What Is CorelDRAW?

Image Credit: jakkaje808/iStock/GettyImages

CorelDRAW is the name of a vector graphic software program from Corel that dates back to the 1980s and also the name of a graphics suite that includes CorelDRAW. Several versions of the CorelDRAW suite are available for home and professional users. A short note on CorelDRAW history on Corel's website explains the product's evolution.

What Is CorelDRAW?

Though the product is informally spelled and capitalized in various ways including Corel Draw and CorelDraw, Corel styles the product as CorelDRAW.

The modern user of a CorelDRAW suite of programs can choose from several versions including one designed for home users and students, one for professional graphic designers, and one aimed at technical illustration. Within the suite of programs are tools for organizing collections of images and capturing screenshots. The technical package also includes additional tools for doing precision technical drawing. The suite versions contain a core tool for creating and editing vector graphics, which is also known as CorelDRAW.

Separately, Corel also offers a two-dimensional and three-dimensional computer-assisted design tool known as CorelCAD.

CorelDRAW and Vector Graphics

When CorelDRAW was released in the late 1980s, it was among the first tools to offer color vector-graphic editing capabilities on a desktop computer. Vector graphics refer to illustrations created as relationships between points, lines and curves.

Other graphics programs create images pixel by pixel, specifying the location and color of the image dot by dot. Those designs are known as raster graphics, and they are easier for some users to create and visualize. They're commonly used online and for printing, but they often don't scale as evenly as vector graphics.

Vector graphics have the advantage of being easy to expand or shrink without any loss of quality because the length of lines and curves and the placement of points can be scaled proportionally according to a grid. Vector graphics can also take up smaller file sizes on disk than raster graphics. They're often preferred by graphic designers. Other tools including Adobe Illustrator and the free, open-source tool Inkscape can all create and edit vector graphics in various formats.

The scalable vector graphics, or SVG, image format often used on the web is one common format. It's designed to store graphics in human-readable and editable files.

Evolution of CorelDRAW

Over the years, the core CorelDRAW program has expanded to include additional features. It has added support for merging graphics and text, working with multiple pages, using modern font systems and other enhanced editing features. It has also expanded its set of features for converting raster images into vector graphics.