With a focus on both the occasional graphics user and the professional, CorelDraw Graphics Suite X6 (download) hits the market toting a wealth of tools that make manipulating graphics much simpler than before. Hobbyists can check it out to make newsletters, calendars, or banners, while business users can use it to make simple marketing collateral or sales presentations. And of course, designers can use it design things as well.
The new version of the Suite, X6, comes with native 64-bit and multicore processor support, which bumps up the speed of this program noticeably. This means less waiting when exporting, printing, or copying images between typically processor-hungry apps like CorelDraw and Corel Photo-Paint.
In addition to performance, though, what's really impressive is X6's list of brand-new features, which make some of the more common graphics tasks significantly easier.
For instance, the new Smart Carver tool makes it easy to remove an unwanted area from a photo while still maintaining the photo's aspect ratio. The new shape tools let you work with Smear, Twirl, Attract, and Repel effects when refining your vector objects. What's more, there are new additions like page numbering, alignment guides, advanced OpenType support, and interactive frames for creating mock-ups. For professionals, Corel Connect has also been improved, and can handle work in multiple trays concurrently. It even comes with a nifty search browser, which lets you quickly pull images from selected sources across the Web.
One thing I really love is how X6 deals with colors. With the new Color Styles docker you can easily make color changes on multiple objects throughout a project. Just link your objects to a style, then any changes made to that style will propagate across all of the linked objects. This works really well with the new Color Harmony functionality, which lets you modify a set of colors collectively. This makes it easy to create multiple color schemes of a single object.
Finally, the CorelDraw Graphics Suite now includes the new Corel Website Creator. This brand-new app provides a WYSIWYG design environment that supports CSS, XHTML, PHP, JSP, and more. It also supports drag-and-drop for easy object placement.
CorelDraw Graphics Suite X6 comes with CorelDraw, Photo-Paint, PowerTrace, Connect, Capture, and the new Website Creator. The full version (download) is available for $499 and the upgrade is available for $199.