Corel's CorelDraw Premium Suite X5 is a package that bundles CorelDraw X5 graphics software, Corel Web Creator, Corel VideoStudio Pro X3 video editing software, and other useful content creation packages such as SWiSHzone's Swish Max3 Flash animation package.
The bundled package is intended to provide an end-to-end system for the creation and editing of graphics, video and audio content for user-created web sites or optical discs, including the CD, DVD and Blu-Ray formats.
Corel Web Creator is not Corel's own software, but a version of the NetObjects Fusion web site design package, with a re-branded user interface.
The web and disc HD video and audio creation package, VideoStudio Pro X3, was developed on the back of Corel's acquisition of optical disc specialist InterVideo and video specialist Ulead in 2006.
Premium Suite X5 is only available as a boxed system, costs £579 + VAT, and contains two DVDs, one CD, a 315-page hardback manual, and a keyboard shortcuts card.
We installed the full set of Premium Suite X5 applications on our Intel 2.25GHz Core 2 Duo test Labs laptop, which has 2GB of system memory and runs under Windows 7 Ultimate, in around 80 minutes.
The first DVD contains CorelDraw's X5 Graphics Suite, a copy of SWiSHzone's SWiSH miniMax2 Flash animation package, a copy of the GPL Ghostscript package (v8.64) to give CorelDraw PostScript level 3 support, and 32 premium fonts from Linotype.
Users can opt to install these extra fonts, as well as clipart images, royalty-free photos, full-colour fills and other artistic media.
CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5 includes CorelDraw, Corel Photo-Paint, Corel Capture, Corel Connect, and Bitstream Font Navigator.
The second DVD contains Corel VideoStudio Pro X3. The CD contains Corel Website Creator X5, SWiSH Max3, and WinZip 14.5 Pro – software that Corel acquired in 2006.
The package supports 32- and 64-bit editions of Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. Users wishing to use Visual Studio (VS) 2008 to program Corel APIs to drive hardware other than printers will need VS 2008 service pack 1 installed.
CorelDraw X5 Graphics Suite new features
The main new feature in X5 is the media content search tool Corel Connect. Connect enables users to access content across all attached storage devices, and across network accessible storage using Microsoft’s desktop search.
Connect also aggregates any content that you install when you install Premium Suite. It also provides access to the web media content archives on three web sites – Flickr, Fotolia and iStockphoto.
We found Corel Connect easy to use. The search bar pulled content straight from these three web sites and from other folders on the network into the main viewing screen.
When a user wants to view content, Corel Connect opens up the program in which the content is stored. For example, if you select a .PS file, Connect automatically starts Adobe Photoshop CS4, importing the content into the program ready for editing.
But this does not apply to all content types. For example, we couldn’t click on an MP3 file or import other sound files or video content directly into Premium Suite’s VideoStudio Pro X3.
This differs from CorelDraw, where users can easily fire up Corel PhotoPaint if they need to edit or re-touch bitmapped content.
So for web site elements created using CorelDraw, users will have to export content, fire up WebSite Creator and then import that content manually. You can, however, cut and paste text or graphics into the various web site elements.
One big criticism levelled at CorelDraw since the first version was released was its lack of professional colour management – that is, its inability to ensure that the colour you saw on screen matched the colour on the final printed product. Corel has fixed this major omission with X5 by completely rewriting the colour management engine.
Corel has also added workflow improvements. For example, it allows users to automatically set up colour profiles for the documents they are working on. This means printer profiles can be docked into the workflow and documents can be live-proofed. This cuts out the need for users to make site visits to print houses to check that colours are printed correctly.
Integration with Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
CorelDraw can be adjusted to meet the needs of companies that run big printer systems that require graphics content, such as engraving or embroidery machinery, because it integrates with Microsoft's Visual Studio 2008 integrated development environment (IDE). The graphics content can be pulled into the IDE.
VideoStudio Pro X3
VideoStudio Pro X3 allows users to create video content for both web and disc, and export that content to devices and standard disc formats like DVD, AVCHD and Blu-Ray. However, there is currently no support for 3D content.
Corel Web Site Creator
Web site creation can be divided into two: the look and feel of the web site and how users interact with the site; and the coding of the web site through which that look and feel is achieved. Web Site Creator deals with the coding phase competently, but does not enable users to design the look and feel of the site.
A very good attempt at an all-in-one web design system, limited slightly by lack of workflow integration between the three packages.
Despite this, the package is effective and much more affordable than rival packages, such as Adobe's Creative Suite 5 Master Collection.
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