This week it is the turn of CorelDRAW 9 Office Edition to appear under my relentless spotlight.
This new addition to the Corel stable is positioned between the full CorelDRAW 9 package, which is aimed mostly at designers, and the consumer oriented Print Office. It has had a number of extras trimmed from it but it basically incorporates pretty much all of CorelDRAW 9’s drawing features.
The CD9OE package differs from CorelDRAW in that it doesn’t come with a separate a bitmap editing program as many other Corel products do. There are, however, quite a selection of special effects filters that can be applied to bitmaps.
Included in the package is Corel Presentations for creating business presentations and Canto Cumulus Desktop for keeping track of picture files. There is also the usual abundant selection of clipart, fonts and photos which can be used as required.
You also get a guided tour of the program on a CD-ROM disc. New users will find it very useful in spite of the fact that it is presented by the most un-excited individual that they’ll ever have encountered.
As with many programs these days, it can be used to create web pages and it doesn’t do too badly at the job. Purists will shudder in horror but at least web laypeople can turn out a reasonably decent page if they have to.
I played with the package a good bit and found much to commend and very little to complain about. One problem I found was that the scrapbook wouldn’t display photos in Corel’s own format as it should have
The other problem was that the package is supposed to add a button to the MS Word toolbar to make it easy to add graphics to Word documents. This didn’t work even after I redid my whole system from scratch and reinstalled it.
I’d say that CD9OE is up to Corel’s normal high standard and that it is an excellent option for those who need a substantial design package but can’t afford the full version of CorelDRAW. It seems to be aimed at office workers who need to produce graphics and publications but there, unfortunately, it doesn’t really hit the mark.
It is still basically a designer’s tool in spite of the fact that it has a number of fancy templates for users to base their documents on and that the interface has been tweaked to make it a bit easier to use. There are far better graphics and publishing programs for the mass market including Corel’s own Print Office.
It isn’t all that often that I have a really satisfying computing experience so I thought I’d share the one that I had during the research for this column. My system was freezing and so many errors were cropping up that I was faced with spending several hours re-formatting my hard drive and reinstalling software.
In the nick of time I remembered playing with Norton Ghost a while back and using it to create a complete image (or copy) of my newly redone hard drive. After that it took me less than half an hour to have computer back in perfect condition after formatting the hard drive and restoring the image using Ghost.
I just wish all computing experiences were as satisfying.