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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The tools in CorelDRAW Suite X6 are very extensive. I couldn't possibly describe them all, but I will say that they are worth exploring if you have the time. I will stick with my first impressions and allow you to explore all the features.

The Suite includes DRAW which equates to an illustrator application and PhotoPaint which is more akin to PhotoShop. However, I would say that Adobe devotees are likely to find this a little 'thin'. You will need to be flexible in your thinking to switch from Adobe to Corel as so many tools are different.

I used a very old version of CorelDRAW when I had my first computer. I was sad to find that, when I updated my PC, that version no longer worked, but in the meantime, life moved on. Since then, for various jobs and tasks, I have used PhotoShop, Illustrator and PaintShop Pro (now owned by Corel). My first impression of the CorelDRAW Suite X6 was remarkably favourable. By default, a 'Quick Start' welcome screen is loaded in front of the application with a number of useful features for the newcomer (you can turn this off or opt for an alternative if preferred). A list and preview of recent documents is displayed with an option to create a new blank document or a new document from a template (accessing professional layouts). In addition, there are tabs for 'What's New', 'Learning Tools', 'Gallery' and 'Updates'. As I had skipped many many versions, the 'What's New' tab was less useful as it assumed more recent knowledge, but each link still proved useful in describing the latest new features, including some useful vector refining tools. The links flip through pages with information, but arrows are displayed bottom right to allow you to move back and forward through these pages. An option to Highlight what's new since versions X3, X4 or X5 is also available from the Help menu. The 'Learning Tools' were also useful and include video tutorials or short hints for those in a hurry (also accessible from the Help menu). The 'Gallery' is a collection of professionally produced artwork which could inspire or dismay, depending on your own level of artistry. If you close the Welcome screen or choose to recall it at any time, you can do so via the Help menu. Other panels can be 'docked' on the right from the Window > Dockers menu and when active, each of these has a close button.
Note that there is a selection of options including default display in the Tools menu.

In the main application window, hint topics and videos are easily accessible from a panel on the right although this panel can be closed or minimised to increase available working space. These features are also accessible from the Help menu. A second default tab on the right hand panel provides access to the Object Manager. This includes three areas of use, Show Object Properties, Edit Across Layers and Layer Manager View, all of which are very useful.

The panels area can be docked or floated by double clicking its title bar. Individual panels can be dragged off and located elsewhere as preferred, but this takes some practice (very similar to Adobe applications). The same applies to toolbars, also accessible through the Window menu, but by default these are locked. If you want to reposition them, you must unlock them first (right click a toolbar or select from Window > Toobars.

The colour palette appears by default as a strip down the right of the window. Left clicking selects the fill colour and right clicking selects the border colour. Click the arrow in a circle at the top to access features for the palette (for example alternative palettes or customising the number of columns of colours displayed).

There is so much to describe, I feel this is just a racing start, but I am confident that, with practice, most people would be happy to use this as a drawing application worthy of the name. For the novice, I also noted that there are a number of easy to use tools. In Adobe applications, users are expected to understand how to do this the hard way, so the quick tools must be a boon if you don't have either the knowledge or the time. I'm looking forward to learning more about it and using it for artwork.

If I have a criticism it is that the online help loads as HTML pages only in the browser that Corel prefers, Internet Explorer. This is stated clearly on the requirements for installation, but as someone who never normally uses IE, this is a minor irritation. The help is well constructed otherwise.
For a good price, you have everything you might need for artwork and/or photo editing with added screen capture tools.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 24 September 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6 is one of the best graphics packages there are, certainly for PC (Adobe undeniably rules the Mac roost). It includes a vector-graphics-cum-design application, CorelDRAW, and a bitmap editor, Corel PhotoPaint, together with some additional utilities, including a very useful font manager. CorelDRAW Home & Student Suite X6 is a virtually identical suite, but at a much lower price and licensed for three computers rather than one. Sounds like a bargain? I think it is.

Of course, there are a few differences. Firstly, Home & Student Suite is strictly for non-commercial use. Secondly, Home & Student X6 is a 32-bit suite, not 64-bit like Graphics Suite X6. This will theoretically slow things down a bit, but in practice it makes little difference. Both versions of the suite have multiprocessor support, so anything that's CPU-intensive gets shared out across the available resource to make everything faster.

The other differences are unlikely to matter to a home user.

You don't get the ability to batch process files, or the ability to program macros. Some of the proofing tools that would matter to a professional designer but not to a home user are missing. There doesn't appear to be support for third-party plugin filters, and some of the more expensive third-party addons are missing, notably the Linotype Helvetica OpenType typeface (although oddly the getting started guide mentions it as being included). And you don't get the hefty full-colour hardback that comes with Graphics Suite X6. Instead you get a flimsy "getting started" booklet.

The good news is that all the good stuff is left in. You get all the programs (Font Navigator, Capture, Connect, PhotoPaint, Draw, Duplexing Wizard and access to the video tutorials - but not Website Creator X6: see below), and they have the new X6 features just like Graphics Suite X6 itself, including the hugely powerful Smart Carver tool in PhotoPaint and the simple-yet-powerful Shape tools in CorelDRAW, which include smear and twirl, attract and repel features that give you loads of ways of customising stock shapes.

I can't really get over how generous Corel are being with this package. This isn't a significantly cut-down version of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6 - it's almost the same. And you get to install it on three computers. Why buy a budget graphics program when you can have a top-of-the-range graphics suite for more or less the same price?

Notes:

- There is a more recent, almost identical version of this software: CorelDRAW Home and Student Suite 2014 - 3 User Licence (PC). If you have a fast internet connection for downloading product updates, I would recommend going for whichever is cheaper; if you have a slow internet connection, go for the more recent one.

- This suite is Windows 8 and 8.1 compatible.

- Although this package is for Home and Student use, there's no need to get a signed letter from your educational establishment, as you need to with the student version of Adobe products.

- If you register with Corel, you get free downloadable content, the nature of which remains mysterious until you're half way through installing it. Rather disappointingly, you eventually find out that it's a collection of document templates, not the Website Creator you get as bonus content with the main CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6.

- Bear in mind that all new graphics software requires getting used to. There are some very good learning aids - including context-sensitive help and introductory videos - included in this package, but it's a powerful package, and it does take a while to get used to its way of working (or even to find the features you're looking for).
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VINE VOICEon 2 November 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
CorelDraw X6 (Home and Student Suite) offers everything you need to create visually exciting projects. The package includes powerful graphic design, illustration, page layout, web graphics and photo editing features that ensure that you have everything you need for your creative projects.

CorelDraw is the main application. It is used for vector designs and layouts. The interface has the standard Windows options such as File, Edit, and View but it has to be said that it will take a lot of practice to get familiarised with what this powerful program can do. But once you're familiar with the program, only your imagination can limit what you can achieve.

The other main application is PhotoPaint. This is great for editing image files, though it is not as powerful as Adobe Photoshop.

The package also includes 1,000 clip-art and digital images although I was disppointed that they are all in the proprietary CorelDraw format (and not as JPGs, for example) which means you can't use them with other programs.

With patience and perseverence, students and home users will never need to use anything other than CorelDraw X6 to create beautiful presentations, school reports, drawings, flyers, logs, and the like. With CorelDraw, creating designs for both print and the web can actually be fun. It's cheaper than the Adobe equivalent and, while not as powerful, has everything you are likely to need for all your creative pursuits.

My only complaint is that the package took a very long time to install (over an hour) but given that so much is on offer, this is perhaps understandable.
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on 5 March 2013
I use the Corel suite all the time - been using it since ver.2. I'm currently using X3 on one machine, and X5 on the other two - with all the obvious compatibility issues. I thought that X6 at this amazing price would solve my problems once and for all, and was reassured by reading that the 'Home & Student' version was exactly the same as the 'Pro'. Well, it isn't. After a smooth and painless install, I immediately found that you can't customise the toolbars - which means I have to go looking for all my favourite clicks such as 'zoom to objects', 'zoom to page', 'save as', 'acquire', 'export to PDF' etc etc in menus. Pah! Next I found that they seem to have adopted two of the biggest mistakes of X5 - layers in 'Draw' no longer carry over automatically into a new page; and the unselected parts of a mask in 'Paint' are obscured by an evil red mist. These two features kept me loyal to X3. Finally (and this was a selling-point for me), the ads suggest that it comes with new fonts, including Helvetica! Wow! Great! But whilst disk comes with new clip art and sample photos etc - no fonts. Nor a clear signpost to where they might be.
So what did I get? A nice clean shiny new (but dumbed-down) X5 with a couple of esoteric new features, that will install on all my machines - and that's it. I might just use it to convert all my CDR files to X3 format and stick with X3. At least it was cheap!
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VINE VOICEon 1 October 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
In the distant mists of time I owned the full version of CorelDRAW 9. Having upgraded and multiplied the number of PCs in the house, I wanted something that we could all use, but I couldn't justify the cost of the full X6 software for all three. this offers an excellent compromise and provides many of the key CorelDRAW features that enable the ready creation of graphics and illustrations.

Previous Corel users will recognise the user interface and the tools, so not scary for them - if possibly a bit daunting for a new user.

I did have problems installing the software on my laptop, but all went OK after a reboot, so I suspect the laptop not the software to be at fault. I'm just mentioning it in case you encounter similar problems and want to throw the software out of the window!
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on 9 October 2013
I have used CorelDraw for many years at work as a Graphic Designer and after retiring wanted to teach my Grandchildren to use it to help them in their future careers. At full price this was unaffordable but this is the full version with the proviso that you are not using it for commercial gain. Highly recommended.
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on 12 December 2012
I have been used to using full versions of Corel 4 mainly for desk top publishing, this update version albeit a student version gives me enough scope for this job, apart from not being abble to sopy and paste text from one page to another.
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on 6 March 2014
I have always had a version of CorelDraw since version 3. I mainly used it for fancy labels [Fountain fill can be fun]. When I bought a desktop and laptop with Windows 7 some time ago I went for this version - the 3 licenses made it cheap per PC.

I do pottery as a hobby and used the bezier curves to design templates - these are dynamically flexible curves.

A few weeks ago I wanted to do a short report for a few people and chose CorelDraw. I then realised it was superb for desktop publishing. I also noticed the file could be saved in PDF format - excellent for emailling as pretty much everyone has a reader. In fact I also bought NXPowerLite which compresses PDF files - about 50% if just pictures and 75%+ for text and pictures.

I had a lot of my documents [mainly pictures] in Lotus Wordpro format running on XP. In Wordpro I saved the file in Word 2000 format - loaded the file in to Word and resaved it to sanitise the file - then CorelDraw can import Word documents in to Corel format. I then used Corel to rearrange all the photos - it is just a matter of moving them outside the page on to the 'desk' where they will stay until moved back into a page. I can now send copies in PDF format whenever I want.

In pottery I was experimenting with using slips to paint patterns on paper kitchen towels which would later be stuck on to pots. I started looking at the web for ideas. I discovered that under 'bitmaps' there is a trace facility which can convert almost anything into vector graphics. I can then edit these to get what I want.

So in just a couple of weeks CorelDraw has gone from a status of 'can be useful' to one of 'essential' which is why I am writing the review now rather than when I bought it over a year ago.
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on 5 May 2013
I thank my stars (and Corel as well) that I bought this program at such a low price. It has everything I need. Its only limitation that it is a Windows only program does not matter to me because I was never a Mac fan, though I use my grandson's MacBook occasionally. I am a translator and writer of teaching materials for Asian languages (Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu). I also create my own illustrations and graphics, involving occasional photo retouching. I was desperately in need of some program which could use the Unicode fonts for these languages. Microsoft Word for Windows (but not for Mac) and Microsoft Publisher can use these fonts. But their desktop publishing capabilities are limited. Even the latest versions of Adobe InDesign and QuarkXpress cannot use these fonts. Serif PagePlus and DrawPlus handle these fonts extremely clumsily. Three or four years ago, in a computer show in Birmingham, I complained to the lady (wo)manning the Corel stall about CorelDraw's lack of support for the Indian Unicode fonts. She gave me an email address and I contacted their UK support team. They listened to me very attentively but were unable to fix the problem at that time. A similar complaint made to Adobe, Quark and Microsoft (for the Mac version of Word) was predictably ignored. I was expecting the same from Corel. But I was surprised when a friend sent me his beautifully typeset book using the Punjabi Unicode fonts. He told me that the book had been typeset in CorelDraw X6. So Corel did take my complaint seriously after all. I can type directly in Unicode Indian fonts in CorelDraw X6 as well as import such a text created in Word for Windows. CorelDraw X6 can create any types of vector illustrations I need, so I do not need Adobe Illustrator. Its photo retouching capabilities may not be as advanced as Photoshop's but are certainly as good as those of Photoshop Elements's. Its desktop publishing and page layout capabilities are certainly as good as, if not better than, those of Microsoft Publisher and Serif PagePlus. A program that cost me £60, along with Gary Boulton's book costing £25, can do for me which programs collectively costing more than fifteen times could not. As a retired teacher, I am extremely grateful to Corel for providing such a versatile program (with bonus fonts and clip art) at such an affordable price. I recommend this program wholeheartedly to anyone in a position similar to mine.
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on 29 August 2013
I have been using Corel Photopaint 10 for about twelve years and even installed XP mode on my Windows 7 PC so that I could continue to do so. I had looked at the full current Corel Draw product but it was far too expensive to justify its purchase then I saw this and decided to try it and I am glad I did. When deeply engrossed in something I often forget that it is the X6 version and not my beloved old Photopaint 10. Brilliant! Thank you to Corel for this excellent product.
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