to Text>Fit Text to Path. It is quicker, however, to use the following shortcut. Right-click the text, and drag it over the object. Several options will appear in a menu. Choose Fit Text to Path (FIGURE J).

Spacing
Creating spacing options for words, lines of text, and individual characters could involve opening the Text Properties menu (Ctrl+T). This interface has multiple options for modifying text, including spacing. If you are looking to modify just the spacing between the letters and words (tracking) or space between lines of text (leading), using the Shape tool is much faster. To do this, create two lines of text as in FIGURE K and press the F10 key for the Shape tool. You should see a couple of handles appear at the bottom left and right of the text (FIGURE L). Dragging the left handle down or up will cause the leading to increase or decrease. Dragging the right handle to the right or left increases or decreases the amount of space between the characters. If you hold the Shift key and drag the right handle to the right or left, it increases or decreases the space between the words. This shortcut works with both Artistic text and Paragraph text.

Misc. Text Options
To change text to all capital letters, highlight the text and click Ctrl+Shift+K. Do the same to reverse this option (FIGURE M).

To select all of the text in a document, double-click the Text tool. Text that is grouped will not be selected.

Introduced in X5, the Attributes Eyedropper tool (FIGURE N) is used to sample the font and size of any text and apply the same font and size to any unconnected text you then click on.

Efficiencies Add Up

CorelDRAW hacks save time—a commodity always in short supply. Using these tools and techniques can give you that extra time you need to watch a YouTube video on the 16 household uses for a paperclip.

There are many more CorelDRAW® hacks I’ll share in future. In the meantime, watch for videos on these hacks and other shortcuts at www.youtube.com/user/JDSINDUSTRIES.

Shon Roti is a sublimation specialist at JDS Industries, Inc. He has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Sioux Falls with an emphasis in graphic design. He can be contacted at shonr@jdsindustries.com. JDS Industries is a leading supplier in the recognition and sublimation markets. For more on JDS Industries, visit www.jdsindustries.com.

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