Upgrades have ended but Corel support gave me a final chance to upgrade (from X8) to 2019. However, this costs AU$309.00 + AU$140 ("upgrade protection") = AU$449.00. I already have to spend AU$890 p.a. for an Adobe CC subscription and that's mandatory as all my client files are sent to me in Illustrator or Indesign. On top of that I've now got the Affinity Suite running, which is an absolute bargain at AU$80.00 per application for three apps (photo , designer and publisher, perpetual licences).
I've been using CorelDraw since the first version, so that's 31 years, but over the past decade I've only pulled it out a few times a year for special jobs - processing DXF files or doing logo designs. I still prefer Corel's curve editing approach - I love the way you can delete nodes but retain a curve shape, the right-click menus for adjusting node types etc. and a lot of the more technical aspects. Other things still give me the s**ts but I won't nit-pick all of those here. Basically I stuck with Corel as I wanted to support an alternative to Adobe, and because the package was good value with a big pile of fonts and stock imagery (available as a bulk package, not the "browse in the cloud" pain-in-the-ass that they now offer).
But then Corel (the company) started to change its attitude and is behaving like a baby-Adobe. It looks like they want to move to a subscription-style approach eventually. That's fine, but if I'm going to rent software I'll rent Adobe CC, as I can make use of Photoshop, Illustraotr, Premiere, After Effects, Dreamweaver and XD at the very least, and Photoshop absolutely kills PhotoPaint.
The final problem is this - I just can't afford to spend AU$449.00 now to get an upgrade to the 2019 version, and I've heard from these forums that CD2019 is a buggy mofo. That means if I ever want to upgrade in future I'd be looking at circa AU$900.00 to get back into CorelDraw, money that can be better spent elsewhere. It's a sad day for me, but I'm going to have to say goodbye to Corel. Maybe it's still good value if you have a shop that works only in Corel, but for me it's just an additional tool for very occasional usage and I can't justify the cost of that any more. I wonder if there are many more peeps like me who just liked having it around for odd-jobs rather than a daily mainstay?
So, goodby CorelDraw.
In one respect I wish I could say goodbye to CorelDRAW. But given I work in the sign industry and many in that field use CorelDRAW we need it on hand for the sake of opening such files accurately. Illustrator is very dodgy at opening CDR files. OTOH, I think it's utter BS that CorelDRAW refuses to open or even import CDR files made prior to version 6. For really ancient archive files in our own collection or that from another sign company it takes an older computer running something like X3 or earlier to open CDR files dating back to version 3. IMHO any current version of CorelDRAW should be able to open CDR files dating clear back to version 1.0. It is flat out UNACCEPTABLE for backward compatibility not to be maintained. As a comparison the current version of Illustrator can open 30+ year old version 1 Illustrator files.Regarding node (or anchor point) editing, the last couple or so builds of Illustrator have improved on their handling of adding or removing anchor points from a path without radically changing it. However, I strongly recommend Astute Graphics' plug-ins for Illustrator if you're not using them already. The Inkscribe, Vectorscribe and Pathscribe plug-ins (among others) are really great for drawing and editing paths. One downside: Astute Graphics has gone to a psuedo subscription approach. You pay $119 and get their entire collection of Illustrator plug-ins (18 in all) plus free updates during the next 12 months. Then you have the opportunity to renew. If you don't want to do that you can keep using the Astute Graphics plug-ins you downloaded. I really like the Astute Buddy palette since it lists a bunch of keyboard shortcuts for whatever Astute Graphics-related tool you might be using.
Yes AI does not handle complex CorelDRAW files well at all, unfortunately it handles sign work even worse. When you move to the real money makers donor walls and monuments AI just plain falls flat on its face.
All of my large format digital printing work comes from Adobe-generated files, even if I'm bringing stuff over from CorelDRAW. Onyx Thrive and RasterLink Pro both work very well with Adobe generated EPS and PDF files. Adobe Illustrator has two basic limitations regarding sign design. One is the maximum art board size (227" X 227"), but that limitation may be going away in a pending update. The other problem is how Illustrator sizes, positions and aligns type objects. The dopey bounding box around type objects turns into a major hindrance. So, yeah, I would never design something like a complex donor wall monument in Illustrator. It's too much of a PITA.Illustrator has nothing equivalent to Corel's artistic text tool. I've made numerous requests to Adobe asking them to incorporate the ability to size, position and align letters according to a font's built-in cap height values. It's a frequent user request (or complaint) in Adobe's forums. In fairness, CorelDRAW doesn't really let users accurately size, position and align lettering according to font cap height values either. One can type out a place holder character like "E" in a sans-serif typeface like Helvetica and physically size, position and align that with accurate results. The task gets more dodgy when moving into fonts whose features dip below the baseline and rise above the cap height line (like scripts, decorative faces, etc).
I have two more AI PITAS for complex files and that is file size and system resource use. When the work gets tough AI gets SLOOOOOW!
AI is a clunker, but I'm not doing signs or complex artwork. I get sent packaging artwork, which is always done in Illustrator. I then process that to make texture maps for 3D models. Apart from that I'm usually just designing icons or logos or small graphics for use in other applications (video editing, page layout apps). I guess my point is that as a casual and infrequent user of CorelDraw it's become too expensive for me to justify - I fully understand it being valuable for people who use it full-time for jobs that it may do better than other applications.