General Software

First Look: Corel Designer Technical Suite 12

31 Mar, 2005 By: Ron LaFon

Technical illustration toolbox.

Corel designer technical suite12 is a bundle of applications for technical graphics built on Corel DESIGNER 12. Originally developed by Micrografx, the DESIGNER program was acquired by Corel Corp. in the fall of 2001. In addition to the updated core DESIGNER 12 product, the suite now includes Corel PHOTO-PAINT 12, Corel CAPTURE 12 for screen capture and CorelTRACE 12 for bitmap tracing.

Corel Designer  Technical Suite 12
Corel Designer Technical Suite 12

Both DESIGNER and PHOTO-PAINT support Microsoft VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) for application customization and extensibility. Customization and flexibility are key characteristics of Corel DESIGNER Technical Suite 12. The user interface is customizable, so designers can easily select the appropriate tools for a given task. For those more familiar with other applications, the Workspace Selector includes preconfigured workspaces that resemble the look and feel of Adobe Illustrator, Micrografx DESIGNER 9 and Microsoft Visio. Users can create, save and share their own custom workspaces.

The suite supports more than 75 file formats, including DXF, DWG (AutoCAD 2004, with preservation of hatch fills), SVG, CGM, CDR, PSD, TIF, AI, EPS, DOC, XLS and others. Users can also import Corel Designer 9 and Micrografx Designer files (DSF), including v3.1-v9.

With Corel Designer 12, users can create callouts on a drawing.
With Corel Designer 12, users can create callouts on a drawing.

Corel DESIGNER 12 offers projected drawing modes, hotspotting and an object data manager. Other new features include dynamic guides, a B-spline tool, dimension tools, hatch fills, dynamic language switching and a fillet, chamfer and scallop tool. Line styles and the eyedropper tool have been enhanced. The export for Office capability supports Microsoft Office and WordPerfect Office.

The supporting applications are accessible from the DESIGNER 12 menu, and each has a variety of enhancements and new features. PHOTO-PAINT, for example, now has a red-eye removal tool, image stitching and a cut-out masking tool. The applications in Corel DESIGNER Technical Suite 12 work well together to provide tools for technical illustration. Although some creative features are included, the focus here is on creating technical drawings and illustrations.

This projected drawing demonstrates The technical illustration capabilities of Corel Designer 12.
This projected drawing demonstrates The technical illustration capabilities of Corel Designer 12.

System requirements for Corel DESIGNER Technical Suite 12 are Windows 2000/XP (Home, Professional and Tablet PC Edition) with the latest service packs, a 600MHz Pentium III processor or better, 256MB of RAM (512MB RAM recommended), a mouse or tablet, a display capable of 1024x768 (768x1024 on Tablet PC), a CD-ROM drive, Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 and 700MB of hard disk space to install all three language packs with all content. As with most Windows applications, the best performance will be on faster systems with more RAM.

Corel DESIGNER Technical Suite 12 is now available in English, French and German. Pricing for the full product is $699, and the academic version is $99. Upgrades are available for $299 from Corel DESIGNER 9/10, Micrografx DESIGNER, Micrografx iGrafx Business, Micrografx iGrafx FlowCharter, Micrografx Picture Publisher, Microsoft Visio, Autodesk AutoCAD LT and ACD/Deneba Canvas.

About the Author: Ron LaFon

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