Design Principles for CorelDRAW Graphics Suite on macOS

Hello everyone,

I thought it might be of interest to give you some insight into what the design principles were that we undertook when we set out to bring our flagship CorelDRAW Graphics Suite product to macOS, many years after being established on the Windows platform. As all our dedicated existing users will understand, the product has an incredible depth of functionality, longstanding and unique ways of presenting and interacting with that functionality, and also a very established Windows-centric user experience paradigm.

Actually, many of our users on macOS, who want the established CorelDRAW Graphics Suite experience for Windows, find that Parallels delivers an optimal solution for them. So why make a version for macOS that has a different user interface for the same underlying depth of power and functionality? That is what we evaluated and evolved during the planning and design phases of the product, while the development team brought all that functionality to life on the new platform. We worked closely with Apple to iterate through various ideas of how to best embrace the macOS platform paradigms in a way that resulted in a product experience that would be most familiar to Mac users engaging with the product for the first time, or at least for the first time in a long while.

Windows and macOS are fundamentally different platforms with different systems and frameworks for things like application windows, menus, toolbars, keyboard shortcuts, and more. Users have different expectations, depending on what they use. We strove to deliver native products that embrace the particular design paradigms of each platform, while we adhered to their respective interface guidelines and core user expectations.

On macOS, we designed for application windows that utilize the standard customizable macOS-native toolbar, and a single inspector panel at the right. If you have a MacBook Pro, you can also enjoy the additional Touch Bar experience. While Windows users will miss the ability to make multiple custom floating toolbars or float numerous dockers, Mac users understand a different set of conventions, because they are similar to other macOS-native applications they use, including those made by Apple. Where Windows users expect scrollbars and mousewheel, Mac users may be more familiar with navigating their applications with a Magic Mouse or a MacBook’s Force Touch trackpad.

We will certainly continue to evolve and iterate in these areas, especially as macOS and Apple hardware continue to evolve in the future. Customization is definitely an area we want to do more with, as the product evolves, to meet more of the needs of macOS users in ways that are both optimized and integrated with native macOS paradigms. In particular, we are gaining insights from user feedback on the most commonly used items to consider adding to the set of commands available on the native macOS toolbar.

We also felt some things were core to the established product experience and should remain consistent across platforms, such as interacting with tools and objects on the canvas, working with color, configuring application preferences and document properties, printing and exporting, and more. These are core to the trusted experience you expect with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite.

Our long-standing global user base builds their businesses, develops their creative voices, and realizes their imaginations with our products. We strive to continually develop and improve, and your feedback is essential to the design and development of future releases. We invite Mac users to join our beta program and work with us to provide ongoing feedback to shape the evolution of the macOS product, in both near-term updates and future versions. If this interests you, please visit

Stela Kostova - Director, Product Design, Corel

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  • Don't take this the wrong way but all you said doesn't fix the issues that are within CorelDraw for Mac. The biggest issue in my opinion (and from others) is that this version for Mac is slow and uses tremendous amounts of CPU power for very simple things like typing. I can't imaging that Corel did not see this when they were in the test stages. I will continue to use parallels and Corel on windows (as much as I hate windows this works way better). 

    Yes, its nice to think of he people using the Mac but your biggest customer base was use to the way and tools that Corel presents in windows so this is what you should have thought of and those that use Corel for the first time and that have never used it on windows can then get use to using just like the others. heck other software companies do this. why not Corel? 

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