Earlier today, Corel announced version X8 of its flagship graphics product—CorelDRAW Graphics Suite. 

We are excited to simultaneously release this new version in 14 languages around the world. The whole team has been extremely busy since unveiling our last version, dedicating their passion and countless hours of care to deliver this major upgrade. 

Our journey to X8 began by working closely with our users through research, site visits and online communication—and we also keep up with latest trends in the PC industry. With more than 25% of visitors to the CorelDRAW Community having upgraded to Windows 10 already (much faster than the industry average) it was clear from the get-go that X8 needed to work great on the latest operating system out of Redmond; while remaining fully compatible with Windows 7 and 8.1 for those who prefer those versions.

Hardware is also in the midst of a major transformation. With the advent of the latest generations of pen & touch devices, we’ve made sure that X8 not only works great with Wacom tablets, but now also fully supports the latest tablets using Real-Time Stylus (WinRTS) technology. With full pen & touch support, now you can start sketching directly in CorelDRAW, whether it be freehand or using the Smart Drawing tools with their built-in shape recognition technology.

The other notable hardware shift has been the rapid adoption of high-resolution displays. CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X8 is arguably one of the very best when it comes to supporting High-DPI monitors—especially when you mix multiple screens with varying resolutions. From our research, we know this is a common situation where you might have a 4K monitor, but also want to continue to use your existing 1080p screen. As you may know, most Windows applications look fuzzy on one of the screens when you drag it back and forth... not so for CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X8, which now handles the display rendering for each monitor independently. 

We strongly believe in offering CorelDRAW Graphics Suite users the choice to adapt the user interface (UI) to match your needs, and not to be forced in a pre-defined layout. We continue this trend in X8 by providing the option to not only fully customize your workspace, but also to change the colors of the title bar, the background, and the actual UI. 

Yes—for those who have been asking, you can now switch from a light to a dark or even black user interface. 

We also continue to offer different workspaces such as an Adobe Illustrator / Adobe Photoshop layout (in CorelDRAW and Corel PHOTO-PAINT respectively) for those familiar with their button arrangement but do not want to be forced in a subscription option and prefer to purchase perpetual licenses. 

Inside the products of the Suite, we’ve made numerous enhancements. A few I wanted to highlight here are the completely new knife tool and the powerful enhancements to vector / node editing tools. With the new knife tool you can quickly and easily create overlaps and gaps in just a few clicks. New vector editing tools now enable you to manipulate nodes in ways that were very difficult before. 

My mantra while working on this new version is that X8 is not about adding a new circle tool (we already have 3 different ways of drawing a circle in CorelDRAW) but, rather, to help you transform that circle into any shape you want as fast as possible.

Yes, increased productivity is a guiding principle for this new release of CorelDRAW. We know very well that the vast majority of the 15+ million users of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite around the world need to get their high-quality and impactful designs done fast – you are not paid by the hour of working with the product, you are paid by the project if you are a graphics professional, and you have a day-job if you are an occasional graphics user. Enabling you to get your job done quicker is at the core of the CorelDRAW focus of versatility and confidence in visual communication.

One of the areas I am particularly excited about is the new Corel Font Manager. 

The problem—many graphics software users, me included, love fonts. We collect them from all over for future use (I recently mentioned the Google Fonts collection on GitHub). But, once I have all these fonts in a folder, there is no easy way to actually find the right one for my project… and installing all these fonts so they can be used in CorelDRAW is not an option.

With X8, we decided to build our own Font Management software from the ground up to replace the Font Navigator included in previous versions, and to provide CorelDRAW Graphics Suite users, who use fonts as part of their design process, the best possible solution. 

With Corel Font Manager X8, you can:

  • Access and manage the fonts installed in your Windows Fonts folder, including uninstalling the ones you don’t need (except if it’s a system font that is!)
  • Access and download over 1,000 fonts included with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X8 (you need to have purchased or subscribed to the software before you can download these)
  • Index and manage fonts you have on your local hard drive or network environment, e.g., get access to the tens of thousands of fonts you’ve amassed over time
  • Filter fonts that are indexed by Corel Font Manager based on different criteria such as finding all the fonts that are of Script style with Cyrillic character sets. 
  • Display all the fonts you have locally or on your network with sample text or with your own custom string
  • View all the details about the glyphs that are included in the fonts and inspect the detailed meta-data behind each font file.
  • Find duplicate fonts, including by version number so that you can manage
  • Create collections, e.g., groups of fonts for a specific project, theme, customer or idea.

And that’s not all! 

Because it’s been developed from the ground-up to integrate with CorelDRAW and Corel PHOTO-PAINT, you can now use fonts that are indexed by Corel Font Manager in your designs without having to first install them in the Windows Font folder. As long as Font Manager knows about the font, you can use it in CorelDRAW and Corel PHOTO-PAINT!

There are so many new developments in CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X8 I would love to cover in this post, it would take another few thousand words (if you want the full list, we have a detailed Reviewers Guide available on www.coreldraw.com/graphicssuite).