Corel Draw X6 Alternatives

Corel Draw X6

Description
All the standard vector editing tools are here, as well as an intuitive colour palette system and a fun set of vector shaping tools that allow you to distort basic vectors into more organic shapes. There’s also support for object styles, which can be applied to any element on your canvas including text… read more

11 Corel Draw X6 Alternatives & Similar Software

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1. Adobe Illustrator CC

So, the photographic applications benefit from a decent number of new features; the rest of the core apps haven’t been so lucky, however. Headlines for Illustrator, for example, include a performance boost and a (currently) limited update to the charting tools. The former comes thanks to improvements to the Mercury Playback Engine and support for GPU acceleration, allowing real-time click-and-drag is panning and zooming – just like Photoshop, in other words. The new Creative Cloud Charts feature is part of Adobe’s “Technology Previews,” and as such, will remain unfinished for the foreseeable future. As the names suggest, this isn’t a conventional upgrade to the application’s existing capabilities. Instead, Creative Cloud Charts is a hybrid, cloud-based service, which rather peculiarly requires chart values to be entered in a browser instead of a traditional dialog box. The graphs themselves appear in Illustrator as normal, but this isn’t a graphing tool in the usual sense. In fact, it’s aimed specifically at the creation of infographics, with the ability to scale graphics based on values rather than plain bars or columns. Finally, for Illustrator at least, the application gains a crash-recovery feature, similar to that of InDesign. If you run out of battery mid-task or Illustrator crashes, you can now pick up where you left off when the app restarts.

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2. SVG-Edit

If you’re looking to quickly output SVG, or edit an existing SVG file, there are a few online editors that will do the job just as well as Adobe Illustrator. Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is an open format that allows you to reproduce your Vector drawings programmatically, and one of the nicest projects is SVG-Edit. This is built entirely on HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript without requiring any server-side processing. So not only can you use it to create and edit documents, but as it’s open source you can also download and modify the code – making your own version if you want. SVG-edit is a cross-browser web-based, JavaScript-driven web tool, and has also been made into browser add-ons, such as an add-on for Firefox, a Chrome App,] and a standalone widget for Opera. An experimental SVG editing extension to MediaWiki uses SVG-edit. The standard, albeit basic, toolset of every vector-image editor is here, and although it’s limited to the SVG format it’s surprisingly capable.

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3. Macaw

Macaw is a professional web design tool aimed at both designers and developers, with the boast of being the first web design tool to blend the fluid and intuitive interface of an image editor with a powerful design-to-code engine. The development team, which funded Macaw via Kickstarter claims you can create responsive web designs using the web as your medium. It was developed to create wireframes, prototypes and mock-ups rapidly and to provide the static HTML, CSS and JavaScript needed to quickly get your designs on the web. Macaw’s design environment is powered by a real-time layout engine called Stream, which allows elements to be manipulated in a manner similar to image editors like Adobe’s Photoshop. The application offers a list of browser-safe fonts and a curated list of Google Web Fonts, but you can add Typekit fonts and enable System Fonts. Behind the scenes, Stream calculates all of the properties necessary to place the elements into a static document flow. Using the Alchemy design to code engine, Macaw analyses your design to generate smart, usable HTML and CSS with the click of a button.

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4. Pixelmator 3.3

While the software lacks some features, such as a photo organizer and some advanced tools, it serves as an easy-to-use photo editor and good option for beginning photographers. The Mac photo editing software Pixelmator is full-featured software offered at an affordable price. The software includes a wide selection of basic and advanced editing tools, sharing capabilities and file compatibility. Pixelmator comes with a wide variety of editing tools, all available on the program’s clean interface. The software features a black workspace you can customize by moving around floating windows. This Mac photo editor serves as a good option for beginners. In addition to being very usable, the software has all the basic tools you need to successfully edit your photos. You can crop, zoom, resize, select, paint and draw. You also can adjust the colors in your photos. Pixelmator uses layers, so you can make changes to your photos without permanently altering the original. You also can use layer masks to hide unwanted objects without erasing parts of your image, or you can use the cloning tool. While they alter your photo, the layers protect your original image. Pixelmator is one of the best Mac photo editing programs available. Not only does it offer an extensive list of photo editing tools, but it also is easy to use and a good program to learn on.

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5. Corel AfterShot Pro 2

Corel’s AfterShot Pro 2 lets you enhance and manage your photos professionally. The application utilizes 64-Bit performance, which can be up to 4x faster than other RAW image manipulation applications. AfterShot Pro 2 is the best way to unlock the flexibility of shooting RAW images. With unparalleled speed and power, and a sleek new interface, AfterShot Pro 2 is a RAW converter, photo editor and complete high-speed photo management application. The latest version of this non-destructive photo editor and high-speed photo manager offers advanced image adjustments and rapid RAW conversion and handling capabilities. The 64-bit application can handle much larger images than before, with 250 RAW camera profiles and a new batch processing workflow. OpenCL support lets you tap into GPU-based power boosts. Imaging adjustments include versioning, selective adjustments, local contrast, Athentech Imaging Noise Removal, lens correction and a complete set of HDR tools.

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6. DxO OpticsPro 10

This is primarily a photographer’s correction tool with the power to instantly fix optical defects of your equipment, remove digital noise even at high sensitivities, recover fine details and textures in dark or burnt areas, and bring out all the nuances of color in your images. The Essentials edition includes automatic RAW and JPEG image-processing tools, with numerous presets that allow you to adapt the processing to suit your workflow. The Elite edition includes more advanced image-processing features as denoising technology, color management, and multiple output formats. Both editions allow interaction with Adobe Lightroom, numerous color and imaging correction tools and customizable workspaces. The industry-standard noise reduction technology for RAW files. Images are rich in detail and bokeh are silky smooth, even at extreme ISO values. Try it with your most challenging photos… nothing else comes close. Leverage the full dynamic range of your images and recover fine details and textures in deep shadows and overexposed highlights. The new Spot Weighted mode uses face detection to apply an intelligent tone map on the entire image, add fill light, and improve contrast while optimizing illumination on faces. DxO’s Optics Module Library includes detailed knowledge regarding your specific cameras and lenses and uses this information to eliminate distortion, vignetting, and chromatic aberrations automatically.

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7. Ambient Design ArtRage 4.5

ArtRage offers a set of natural painting and drawing tools that simulates a familiar, real world paintbox, for a bargain price. A rather unique interface minimizes the toolset to the essentials for the task at hand, while the rest of work area is given over to the paint simulation. You can dismiss the entire interface with a single mouse tap if you want even more room. Users paint with tools like thick oils that smear and blend naturally, draw with pencil and chalk that reacts to the texture of the canvas, and get realistic results without needing to resort to post-processing techniques. ArtRage gives you real world painting tools on your computer in a stylish, easy to use environment that lets you get down to the process of creating without digital distractions. Use different tools in ArtRage to get realistic ink brush and marker effects! ArtRage provides 20 painting tools that come with a wide range of settings and presets allowing you to create many more unique variants. The Oil Paint tool lets you smear and blend paint on the canvas, tracking the volume of paint and how wet it is so that strokes interact realistically with existing media. The Watercolor tool creates delicate blends and wet merged strokes as you paint. The Paint Tube and Palette Knife let you work with bold, thick pigment and heavy texture, and a variety of other painting and sketching tools complete the artistic toolkit. It’s like working on a real canvas, there’s no need to understand digital processes to get a realistic result. Along with the natural painting tools ArtRage provides a range of utilities that make it easier to create artwork, including Rulers and Stencils, Tracing and Reference Images, Paint Symmetry, and many other systems that add a touch of digital convenience to the creative process without getting in the way.

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8. DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve is an advanced 64-bit video finishing tool, multitrack editor and color correction software, offering a collaborative workflow. It offers 32-bit floating point image processing and uses a unique YRGB color space for grading. Resolve uses node based processing where each node can have color correction, power windows, and effects applied. Editing tools are context sensitive, and multiple people can work together on the same timeline at the same time. Resolve is highly scalable and supports up to eight GPUs working together and offers powerful delivery options for versioning, finishing and delivery at any resolution. It can share sequences and round trip projects with Final Cut Pro X, Media Composer, and Premiere Pro CC, while VFX shots from Fusion and After Effects CC can be dropped directly into the timeline for final grading and finishing. DaVinci Resolve 12.5 combines professional non-linear video editing with the world’s most advanced color corrector so now you can edit, color correct, finish and deliver all from one system! DaVinci Resolve is completely scalable and resolution independent so that it can be used on set, in a small studio or integrated into the largest Hollywood production pipeline! From creative editing and multi-camera television production to high-end finishing and color correction, only DaVinci Resolve features the creative tools, compatibility, speed and legendary image quality you need to manage your entire workflow, which is why it is the number one solution used on Hollywood feature films.

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9. Blackmagic Fusion

Fusion 7 is a 64-bit visual effects and motion graphics suite that was recently released as a free product by new owner Blackmagic Design. Originally developed by Eyeon, the software has been a mainstay of VFX studios worldwide for many years. Fusion 7 features an infinite 3D workspace and node-based workflow for quickly building unlimited effects, as well as advanced 3D compositing, paint, rotoscope, retiming, stabilization and titling tool. It also includes a 3D particle generator and multiple keyers, including Primatte. Fusion 7 lets customers import and render 3D geometry and scenes from other applications as well as creates their own elements from scratch. Also available is Fusion 7 Studio, a complete bundle of VFX and motion graphics solutions with collaborative tools and unlimited network rendering for creative teams and larger facilities, available for £635. Though both the free version of Fusion 7 and Fusion 7 Studio are Windows only, a Mac release is thought to be in the pipeline. It employs a node-based interface in which complex processes are built up by connecting a flowchart or schematic of many nodes, each of which represents a simpler process, such as a blur or color correction. This type of compositing interface allows great flexibility, including the ability to modify the parameters of an earlier image processing step “in context” (while viewing the final composite). Upon its acquisition by Blackmagic Design, Fusion was released in two versions: the freeware Fusion, and the commercially sold Fusion Studio.

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10. Affinity Designer

For new designers and old pros, Affinity Designer offers a modern, intuitive user interface that allows users to transition almost seamlessly between it and Illustrator. Budding designers will find all the necessary tools clearly organized and accessible and the default toolbars and keyboard shortcuts will feel familiar to Adobe users. The learning curve is more like a gentle slope for designers experienced in Illustrator or Photoshop. Affinity Designer comes with all the standard pen and shape tools to complete complex vector and pixel-based artwork. With the persona toolbar—which divides vector, pixel and export tools into three separate sets—users can switch between tool sets without interruption to workflow. For designers who work in Photoshop and Illustrator simultaneously, using Affinity Designer may be a time saver. Users who are dependent on classic Photoshop tools such as the magic wand or cloning brush will need to spend another $49.99 for Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer’s sister program, released in 2015. Experienced vector artists and infographic designers will find a noticeable lack of the more advanced tools found in Illustrator CC. For example, the current release of Affinity Designer does not include a perspective grid or column graph tool. For now, Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo, Serif’s image editing software, are available for worldwide purchase on Mac OS only. The Windows beta version is now available for download, but there is no information about Affinity companion apps for mobile devices. Adobe CC is available for Mac and Windows and the Adobe mobile apps let users create and preserve editable artwork in the Creative Cloud for use across platforms.

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11. Tumult Hype 2.5

Responsive Web Design has become a top trend in web development, allowing for designers to craft a single page which will scale appropriately across a wide variety of devices and screen sizes. There have not been good solutions for responsive designs incorporating animated content, until now. Tumult Hype 2.5’s Flexible Layout options give users control over how animated elements are positioned and scaled when the document resizes. It uses a model of “Springs and Struts,” familiar to iOS developers, and extends it with innovative features such as preserving aspect ratios for images. Hype animations will fit in well with existing responsive web designs or look great on standalone pages. This HTML5 creation app for Mac OS X creates animated and interactive content that runs on desktops, smartphones, and iPads. No coding is required as Hype uses a keyframe-based animation system that records the changes you make to content. Built-in support for HTML5 audio and video allows for multimedia projects. Hype users can add natural curves using Bezier handles and add effects such as blur, hue shift, shadows, reflections and 3D transforms. Multiple simultaneous timelines can run animations based on user events, such as swipe and touch actions, with projects able to be previewed instantly on an iOS device using the free Hype Reflect app.

More About Corel Draw X6

All the standard vector editing tools are here, as well as an intuitive colour palette system and a fun set of vector shaping tools that allow you to distort basic vectors into more organic shapes. There’s also support for object styles, which can be applied to any element on your canvas including text. Other interesting features include the ability to draw placeholder content for page layouts, built-in support for application scripting and advanced fill options that allow you to fill an object with bitmap artwork. One interesting point of note is that Corel Draw will happily open Microsoft Publisher files, which could be a major timesaver for designers who have clients that send artwork in that format. Corel is keen to sell you the Corel Draw Suite rather than the standalone product, so you do get a lot for your money including 10,000 clipart files, 1,000 high resolution stock images, 1,000 fonts and 350 templates as well as Corel’s alternative to Photoshop, Photo-Paint X6, and a website development tool thrown in. The new version includes enhancements to the Font list that was included in the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite x6.4 as well as a fix for spot colors showing with incorrect names and displaying black. In addition, SVG export and SVG round-tripping (importing SVG files exported from CorelDRAW) was improved, and transformations applied to embedded bitmaps in CorelDRAW X6 are now preserved / re-applied when editing the bitmap in Corel PHOTO-PAINT X6.

About the Moderator

Hugh Miller