It’s hard to have a passion about art without being somewhat of a dreamer.
I dedicate this book to the dream that there will be peace on Earth within our lifetime.
About the Author
Gary David Bouton is a seasoned author and illustrator with over 20 books to his name,
covering programs such as CorelDRAW, Adobe Photoshop, and topics such as digital video
editing, content creation for the Web, and 3D modeling. Gary has been drawing and painting
both traditionally and electronically for close to 40 years and has been writing books and
articles on art since 1992. He has received four international awards for design and desktop
publishing and was a finalist in the CorelDRAW World Design Contest. In his other life,
Gary composes and records music and works on CGI special effects for films.
About the Technical Editor
Having degrees in both engineering and art, William Schneider currently teaches computer
graphics and darkroom photography in the School of Visual Communication at Ohio
University. He has twice been a finalist in the annual Corel World Design Contest.
He has written 16 magazine articles about photography and computer artwork, and has
had his graphic work published in a number of venues. For the textbook Italian Renaissance
Art: A Source Book, he was responsible for furnishing hundreds of illustrations and photos.
When he’s not working at the computer or printing in his darkroom, he likes to ice skate and
to build unusual loudspeakers in his shop.
Having celebrated our 20th anniversary last year, it’s our second decade of creating and
refining our complete and easy-to-use graphic design suite. Learning resources remains a
key element to enable users of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite to get going quickly and create
amazing illustrations, layouts, graphics, and more. We are, therefore, including, in addition
to our help system, electronic documentation, and video tutorials, a full-color hard-cover
book of tips and techniques in the latest boxed version of the suite.
We’re excited about the new CorelDRAW X5 The Official Guide you hold in your hands,
because McGraw-Hill Professional and author Gary Bouton have taken a different approach
to grasping and ultimately mastering our suite of programs. Because the team at Corel has
covered the basics with our documentation, this has freed The Official Guide to focus on
methods for perfecting your craft and design ambitions. You’ll find expert instruction on
illustration techniques, not only how to use CorelDRAW, but also how to get the results you
have in mind. As you’ll see, all the examples in The Official Guide are explained in digestible
detail in a way that is relevant to a goal you have in mind. You’ll learn as you create; step-
by-step instructions are supported by dozens of example files you can download, and these
examples will also provide an idea book you can build upon for inspiration in your own work.
This comprehensive guide is the result of a valued partnership between Corel Corporation
and McGraw-Hill Professional. The author has worked closely with the product team at Corel
to ensure that professionals and aspiring designers using our product have the information they
need to quickly achieve stunning results.
Congratulations to our official guide author, Gary Bouton, for providing such a quality
book packed with references, insights, and an accomplished illustrator’s perspective on that
intangible item that makes artwork attractive to an audience: insight. As you go through
each chapter, I’m sure you’ll find this to be an invaluable resource for both beginners and
graphics professionals alike.
Both McGraw-Hill Professional and Corel present you with something truly new in this
book and in the X5 Graphics suite, because like any successful communication that has to be
open and two-way, you told us what you wanted, we listened, and The Official Guide is our
reply to you.
Sr. Director, Product Management, Graphics
xxvi CorelDRAW X5 The Official Guide
C’mon: you and I both know that no one reads the acknowledgments section in a book when
it’s much more fun to dive right into the meat of a detective novel, a historical fiction, and
even a book on computer software. But if I’ve by chance caught your eye here, I’d like you
to know that if you enjoy this book (the correct answer is yes, you will), the folks who
worked together had just as much fun creating it. I can’t think of a single book I’ve written
in the past when the author, the production and layout people, and the editors just clicked as
we did with this book. The bonus was that we got to know each other as we worked against
deadlines to bring you this hefty piece of documentation. I’d like to introduce my friends to
you now and to thank them for making my part in the CorelDRAW X5 The Official Guide the
best kick one could possibly have without breaking any federal laws:
● To Megg Morin. Once again, Megg has played the gracious asylum keeper. She has
freely offered me encouragement, advice, lots and lots of support for the direction in
which I wanted to move this book, at times has humored me, and has let me get silly
at least once in every chapter. Megg is good therapy for me, and this book will, in
turn, be good therapy for you in the way it’s written while you learn a very, very
deep suite of applications.
● To Meghan Riley, for not only keeping track of an immense amount of data, but also
for helping me stay organized, in the kindest, most gracious fashion a freelance
writer could hope for. Oh, oh; look, Meghan—the figure on page 285 is upside-
down!!! Onnnnnly kidding! Thank you, Meghan.
● Project Editor LeeAnn Pickrell. Let me make it known that LeeAnn didn’t just work
on copy for this book; she worked with me to bring a sense of organization, worked
with my style and not against it, and discussed chapters with me down to a level
where at times I felt she was sitting in my office. Unfortunately, I have only one
chair here, but I still want to thank you, LeeAnn, for making my mots into bon mots.
● Copy Editor Jan Jue. Jan went to extremes to ensure the book you’re holding is
accurate. I know of no other copy editor who actually installs the program a book is
about and works alongside my documentation. Jan, thanks for your thoroughness,
and for pointing out that certain thesauruses actually do contain synonyms for
● Technical Editor William Schneider. Bill really should be listed as coauthor on the
cover of this book, but that would probably mean making my own name smaller.
Nah. Bill flew with me through every chapter, even the online bonus chapters, and
he didn’t stop at letting me know when I made a (small, insignificant, hardly worth
mentioning) mistake in a tutorial step, or accidentally called the Mesh fill tool “that
funny looking icon that messes up fills.” Bill always offered a different and better
way to cast a sentence and put a tutorial step in more reader-friendly terms. Bill,
thanks, as always, for being my favorite technical editor for over a decade of books.
● Nicky Elliott, Barbara Bouton, and William Schneider for the use of their
photography in this book’s tutorials.
● Nick Wilkinson for portions of his original manuscript on VBA.
● Lyssa Wald for once again making the color section look as good on the printed page
as it does on my monitor.
● Production Supervisor George Anderson. Thanks to George and his expert team for
the layout of this book’s interior.
● The folks at Glyph, who allowed me to get in there and work on a few figures to
make them look their best in a black-and-white book.
● John Falsetto at Corel Corporation. Thanks for going that extra mile, John, and
promptly providing me with answers to technical questions during the beta cycle
right up to the release version of X5. The sort of candid backs-and-forths we
exchanged in email were productive, refreshing, and ultimately for the better of
● Tony Severenuk at Corel Corporation. Thanks to Tony for his technical support, his
speed, and his ability to cut to the chase when I needed frank answers at a moment’s
notice. I’m sorry you never took me up on putting a cartoon of you in one of the
book’s illustrations, Tony; I had to make fun of Bill Schneider as a last-minute
substitution. Hats off and a big bow of appreciation to you and all the people at
Corel Corporation for supporting this book and my efforts. I hope I did you all
xxviii CorelDRAW X5 The Official Guide
Bear with me as you read this book. Like any ongoing piece of literature, CorelDRAW X5
The Official Guide is a work in progress. Yes, the book is complete, but I wanted to
approach the documentation of a new version of DRAW a little differently—okay, a lot
differently—than did previous versions of this book. I’ve tried very hard to put a little of
myself into this book, so you know that someone real, who professes to know CorelDRAW
in certain ways better than you do, is communicating with you. Let’s get real: CorelDRAW
is large. The application has so many features that you might feel at times as well-oriented
as if you were visiting this planet from another planet and a taxi driver dropped you off in
the middle of Los Angeles. At 2 A.M.
So I want you to know I’m here for you; I want you to feel as though you own a Pocket
Author, who talks to you in PlainSpeak, who makes tutorial files not only relevant but also
interesting, and who as an artist provides you with what you need to accomplish a task instead
of a generic, “This is what you need,” or a presumptuous, “This is what we think you need.”
I’m going to ask you to think about what it is you want to do in CorelDRAW throughout the
chapters, because you’re probably a goal-oriented sort of fine artist or business professional.
Although we have some of the best documentation on these pages concerning where items are,
what tools do, and other structural definitions of CorelDRAW, knowing where a tool is, and
knowing the steps to create a logo your boss wanted last Tuesday are two entirely different
approaches to understanding. One is called “having a bunch of facts memorized” and the other
is called Wisdom.
You’ll see what I mean as you read through the chapters and work through the dozens of
tutorial examples and files. Read this book, but embrace what you learn. I’ve learned through
years of working in the field of graphics that when you understand a technique or a principle,
you own it. You take it everywhere you go, it’s part of your own personal craft, and you’re all
the richer as an artist when you digest the information you’re given and turn it into something
uniquely your own.
xxx CorelDRAW X5 The Official Guide
CorelDRAW X5 The Official Guide is divided into nine parts plus two online Bonus
Chapters and an online Quick Reference listing keyboard shortcuts that’ll speed up your
work in CorelDRAW.
Organization is key to explaining things, so the parts follow a progression, from a very
basic introduction to later chapters that delve into special effects, and with this edition,
we’ve added two complete chapters on Corel PHOTO-PAINT, because it’s an important
program you will use if you first understand how to edit bitmap images. If you’re the type
of reader who likes to begin at the beginning and make a linear voyage to finish with the
last chapter, you won’t be surprised. However, the chapters are structured and fairly
compartmentalized to address a specific topic; if you want fast solutions for specific areas
within CorelDRAW, you can also “pick and choose.” One of the wonderful things about
books is that you can skip ahead and rewind—and probably do it faster than using an online
● Part I starts you off with the new features in CorelDRAW X5, a must-read for users
who’ve made the upgrade. In particular, Chapter 1 is a tutorial-based jumpstart into
graphics productivity—you’ll create new stuff as you learn what’s new! Also in this
part, you’ll be guided through CorelDRAW options, thoroughly pore through the
menus and palettes (including CorelDRAW dockers), and you’ll learn how to set up
the workspace to make you feel right at home. New users are encouraged to set aside
some quality time for this part—you’ll save a lot of time later when you want to get
to the Fun Stuff.
● Part II focuses on navigating and measuring the workspace and your document, and
how to size things up, from measuring objects to moving and rotating them. You’ll
also learn how to set up a multi-page document, create brochures and flyers, and
you’ll see that each page can be a unique size and orientation.
● Part III gets you up and running with two of the most important tools used in
designing original artwork, the Pen tools and the Shape tool. You’ll also get a handle
on creating shapes by using various presets CorelDRAW has to offer. Once you have
your object created and edited to your liking, it’s only natural to make more of them;
this part shows you how to arrange, group, duplicate, clone, and perform other tasks
in your document to make laying out what you’ve created an inspired effort.
● Part IV dives into typography, working with artistic and paragraph text, spelling and
other CorelDRAW proofing tools, and some special effects you can create for fancy
headlines. Sometimes it’s better to just say it instead of show it; CorelDRAW has the
ideal tools for both the text and graphic message, and these parts of the book also
show how to blend the two vehicles artistically for what you want to communicate.
● Part V puts the meat on the bones of the objects you design; in these chapters,
you’ll learn everything you need to know about object fills, outline properties, and
most importantly, about digital color. Learn how to define and apply uniform fills,
bitmap fills, and colors from different color models to your work so they’ll print
exactly as you intend them to. And if you need a map or schematic drawing, check
out this part for the lowdown on creating dashed lines, lines with arrowheads, and
● Part VI is a truly special part; you’ll see that 3D object and scene creation doesn’t
require a megabuck modeling program—you’ll find what you need to make scenes
in camera-perfect perspective with CorelDRAW’s Effects menu. You’ll also learn
how to extrude objects, letting CorelDRAW perform calculations to create a side
view of the front of objects you draw. It’s fun and the result can have the visual
impact you need to create new worlds and sell your ideas.
● Part VII comes with a boatload of CorelDRAW special effects features, and these
chapters take you through the steps to distorting, blending, and creating photorealistic
effects such as object transparency and soft, lifelike shadows. If you’ve ever been
stuck at a point where your design needs that “special something,” look into this
special part of the book. Learn how to create shading like you’ve seen in airbrush
illustrations, to design chrome and glass-like objects, and to create a seamless
integration between what you draw and the digital photos you can place in your
● Part VIII (that’s “8” if you’re tired of reading Roman numerals) moves from vector
drawing to bitmap editing; specifically, you’ll learn how Corel PHOTO-PAINT can
help you resize and retouch photos and help you make near-perfect pictures into
outstanding ones. Also in this part, you’ll see how to work between DRAW and
PHOTO-PAINT, to make a seamless composition that contains both vector and
bitmap art. PHOTO-PAINT is part of the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite; it’s sitting
there for you on disk or on your hard drive. If you have a brochure or gallery photo
you need to get out there and get noticed, you need to get with the program, and the
program is Corel PHOTO-PAINT. This is truly an advanced section of the book, but
it’s accessible to readers of all skill levels, and its contents take you through working
with photographs, getting your prints looking their best, and more. You’ll also see
how to get the best look out of imported bitmaps, beginning right with CorelDRAW’s
Raw Lab. Learn how to work with image resolutions, and see how to export your
vector drawings to bitmap file format. You’ll also want to pore through CorelDRAW’s
HTML publishing features—make that print ad you’ve designed into a web banner
with only a few clicks. Finally…
● Part IX (pronounced “icks”) introduces you to CorelDRAW’s extensive host of
print options and features; the techniques for output to paper, film, and transfer
materials; and CorelDRAW’s preflight options so your time and the expense of
professional printing are on your side. Also, you’ll learn how to prep your designs
for nonprinting purposes. Get all the details on how CorelDRAW X5 can export
your work for the Web, how to make a basic web page, and something additional
and quite special. On the CorelDRAW installation DVD is a full working copy of
SWiSH miniMax. This program can generate Flash animation for the Web; you’ll
learn step-by-step how to move copies of your CorelDRAW work to SWiSH,
animate the objects, add a little audio that’s provided for you via our website
download, and how about this: you’ll make a full-screen animation that loops (plays
over and over) that’s only 70K! A movie that’s smaller than some CorelDRAW files?
Yes. And it’s all laid out for you in terms that someone who has no previous
experience with animation can follow.
● Online Bonus Chapters document Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) in a PDF
file you can download from www.mhprofessional.com/computingdownload and
www.theboutons.com. See how to write simple scripts without actually writing a
line of code (it’s visual; you record cursor movements), and speed up your work by
making common tasks automated through VBA. Also, learn how to design a
typeface using CorelDRAW, and export your very own TrueType font. Imagine
making and distributing a font that has your company logo to everyone in your
department. You’ll learn the steps in this online PDF document, and become font
savvy in a jiffy.
● The CorelDRAW Quick Reference, which you’ll also find online, is full of
shortcuts you can use in CorelDRAW. Find a task you need to perform faster, and
the Quick Reference lists the combinations of keys you can press to get you where
you need to go.
Tutorial and Bonus Content: Where to Find It
You can’t miss a Tutorial section: it’s marked with the Educated Lightbulb icon. Many of
these Tutorials will go better and more smoothly, and better demonstrate a technique or
principle, if you have a working file loaded in the drawing window, so we’ve provided you
with several. To get the tutorial files, go to the following URLs:
● www.mhprofessional.com From this page, click the Downloads link and locate
this book’s title to get to the tutorial files.
● www.theboutons.com This is a mirror site for the files. Go to the top page, and
you can’t miss the conspicuous, obnoxious, but superbly designed CorelDRAW X5
Official Guide Download icon.
xxxii CorelDRAW X5 The Official Guide
Additionally, www.theboutons.com has some Bonus Content, goodies for our readers
that have nothing to do with this book’s Tutorials, but everything to do with your continuing
adventures in CorelDRAW. The Boutons are offering original, seamless tiling textures—
perfect for web page backgrounds, custom object fills, and backgrounds in your CorelDRAW
documents. You’ll also find high-resolution images of indoor and outdoor scenes with blank
signage. Because so many CorelDRAW users create billboards, package designs, and vinyl
signs for vehicles, we thought it would be nice if you could previsualize a logo or other signage.
You can then show your design to clients and coworkers before you go through the expense
of commercial printing.
The Boutons also offer original typefaces and some content that we want to remain a
surprise for now.
I know I speak for the entire group who helped make this book happen that we were
highly motivated to make this Official Guide reflect all the creative possibilities that you’ll
have fun learning, exploring, and building upon. Playtime isn’t the only time when a creative
person can have fun. Work time can be fun, too. It’s how you approach it.
So enough with introductions! Turn the page and get to the Good Stuff!
—Gary David Bouton
The dozens of enhancements and improvements to CorelDRAW in version X5 aren’t
as obvious on paper as you’ll experience; everything from significantly more precise
drawing tools to a comprehensive color management system helps get what you envision
down on the printable page. This version boasts something new and welcome to users at all
skill levels and professions—both professional graphics designers and entrepreneurs with
little artistic experience will be drawn to CorelDRAW.
Whether you’re new to CorelDRAW or an old hand, you should take a few moments and
review the new features covered in this chapter. Although features are categorized, everyone
will find something to like in the sections to follow. You’ll discover that “working smart”
can also be a lot of fun.
Download and extract all the files from the Chapter 01.zip archive to follow the
tutorials in this chapter.
Features for the Graphics Designer
CorelDRAW X5 starts you off right with new drawings, with the New Document dialog
box. From there, you’ll notice several enhancements to DRAW’s familiar design tools
including new ones. Here’s an overview of what’s in store in this new version and covered
in The Official Guide.
The Create a New Document Dialog Box
Unless you choose to override this feature, every time you choose File | New, or click the
New button on the standard toolbar, the Create a New Document dialog box appears, as
shown next. In the Create a New Document dialog you can choose color mode and color
profile options, which alone are lifesavers when you have, for example, a dozen bitmap
images to import and you need color consistency between what you draw, the color mode
of the bitmaps, and the color profile of your intended output. Whether it’s to the screen as
a web page, or to a commercial printer—color reproduction and color accuracy are at the
heart of every document you begin. Chapters 27 and 28 are your guides to personal and
Additionally, document resolution (in dpi, or dots per inch) can be declared before you
begin a drawing. The usefulness of this enhancement becomes immediately clear when you
need to draw something for commercial presses—the document would be 300 dpi—or for
the Web, which usually uses from 72 to 96 dpi screen resolution. You also have the familiar
page size and orientation options, and also you can convert an existing document’s color
profile to a different one of your choosing.
4 CorelDRAW X5 The Official Guide
Corel PHOTO-PAINT has the same dialog for new documents as CorelDRAW.
Drawing Tool Enhancements
One of the things you won’t see in version X5—that you’ll like—is the smoothness with
which the Freehand and Artistic media tools produce paths. Corel Corp. has worked very
hard to refine these curve tools, and you’ll find you might not even need to use the Reduce
Nodes feature while drawing.
Also, arrowheads (and tails!) you apply to paths can now be scaled to suit the proportion
you need when designing maps and other diagrams. Suppose you need to convince a friend
who’s coming to visit you at your loft in SoHo in New York that the taxi will be much
cheaper coming into Newark Liberty instead of JFK Airport—a fact only New Yorkers seem
to know. Your intricate map needs 10-point outline paths, but the preset Arrowhead 2 is
much too large to fit on East Houston Street and would cover part of Hamilton Fish Park.
The solution is simple.
CHAPTER 1: What’s New in CorelDRAW X5? 5
Scaling an Arrowhead
1. Select the 10-point path (with Arrowhead 2 applied), and double-click the Outline
pen properties (nib) icon on the status bar to display the Outline Pen dialog.
2. Click the Options button below the arrowhead, and then click Attributes from the
3. Set the Length and Width interactively: put your cursor between the arrows to the
right of the number field so the cursor becomes a double-headed arrow with the
horizontal bar in the center, and then drag down in this example. Dragging up
increases the Length or Width. This user interface element is called an elevator
button; you can also enter values by typing them into the num boxes. At right, you’ll
see the preview window change the size of the arrowhead. In this example when the
Length is about 40 points and the Width is about 34, you can click OK, and then
click OK to exit the Outline Pen dialog, and your arrowhead is scaled to your liking.
New to version X5 is the B-Spline tool for drawing perfectly smooth curves. B-splines
are unlike paths produced with the Bézier and other drawing tools; they don’t always have
6 CorelDRAW X5 The Official Guide
nodes directly on a path to steer a curve segment after or during drawing, and they don’t
have control handles for the curve’s nodes. Figure 1-1 shows a creative example of B-
splines—on a locked layer below the drawing is an image of a retro coffee table and chair,
and the table is decorated with a design reflecting the art sensibilities of the late 1950s. The
pattern was drawn with the B-Spline tool in Float control point mode. When you draw with
this tool in Float control point mode, you’re best off clicking instead of click-dragging: a
faint series of dashed line segments is produced off the curve with control nodes, also off the
curve of the path you draw. You simply have to try this tool to appreciate its many uses. To
end a path, double-click, and then use the Shape tool to refine the curve. Editing the curve is
done by dragging the control nodes. In 3D modeling applications, these dashed lines
connecting nodes are called “control hulls”—a hull shapes each path segment. At any time,
you can put a control node directly on a path segment by clicking the Make Control Point
Clamped button on the property bar. To make the path editable as you’d edit all other paths
created with any of the Curve tool group, choose Arrange | Convert To Curves (CTRL+Q).
However, unless you have a truly specific need for converting the control hull to nodes along
a path, don’t do this, because it will destroy the smoothness of the path when you edit it with
the Shape tool.
CHAPTER 1: What’s New in CorelDRAW X5? 7
FIGURE 1-1 The new B-Spline drawing tool is like having a traditional French curve at your
disposal in CorelDRAW.
Float control point
Make Control Point Floating
New Corner Edits for Rectangles
CorelDRAW X5 has better and easier to use Fillet (rounded corner)/Scallop/Chamfer
features on a docker whenever you want to embellish a sharp turn in a path. Now, these
same features are available on the property bar whenever you’ve drawn a rectangle, even
one you’ve drawn with the Smart Drawing tool. If you’re not familiar with editing corners of
rectangles and other shapes, the steps aren’t Newtonian or anything:
1. If you’ve drawn a rectangle, choose the Shape tool for custom editing, and then click
either the Fillet, Scallop, or Chamfer button on the property bar. This action sets all
four corners of the rectangle to have an equal, predefined amount of corner alteration.
2. To change the amount of corner alteration, drag with the Shape tool on one corner
control node, toward or away from the original corner. By default, the Edit Corners
Together lock button on the property bar is switched on, and all edits you perform to
one corner apply to all corners.
3. Let’s say you’re an asymmetrical sort of designer and want one corner more deeply
cut than the other three. Unlock the Edit Corners Together button by clicking it. Now
CTRL-click one of the corner control nodes and drag. You can also click a corner
node to select it, and then release the mouse button, and then click-drag the control
node to edit only that corner.
4. If you want to lop off the corners of a polygon created with, for example, the
Polygon tool—or any freeform shape you’ve designed that has a sharp cusp turn
along the path—you need to choose Window | Dockers | Fillet/Scallop/Chamfer.
Choose one of the operations from the drop-down list, and then use the elevator
button to increase or decrease the radius the docker uses to trim the corners. You’ll
see a live preview in faint blue around the object, and you click Apply when you’re
satisfied with the preview.
Figure 1-2 shows callouts for the buttons used for rectangles, and there’s also an illustration
of a severely messed-up polygon or two, perfect for certificates and fancy badges. Corel
didn’t cut any corners with the Fillet/Scallop/Chamfer feature in X5, but you will.
The Relative Corner Scaling button is for when you want to change the size of a
rectangle, with or without changing the corner work you’ve done. If the option is
enabled, the corners of your rectangle scale proportionately when you use the Pick
tool or other method to increase or decrease the rectangle’s size. When you turn
this feature off, you can get some really weird and visually interesting effects.
Imagine making deep corner cuts on a rectangle, and then making the rectangle
half its original size…but the corners remain the same cut size.
8 CorelDRAW X5 The Official Guide