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Where’s the beef? It’s in this very beefy project that, among other things, will detail a process for creating table tents with call numbers on them like those used by many fast-food locations.

Large franchise operations order these by the millions at a super cheap price, but smaller, local establishments often require quantities that can be profitable for laser owners, UV printers, sublimators, and other smaller-run personalization professionals.

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CorelDRAW Tutorial: Create Table Tents for Area Restaurants

By Roy Brewer, CRM

Where’s the beef? It’s in this very beefy project that, among other things, will detail a process for creating table tents with call numbers on them like those used by many fast-food locations.

Large franchise operations order these by the millions at a super cheap price, but smaller, local establishments often require quantities that can be profitable for laser owners, UV printers, sublimators, and other smaller-run personalization professionals.

CorelDRAW can be set up to output these on standard sheet stock sizes. Secondary operations will include cutting and bending the table tents.

This project nicely illustrates a tiny measure of the functionality of CorelDRAW’s Print Preview and exercises your Print Merge and Imposition Tool knowledge.

Step by Step


Figure 1: Finished layout before insertion

  1. Create a new CorelDRAW document named TableTent with a page size of 3 in. (horizontal) by 4.5 in. (vertical). This will represent one side (or half) of the table tent.
  2. Position the restaurant’s logo toward the top, leaving room for the call number near the bottom.
    Reminder: You must be certain you have secured permission from the copyright holder before using a company’s logo for commercial purposes. I downloaded the Whataburger logo from www.brandsoftheworld.com to use for editorial use; it is the registered trademark of Whataburger.
  3. Position the call number using a font, location, and size appropriate to the layout. Be sure it is Center Justified as shown in FIGURE 1.
  4. Use File>Print Merge to call up the Print Merge Wizard as shown in FIGURE 2.

  5. Figure 2: Print Merge Wizard

  6. Select the Create New Text option and click Next.
  7. Create a new text field (not a numeric field) and assign it a name of something like “C#” before choosing Add and clicking Next.
  8. Create a total of 24 records by typing in the numbers “1” through “24” (pressing Enter to move to next record). Click Next when complete.
  9. Click Finish (optionally, you could choose to save the print data settings). If it was not already displayed, the Print Merge toolbar will be floated on your CorelDRAW work area as shown in FIGURE 3.

  10. Figure 3: Print Merge toolbar

  11. Use the Text tool to highlight (sweep select) the sample text (the call number). From the Print Merge toolbar, click on Insert Print Merge Field. This will replace the sample text with <c#> or whichever text you used in the Print Merge Wizard. It should look like FIGURE 4. It’s OK if the < and > characters hang over the sides of the layout; the number will print in the center.
    Tip: Now is a good time to save a version of this document for possible later use.</c#>

  12. Figure 4: After print merge insertion

  13. From the Print Merge toolbar, click on Merge to New Document. A new document will be created with 24 pages. The filename of this new document will be automatically named “Print Merge 1.” You can use your Page Up and Page Down keys to view and cycle through the pages. If all appears as expected, choose File>Print Preview to bring up the Print Preview dialog.

  14. Figure 5: The Print Preview Options icon is a checklist in CorelDRAW X6 and a gear in CorelDRAW 2017.


    Figure 6: Imposition tool icon

  15. From the Property bar at the top of the Print Preview work area use the Options icon shown in FIGURE 5. (Its appearance will depend on the version of Corel you are using.) Alt+o is the hotkey for Options in Print Preview. Select printer and set up the print driver for 24-in.-by-12-in. sheet stock.
  16. Our layout only accounts for one side (or half) of each tent. To address that, select the Imposition Layout icon (FIGURE 6) and then set it up for 8 across and 2 down on the property bar. In the Imposition layout, rotate the orientation of the top row of eight by clicking on the upward arrow; it will point downward when clicked.
  17. While still in the Imposition layout, click the “9” on the bottom row and change it to “1.” Move through each of the bottom row layouts changing the number to be the same as on the top row.
    A word of warning: At least one version of CorelDRAW would only allow you to use the numeric keypad to change these number.

  18. Figure 7: First Signature

  19. Select the Pick tool at the top of the toolbar to see your results. They should look similar to FIGURE 7. Click on the Signatures at the bottom of the page to view additional “pages.” (The number of pages depends on how many tents you laid out per page and how many total tents you are creating. We have 24 tents, and we laid them out eight to a page. Therefore, we will have three pages.)

  20. Figure 8: Save Imposition Layout


    Figure 9: Deselect AutoMargin

  21. To save yourself time on future table tent batches, go back to the Imposition tool and save this Imposition layout by clicking the + sign on the property bar as shown in FIGURE 8.

Tweak for Your Process

Now, you have the artwork you need to create table tents using the process of your choice.

For sublimation or UV printing, centering the copy as we did makes sense.

If you plan to output this to a laser engraver, you may need to bump the copy to the upper/left corner. Do that while you are still in the Print Preview window with the Imposition tool selected; select the Edit Basic Settings dropdown and change to Edit Margins. Then unhighlight or deselect the AutoMargins icon, which is the second icon to the right of the Edit Margins field (FIGURE 9).

You might not be faster than the burger flipper at your local fast-food restaurant, but once you save the layouts and settings that are right for your business, you can make quick work of creating customized table tents.

Roy Brewer, CRM, is the founder of Engraving Concepts. Brewer is a longtime CorelDRAW teacher, through his company, the Awards and Personalization Association, and many other forums. He has earned multiple Gold Obelisk awards for his work and Engraving Concepts recently was recognized as the 2017–18 Supplier of the Year—Multiple Locations. Visit www.engravingconcepts.com to learn more.

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