Corel DesignerCorel DESIGNER 10 was developed specifically to streamline the production of technical design, but is equally robust at creating graphic design! It lets you create, manage, plot, share, and reuse technical diagrams, illustrations, and schematics, ensuring flawless file sharing within your drawing workflow.

DESIGNER offers plenty of technical functionality. It has been designed as much for drafts-people as for graphic DESIGNERs.
Robust technical illustration tools allow you to create and modify detailed callouts with halos, and add dimensions, connector lines, line style sizes, and custom line endings to your projects. Control all image transformations in one place with improved editing tools. Strong new drawing, editing and tracing tools, and enhanced snapping capabilities allow you to quickly and accurately modify images, while new support for symbols saves time and dramatically reduces file sizes.
So what’s new? To begin with there’s the interface. It is unrecognizable for prior DESIGNER users and existing users will simply not know what struck them. CorelDRAW users will be familiar with the new environment, immediately recognizing its context-sensitive property bar for controlling tools and no less than 23 docker windows for controlling everything else.
Your cursor is constantly giving feedback on underlying objects and snapping to their paths, mid-points, quadrants, tangents and so on - essential when producing technical work.
Compatibility and support for 61 import/export filters: AutoCAD 2002 DXF/DWG, CGM, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Visio, PDF, SVG, HPGL, CorelDRAW, WordPerfect, Corel Ventura, Corel Grafigo, and Corel Presentations. You get complete network scalability to deploy DESIGNER across corporate intranets. This lets you exchange files without interrupting your workflow.
DESIGNER’s Dimension tools are used for marking up precise measurements and include horizontal, vertical and parallel options, as well as one for marking up angles. The Callout tool lets you automatically pick out object properties, or you can add your own text. Text handling is modest and sometimes quirky, but always workable.
The Connector Line tools that again offer up to three segments have replaced the former Sticky Line tool. DESIGNER also ships with thousands of industry-standard architectural, electrical and mechanical symbols for use as building blocks handled by Symbol Manager Docker.
Completely new are Perfect Shape tools that let you add common diagrammatic symbols with in-built editing intelligence. The helpful Virtual Segment Delete tool trims line segments back to the nearest intersection. Most useful of all will be the Transformation Docker window where you can take precise and centralized control of positioning, rotation, scaling and skewing and now of producing isometric projections.
Now DESIGNER offers all of CorelDRAW’s formatting controls including access to Pantone libraries, fractal fills and so on. There’s even the Gradient Mesh tool for adding state-of-the-art PostScript-friendly graduated shading. The Extrusion tool will be of most interest to the target audience with the ability it provides to bring 2D drawings into 3D.
Particularly useful is the inclusion of the Trace utility that converts scanned bitmaps to vector images. Bitstream’s Font Navigator for taking control of your fonts and the support for Visual Basic for Applications means that DESIGNER can now be used for fully automated workflows.
For example, choose to draw polygons from side, corner or center and the Dynamic Snap function can be used to easily draw concentric shapes, like gears within gears, (the snapping is similar to AutoCAD’s grip editing.) Speed up production time by scanning legacy raster images, diagrams and schematics using TWAIN-compatible devices, and convert them to editable vector format.

New Features

  1. New Precision Snapping capabilities allow users to accurately specify locations in a technical drawing. Features like Gravity Snapping automatically locates snap points so users can precisely add or modify geometry while using any tool.
  2. Powerful new editing tools control all transformations from one location. With the new Transformation Docker, users can precisely move, rotate, scale, flip, skew and project objects to isometric views.
  3. Corel DESIGNER 10 includes thousands of reusable, industry standard Symbols that can be stored in files or linked over a network
  4. Compatibility and support for more than 61 import/export filters, and even more support for formats common to the technical graphics workflow such as CorelDRAW, AutoCAD DXF/DWG, etc.
  5. CorelTRACE® 11 is included to speed up production time by allowing users to import scanned, bit-mapped images to vector images, via TWAIN-compatible devices.

DESIGNER also bundles Microsoft Visual Basic Applications for scripting support, which can be used to enforce drafting standards, among other things. The software also has improved interoperability with support for DWG/DXF, SVG, CGM, as well as Publish-to-Web and Publish-to-PDF exporting. Naturally, DESIGNER is very compatible with CorelDRAW 11. You can create web-enabled design objects and convert text to a web-compatible format plus “roll overs” (interactive graphics that will change in appearance as a pointing device is moved over it.)

Printing is clearly enhanced, including the new Preflight tab to make you aware of potential problems. PDF printer support is also enhanced (PPD). You can create PDF files plus options to reduce file size. As in prior versions, but improved, is the process of matching colors amongst various devices such as scanner, printers, cameras and monitors. I appreciate Corel maintaining and updating DESIGNER. It isn’t actually a new release of the longstanding Micrografx application; rather it’s a competitive upgrade to a tweaked version of CorelDRAW. Although developed for technical illustrations, it does great graphics and with an acceptable learning curve.
It is comprehensive, easy-to-use, and accurate. Corel DESIGNER 10 is $469 (suggested retail price) for the full package and $229 for an upgrade from any previous version of DESIGNER (including its predecessor, ABC Graphics). For more info go to

Marie Georgsen is a HAL-PC member who is assistant chief layout designer for a national consulting engineering firm headquartered in Houston.