Look I used to use CorelDraw, in fact we used all the Corel Suite:
Draw, Photopaint and Ventura and any other *they threw in.
We were pretty good at using Corel: we knew how to get around the bugs
we knew what the packages could do etc.
Then two things happened. The guy who used to run the graphics
department where I work quit and I took over. At the same time
we were looking at moving to output on disk, rather than reflection
art. So we had to look at the programmes we were using.
We could get our laser printer to cope with Corel's problems, but
outputting files was a nightmare. We couldn't even get Ventura
to understand CorelDraw's files at times and used to just output
to different formats until one worked.
Quite frankly, given the bugs, the output problem was too much,
especially as we were about to make to move to taking the files
outside our system, and therefore out of our control, so they
could go through an imagesetter at the printer or service
bureau. Most printers/service bureaus said Corel generated files
wouldn't work. So, we tried a few and guess what - they didn't work!
My point is this: I don't care if CorelDraw can do the designing
for me - if the output won't work all the alleged features/ease
of use etc are not worth a pinch of shit and neither is the program.
We used Corel from versions 3 to 5. They couldn't get it right for 3
versions and I have no reason to believe they have suddenly got rid
of the problems.
I have always used PCs, I don't even know how to use a Mac (I find
the differences irritating) and the REALITY is that most of the
machines which rip my files are Macs. Complaining won't do any
good - what will do you some good is finding a solution, a way to
get your files to work.
We moved to Freehand (and Photoshop and Pagemaker). And what a
breath of fresh air it was. Now If I use CorelDraw I find it clunky
and absolutely hate the interface - I got my tools docked Corel
style when I opened Freehand 8 and immediately moved them to a
floating pallette like in FH7. I never have problems with output -
my files go off to the printer get put through his Mac and work
first time every time. All the Corel outputted files failed.
I remember the days when we used Corel products, I remember
rebuilding files, resetting the computer after yet another
application error, finding that something was wrong on a print
and trying to find a way around the problem as all the settings
were right, but these are just a bad memory. Imagine this: I
got rid of the Corel software we used and now I never have
problems with output (we output to 4 different printers running
different systems) my computer NEVER crashes, nor does Freehand
or any of the other programs. Bugs are few and far between and
there are fixes on the Macromedia web site, and they appear quickly.
If I can't work out how to do something I am on a Freehand mailing
list which, although it is not run by Macromedia, is monitored
by Macromedia tech staff. I have sent questions to this list
and received replies from the actual people who write and test the
program, usually within 24 hours. We only have to get an upgrade
every 18 months not a half-baked upgrade every year. Ever noticed
how Corel programs always have version numbers like 5.6753 whereas
in the whole life of FH7 there were only 2 patches to fix
problems. FH7 had a couple of larger problems (which, by the way,
didn't mean you couldn't output or use the program with confidence)
and Macromedia were notified - these problems were fixed in FH8.
I saw the same problems version after version in CorelDraw.
Enough is enough! I refuse to buy programs from a company that
continually sells me a product which doesn't work properly. Given
my previous experiences is it any surprise I have a bias against
Corel? My bias is based on bittersweet experience. Bitter experience
with Corel products and the sweet realisation that there is a
better way and that I should be able to buy products which mean
I can do my real job of running the graphics department of my
employer instead of chasing my tail with unnecessary computer
Do yourself a favour - get the demo of Freehand and try it out. It
takes a little adjusting but it is well worth it.