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COREL Photo-Paint  Tutorials Main Page Corel 9 Review Main Page by David Mutch Ph.D.
Corel Down Under User Group,
Melbourne, Australia
Corel 9 Review Main Page  


A Note About Navigating This Review:
Use the menu bar in the upper right corner of these pages or the button bar at the bottom of each page to navigate this site. The orange ball tells you your current position. Click on the word '9' in the banner to restart this review. Click on the word 'PhotoPaint' in the banner to return to the main tutorials page to access other tutorials.

I have been eagerly awaiting the release of Corel PhotoPaint 9. Not that there was anything particularly wrong with version 8, it was very good. We received a review copy of Corel Draw 9 suite for our user group courtesy of Corel in Canada (Thanks Corel !). The product shipped on the usual 3 disks plus one extra containing a demonstration of Corel Studio. The 1st disk contains all the program files, the 2nd contains lots of clip art, and the 3rd contains photos, objects, image sprayer lists etc. Corel provides their users with an excellent starting point by supplying quality images, libraries of brushes, nibs, maps, scripts and much more. Corel Draw 9 is no exception but exceeds previous versions by providing hot links directly to the Corel site for updates and extras, as well as to the Designer.com site for professional ideas, templates and help.

An apology is in order. I started this review in July but due to many things was unable to finish it until October. Many readers may now already have bought Draw 9 suite and thus will not need all of the descriptions in this review. However, on reviewing my initial script I realised that the improved Object Blend feature needed much further investigation and explanation, and so was expanded from a single page to four. Those of you who already know much about what's new in PP9 may be interested in going straight to the Blends section of this document to learn more about this quite incredible feature. Thanks for you patience. BTW, the next tutorial is already started and will be an in-depth look at masks!.

I installed Corel 9 easily and without problems. Choosing a Custom installation allows the user to select additional fonts, programs, file associations etc. However in version 9 it also allows for the installation of the new IXLA digital camera image acquisition interface and Microsoft's Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), a new macro/scripting feature in Corel products. I initially chose to install both of these extras as I have a Canon A5 digital camera and was eager to see the MS VBA tools.

Starting Up
On starting PP9 for the first time, I immediately noticed a significantly longer load time - about 18 seconds compared to 8 seconds for PP8 on the same computer. Later, I reinstalled the entire suite without including the VBA and discovered that all of the version 9 programs now only took marginally longer to load than those from version 8. Therefore, my advice would be that if you are not going to use the VBA feature then don't install it - you can always add it later if you wish.

Major Changes
On first glance PP9 looks much the same as PP8. However it didn't take long to find some major differences and so began a period of adjustment. The Online help files and the improved pop up help balloons were a major help in finding answers to some of my questions. In total, there are probably several hundred changes or new features.

It would be impossible to cover all of them here so I'll stick to those that I found the most important in terms of either using the program, a new feature or a major change from a previous feature. As I mainly use PP for web and multimedia development, these are the areas I know best so please forgive my lack of decent coverage for print issues.

The following sections review some of the major changes.


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