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Thomas Trimingham

Grading the Upgrades and Improvements to CorelDraw 2024

Even after just a short time testing, it’s clear the new software has leveled up.




IF YOU HAVE USED software for years to accomplish tasks, reviewing a new version always will be a bit nerve-wracking. What if everything is different and you must start from scratch with the tools? Fortunately, the team behind CorelDRAW’s new version for 2024 has screen printers and apparel designers’ best interests in mind.

The software’s latest version is a level up that is apparent after only a short time testing it. A couple of the advancements are not as flashy, but for someone like myself who uses it regularly to create value for clients using the most common features, I need it to run faster than previous version. But it also must be more stable and less likely to have challenges or shut down unexpectedly. I was more than happy to discover that the latest version has a significant boost in both speed and stability. After testing it with some particularly troublesome files with tons of pieces or layered effects I was able to work seamlessly through processes that caused problems before.

The highlights of the of CorelDRAW 2024 (version 25) include a host of new features, tools, and upgrades that directly should apply to your workflows, and help you create and process artwork faster than before. Things like the painterly brush tool, remote fonts, non-destructive effects, and lots more will provide different workflow options and new ways to use graphic software. The following are some of the best new features that are relevant to artists and printers in the printing industry:

Painterly Brush Tool

The interesting thing with updates to current graphic software is that the lines continue to blur between pixel-based artwork and vector- or object-based artwork. With the latest version, CorelDRAW has included several features that integrate pixel effects into vector-based workflow. The most prominent of these is the Painterly Brush tool, which will apply pixel-based effects to vector lines, text, and other vector objects. While working with this tool you rapidly can add all kinds of non-destructive effects to your objects or paths and make your designs look more complete in a shorter time frame. When using this tool to decorate a type design, several of the overlapping and background looks could be cycled through rapidly without losing the underneath vector base of the design (Figure 1).

Grading the Upgrades and Improvements to CorelDraw 2024


Remote Fonts

Looking for fonts, matching fonts, and managing font libraries has always been a giant challenge for graphic designers. A new text attribute in this version is the Remote Font option that can be enabled in the font dialog box. Just select the “font options” gear at the top of the dialog box when you have a font selected, and then click the “enable remote fonts” checkbox. When you go back to the font menu, it will display all the fonts you currently have online and on your system, but are not installed. They show up in the dialog box and to the right of the font, a cloud download icon will display next to the fonts that are not currently installed. If you hover over them, they will show in the preview box, and if you then select a Remote Font it will automatically be installed (Figure 2).

Grading the Upgrades and Improvements to CorelDraw 2024


Non-Destructive Effects Workflow

Corel really got organized with their bitmap effect menus. Now, when you apply a bitmap effect to an image through the main menu, it automatically opens the effects tab in the properties dialog box on the right-hand side of the workflow to show the application of the effect. All properties are then organized and managed through this central dialog box, so you don’t have to hunt through and select everything to find your effects on disparate pieces of your design. This is especially valuable when you have designs with multiple layers and lots of pieces with many different effects. The other key that makes this so user-friendly is that you can edit these effects quickly and without changing the base vector shapes. You rapidly can test different looks in objects and find just the right one that works without repeating multiple steps or having to save different versions of a file (Figure 3).

Grading the Upgrades and Improvements to CorelDraw 2024


Templates and Focus Mode

Included in this version are a host of newly designed templates with some cool integrations, like Print Merge, where you can integrate a layout with a database and then drop in variable data to part of it for faster output. The templates look professionally done and they are easy to load and manipulate.

Part of the advantage of this upgraded software package is the integration of tool locations and how intuitively the menus come up to aid in the design process flow. The new Focus Mode is a different way to edit overlapping objects in layouts that have a lot of stacked elements. Using this mode you quickly can drill down and select the entire object and the rest of the unselected elements become grayed out temporarily while you are editing.

Enhanced Assets Docker and Export Workflow

These improvements have significantly streamlined processes and will be initially underappreciated, but likely will be used very often by a huge percentage of users. The new Assets Docker allows you easily to preview lists of assets from libraries so you can easily drag them into your work. Now they can be quickly reviewed without extra steps so a lot of that time searching can be saved (Figure 4).

Grading the Upgrades and Improvements to CorelDraw 2024


The Export Workflow is similar in some sense. When you want to export a file or part of a selection of a file, this will open and show you different options you can select in an easy-to-use, progression-based workflow that saves your choices for quick replication. This means that now you don’t have to go through five or six different dialog box choices for the little attributes that you want an exported graphic to include.

Vision FX Plug In

I had a chance to review the vision FX plug-in that comes with this version of CorelDRAW and it is very interesting. I think there is a lot of potential for AI augmentation to graphic design tools in software. Instead of having AI just render things completely, you can use a starting image, and then push the plug in to re-render different concepts based on text prompts and different sliders in the dialog box. Beware, as with many AI generators, this will take some GPU and processing power in order to really utilize it well without any kind of slowdown (Figure 5).

Grading the Upgrades and Improvements to CorelDraw 2024


There are multiple other features and tools to the CorelDRAW 2024 version that I didn’t have time to cover, so go to and review them there.



Let’s Talk About It

Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Screen Printing Industry

LET’S TALK About It: Part 3 discusses how four screen printers have employed people with disabilities, why you should consider doing the same, the resources that are available, and more. Watch the live webinar, held August 16, moderated by Adrienne Palmer, editor-in-chief, Screen Printing magazine, with panelists Ali Banholzer, Amber Massey, Ryan Moor, and Jed Seifert. The multi-part series is hosted exclusively by ROQ.US and U.N.I.T.E Together. Let’s Talk About It: Part 1 focused on Black, female screen printers and can be watched here; Part 2 focused on the LGBTQ+ community and can be watched here.

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