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Corel Draw and the creative pro
Contributor: In-house

Despite Corel's attempt to be adopted by the creative professional, Corel continues to be largely ignored as a worthy contender to the likes of Photoshop and Illustrator. Perhaps Corel's aim to be accessible by all, and not simply to the seasoned pro, is the reason Corel will continue to find reaching the elusive goal of professional user acceptance an uphill struggle.

Corel Draw has been around since the earliest days of personal computers. Corel Draw was released as a set of graphic design software applications for the general user. Significantly, Corel Draw was not released for the Mac until very recently and therein lies their difficulty. Corel was historically perceived of as a non-professional product, and questions about it's capability and reliability were never far away.

With the release of Corel Draw 10 the creative press decided that Corel was finally to be taken seriously as a software house that might provide a valuable alternative to the big boys, especially as it is significant less expensive than it's competitors.

When price advantage drives usage
I've occasionally used Corel 10 as a creative freelancer. An example was when a client wanted the option of altering the native file in-house at a later date. Corel 10 was viewed as the best option as they already had the software installed on a computer.

In use
Corel Draw 10 is a breeze for the creative professional to use. The interface is clear and the various components (among them: vector drawing, bitmap painting, and flash animation) are well integrated. In particular the Corel Draw and Corel Paint components which are now well established, are at times superior to their more well known rivals. Corel Draw 10 (as it's predecessors) suffers from stability problems and crashes on a regular basis if asked to perform to its limits. This is particularly important for the professional who wishes to get on with their work without interruption

An uphill battle
A more significant reason for Corel's failure to convince the creative pro of it's regular use is that Corel does not have the community of professional users Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator enjoys. A creative professional simply can't rely on a print company to have a copy of Corel 10 at hand. Creative professionals need to be able to communicate with their print company using native graphic files. If the print company only uses Illustrator and Photoshop, the project won't pass the starting gates.

Although Corel 10 was a significant release and represents outstanding value for money, creative professionals will continue to rely on it's main rivals, Adobe and Macromedia, so long as the creative industries shy away from considering an outsider as worthy of joining them.
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