A Senior Graphic Designer joins the Corel team and learns to embrace the PC life.
Are you a Mac or a PC? I believe this statement is viewed as something much larger than simply computer platforms, it’s as personal as asking “Are you right-winged or lefty?” I have always addressed the Mac vs PC debate with an adamant “Mac!” After all, am I not the exact creative individual Mac makes their products for?
I mean, I own a pair of converse, and a hoodie, and if I required glasses they would be the thick-rim, funky kind. I consider myself this forward-thinking individual who eagerly embraces change, but why have I never even questioned changing my computer platform and becoming “multi-platform”? So what happens when a designer who has spent her entire career and university training working with Adobe programs on a Mac enters the world of Corel and uses a PC? I was about to find out…
While the design of Mac computers are beautiful, I was surprised to discover that there are a variety of PC computers to choose from, a variety of ways the systems can be set up for each user, and a variety of software programs and hardware components that can be used with the PC. The image in my mind of the oversize d computer with the bland gray desktop circa 1995 are long gone. There are differences in approach and style, but I now realize that you can get the job done with a Mac or a PC and we can all get along! Really, we can.
After a few weeks of getting acquainted with a PC, I started my position as a Senior Graphic Designer at Corel. Not only was I excited to work for a creative brand, but I have the Corel products to thank for sparking my interest in design when I was a youth. As I took the first step and opened CorelDRAW, a flood of relief came over me as I saw my toolbar with all my tools (even in the same order!) that I was so accustomed to. I proceeded to set up my page and guides with no problems, and then I discovered my layers, swatches, fonts… they were all there! My first thought was to try out the illustration capabilities. The results were the same as Illustrator, but with a few minor differences to get there. If you are making the switch to CorelDRAW, here are a few tips I have learned:
- A general Mac to PC tip is that the Control key is your Command key, once you get used to this, most of your shortcuts are the same.
- You can change your workspace to resemble Illustrator.
- Outlines are called Curves in CorelDRAW .
- Gradient is called Fountain.
- Your right click will become your best friend.
- “Type on a path” is “Fit text to path” in CorelDRAW , and there are actually more options for this function than in Illustrator.
- There are no glyphs buttons, they are done using shortcut commands.
- You must use guides to set up your bleed and slug.
- Keep your view in “Enhanced ” to always view your work in high quality.
- The “Live Trace” function is called “Trace Bitmap” and is found in your top toolbar.
- The pen tool is very similar, however to have more control over your nodes there is a top bar with node options.
After years of wishing Illustrator and InDesign could get together and have a baby that would allow for multiple pages and illustration to coincide, I was shocked to discover CorelDRAW offers that solution! And many others, including bringing different file formats into CorelDRAW .
So for all the creative individuals who fear, as I did, that they will lose the functions of their much-loved graphics software, I encourage you to explore the Corel products. Not only do they compare in form and function, but they are actually more intuitive, cost-efficient and offer you solutions to the issues that have caused you on so many occasions to say “If only I could do this…” There is a world outside Mac, and it ain’t so bad.
Have you made the switch to a PC or to Corel products? I would love to hear any tips you may have and I promise to share any I come across in my upcoming posts. Cheers.