CorelDRAW is a vector graphics editor developed and marketed by Corel Corporation. It is also the name of the Corel graphics suite, which includes the bitmap-image editor Corel Photo-Paint as well as other graphics-related programs (see below). The latest version is marketed as CorelDraw Graphics Suite 2020 (equivalent to version 22), and was released in March, 2020. CorelDraw is designed to edit two-dimensional images such as logos and posters.
In 1987, Corel engineers Michel Bouillon and Pat Beirne undertook to develop a vector-based illustration program to bundle with their desktop publishing systems. That program, CorelDraw, was initially released in 1989. CorelDraw 1.x and 2.x ran under Windows 2.x and 3.0. CorelDraw 3.0 came into its own with Microsoft's release of Windows 3.1. The inclusion of TrueType in Windows 3.1 transformed CorelDraw into a serious illustration program capable of using system-installed outline fonts without requiring third-party software such as Adobe Type Manager; paired with a photo-editing program (Corel Photo-Paint), a font manager and several other pieces of software, it was also part of the first all-in-one graphics suite.
Features by version
|Release date||Version||Reading files||Writing files|
|Jan 1989||1||1||1||2.1||First version|
|Mar 1989||1.01||1||1||2.1||Introduces backups on save, and draw rectangles from their centre|
|Apr 1989||1.02||1||1||2.1||IBM PIF file format support|
|Jul 1989||1.10||1||1||2.1||102 new fonts in Corel's proprietary WFN format, with WFNBOSS file font manager|
|Feb 1990||1.11||1||1||2.1||AutoCAD DXF import/export support|
|Sep 1991||2||1, 2||1, 2||3.0||Envelope tool (for distorting text or objects using a primary shape), Blend (for morphing shapes), Extrusion (for simulating perspective and volume in objects) and Perspective (to distort objects along X and Y axes). CorelDraw for Unix also became available.|
|15 May 1992||3||1, 2, 3||2, 3||3.0, 3.1 (preferred)||Included Corel Photo-Paint asp ( for bitmap editing), CorelSHOW (for creating on-screen presentations), CorelCHART (for graphic charts), Mosaic and CorelTRACE (for vectorizing bitmaps). The inclusion of this software was the precedent for the actual graphic suites. CorelDraw for Unix also became available. The fonts bundled with CorelDraw are no longer in the proprietary Corel format WFN, but in Type 1 PostScript fonts and TTF TrueType formats.|
|20 May 1993||4||1, 2, 3, 4||3, 4||3.1||Photo-Paint (for bitmap editing), CorelSHOW (for creating on-screen presentations), CorelCHART (for graphic charts), CorelMOVE for animation, Mosaic and CorelTRACE (for vectorizing bitmaps). Multi-page capabilities, Powerlines, support for graphic tablets, Clone tool, elastic node editing, Envelope tool.|
|27 May 1994||5||1, 2, 3, 4, 5||3, 4, 5||3.1||This is the last version which was made for Windows 3.x. Corel Ventura was included in the suite (and then sold as a separate program); it was a desktop publishing application akin to PageMaker, Quark XPress, or InDesign.|
|24 Aug 1995||6||3, 4, 5, 6||5, 6||95||This is the first version which was made exclusively for 32-bit Windows. New features were customizable interface, Polygon, Spiral, Knife and Eraser tools. Corel Memo, Corel Presents, Corel Motion 3D, Corel Depth, Corel Multimedia Manager, Corel Font Master and Corel DREAM (for 3D modelling) were included in the suite.|
|8 Oct 1996||7||3, 4, 5, 6, 7||5, 6, 7||95, NT 4||Context-sensitive Property bar, Print Preview with Zoom and Pan options, Scrapbook (for viewing a drag-and-dropping graphic objects), Publish to HTML option, Draft and Enhanced display options, Interactive Fill and Blend tools, Transparency tools, Natural Pen tool, Find & Replace wizard, Convert Vector to Bitmap option (inside Draw), Spell checker, Thesaurus and Grammar checker. The suite included Corel Scan and Corel Barista (a Java-based document exchange format).|
|27 Oct 1997||8||3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8||6, 7, 8||95, NT 4||Digger selection, Docker windows, Interactive Distortion, 3D, Envelope and tools, Realistic Dropshadow tool, interactive color mixing, color palette editor, guidelines as objects, custom-sized pages, duotone support. Corel Versions was included in the suite.|
|31 Aug 1999||9||3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9||5, 6, 7, 8, 9||95, 98, NT 4||Mesh fill tool (for complex color filling), Artistic Media tool, Publish to PDF features, embedded ICC color profiles, Multiple On-screen Color Palettes and Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications 6 support. The suite included Canto Cumulus LE, a piece of software for media management.|
|13 Nov 2000||10||10†||10 ‡||98, Me, NT 4, 2000||CorelR.A.V.E. (for vector animation), Perfect Shapes, Web graphics tools (for creating interactive elements such as buttons), Page sorter, multilingual document support, navigator window. Open, save, import and export in SVG format.|
|1 Aug 2002||11||11 †||5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11||98, Me, NT 4, 2000, XP||Symbols library, image slicing (for web design), pressure-sensitive vector brushes, 3-point drawing tools.|
|10 Feb 2004||12||12 †||12 ‡||2000, XP||Dynamic guides, Smart Drawing tools, Export to MS Office or Word option, Virtual Segment Delete tool, Unicode text support.|
|17 Jan 2006||X3 (13)||X3 †||7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, X3||2000, 2003, XP (32-bit, 64-bit), Vista(32-bit only), 7, 8||Double click Crop tool (the first vector software able to crop groups of vectors and bitmap images at the same time), Smart fill tool, Chamfer/Fillet/Scallop/Emboss tool, Image Adjustment Lab. Trace became integrated inside Draw under the name PowerTrace.|
|22 Jan 2008||X4 (14)||7 to X4 †||7 to X4||XP, Vista, 7, 8||Whatthefont font identification service linked inside CorelDraw, ConceptShare, Table tool, independent page layers, live text formatting, support for RAW camera files.|
|23 Feb 2010||X5 (15)||7 to X5||7 to X5||XP, Vista, 7, 8||Built-in content organizer (CorelConnect), CD, web graphics and animation tools, multi-core performance improvement, digital content (professional fonts, clip arts, and photos), object hinting, pixel view, enhanced Mesh tool with transparency options, added touch support, and new supported file formats. It has developed Transformation, which makes multiple copies of a single object.
For the first time, OpenType versions of Helvetica, Frutiger, Futura and Garamond #3 font families (32 fonts total) from Linotype foundry are included instead of the Bitstream counterparts. All but Garamond are in OpenType Pro format.
|20 Mar 2012||X6 (16)||7 to X6||7 to X6||XP (32-bit only), Vista, 7, 8||64-bit and multi-core processor native support. Support for 64-bit Adobe Photoshop plugins. More tools to import and export from Adobe Creative Suite and Publisher. Object properties, styles, and color styling consolidated into their own docking toolbars (Dockers). A new Unicode OpenType-based text engine modernizes text handling, including full international language support (the legacy text mode is retained). Dynamic alignment guides allow for easy repositioning without setting static guidelines. CorelConnect content organizer allows for in-app access to online sources such as Flickr for image and clip art assets. New tools for pushing, pulling, smearing, etc. vector objects. Improvements in frame-based layout, masking, clipping and effects.|
|27 March 2014||X7 (17)||7 to X7||7 to X7||7, 8, 10*||New default workspaces for illustrators, beginners, and other user roles; new training videos. New tabbed documents can break out of main window, making multi-screen work easier. A few more retouching and fill tools, additional color harmony and QR code generating tools. New Guidelines Dockers continued the migration of tools away from dependence on pull-down menus.
|15 March 2016||X8 (18)||7 to X8||7 to X8||7, 8, 10||Added new Font List selection filtering system; Corel Font Manager replaced Bitstream Font Navigator. Ability to hide objects and groups, not just layers. Possible to copy and paste portions of curve segments. Adjacent node selection, improved Knife tool, photo retouching Healing tool, improved perspective correction tool, improved (Gaussian) feathering on drop shadows, and automated camera effects such as bokeh and sepia. Startup and feature tours; enhanced Hints. Border and Grommet and Canvas Prep and Stretch tools for large format and commercial print applications. High-resolution displays became officially supported with new scalable icons and UI elements. First version to fully support Windows 10.|
|11 April 2017||2017 (19)||7 to 19||7 to 19||7, 8, 10||LiveSketch™, 4K and real-time stylus support, Enhanced Font list Box and nodes, Supports Microsoft Windows tablet mode & surface dial.|
|10 April 2018||2018 (20)||7 to 20||7 to 20||7, 8, 10||Symmetrical Drawing Mode, Block Shadow Tool, publish to WordPress, Impact tool, Pointillizer™, and PhotoCocktail™, straighten photos interactively, adjust photo perspective interactively, apply envelopes to bitmaps.|
|12 March 2019||2019 (21)||7 to 21||7 to 21||7, 8, 10||Object Docker, Non-Destructive Effects, Pixel-perfect Workflow, Find and replace workflow, Supports 64-bit TWAIN scanner, PDF/X Support, digital asset management, improved performance, enhanced print merge, modern templates.|
|12 March 2020||2020
|7, 8.1, 10||Includes a suite of collaboration tools, including Copy editing, a Comments Docker, Annotation tools, and Cloud client sharing. Microsoft and Google GSuite sign-ons are supported.
Features include new AI-assisted PowerTRACE, bitmap upsampling, and bitmap artifact compression removal; new Stylized effects such as Pastel and Woodcut; nondestructive (lens) bitmap effects; another edge-finding mask tool; improved search and replace; and sliders to adjust OpenType variable fonts (Windows only).
† CorelDraw 10 to X4 can open files of version 3 and later, but certain features may not be supported.
‡ The list of file formats that CorelDraw 10 to X4 can write may not be complete in this table.
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite was originally developed for Microsoft Windows 3, and as of 2020 runs on Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. macOS releases began on March 12, 2019, after an 18-year absence (the previous version for OS X was version 11, released in 2001).
Previously supported platforms
CDR file format
In its first versions, the CDR file format was a completely proprietary file format primarily used for vector graphic drawings, recognizable by the first two bytes of the file being "WL". Starting with CorelDraw 3, the file format changed to a Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF) envelope, recognizable by the first four bytes of the file being "RIFF", and a "CDR*vrsn" in bytes 9 to 15, with the asterisk "*" being just a blank in early versions. Beginning with CorelDraw 4 it included the version number of the writing program in hexadecimal ("4" meaning version 4, "D" meaning version 13). The actual data chunk of the RIFF remains a Corel proprietary format.
From version X4 (14) on, the CDR file is a ZIP-compressed directory of several files, among them XML files and the RIFF-structured riffdata.cdr with the familiar version signature in versions X4 (CDREvrsn) and X5 (CDRFvrsn), and a root.dat with CorelDraw X6, where the bytes 9 to 15 look slightly different – "CDRGfver" in a file created with X6. "F" was the last valid hex digit, and the "fver" now indicates that the letter before no longer represents a hex digit.
Use of CDR files in other programs
In December 2006 the sK1 open-source project team started to reverse-engineer the CDR format. The results and the first working snapshot of the CDR importer were presented at the Libre Graphics Meeting 2007 conference taking place in May 2007 in Montreal (Canada). Later on the team parsed the structure of other Corel formats with the help of the open source CDR Explorer. As of 2008, the sK1 project claims to have the best import support for CorelDraw file formats among open source software programs. The sK1 project developed also the UniConvertor, a command line open source tool which supports conversion from CorelDraw ver.7-X4 formats (CDR/CDT/CCX/CDRX/CMX) to other formats. UniConvertor is also used in the Inkscape and Scribus open source projects as an external tool for importing CorelDraw files.
In 2007, Microsoft blocked CDR file format in Microsoft Office 2003 with the release of Service Pack 3 for Office 2003. Microsoft later apologized for inaccurately blaming the CDR file format and other formats for security problems in Microsoft Office and released some tools for solving this problem.
In 2012 the joint LibreOffice/re-lab team implemented libcdr, a library for reading CDR files from version 7 to X3 and CMX files. The library has extensive support for shapes and their properties, including support for color management and spot colors, and has a basic support for text. The library provides a built-in converter to SVG, and a converter to OpenDocument is provided by writerperfect package. The libcdr library is used in LibreOffice starting from version 3.6, and thanks to public API it can be freely used by other applications.
Other applications supporting CDR files
CDR file format import is partially or fully supported in following applications:
- Adobe Illustrator – CorelDraw 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
- Corel PaintShop Pro
- Corel WordPerfect Office
- Inkscape with UniConvertor installed; partial support
- LibreOffice using libcdr
- Adobe FreeHand – CorelDraw 7, 8
- Microsoft Visio 2002 – CorelDraw! drawing file versions 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0 and 7.0 (.cdr), Corel Clipart (.cmx)
- sK1 – partial support
- Xara Designer Pro and Xara Photo & Graphic Designer – early versions of CorelDraw CDR and CMX
Notes and references
- "A Short History of CorelDraw", at corel.com, retrieved 11 Jan 2011........................................................................ (PDF version)
- Gerard Metrailler, "A little history of CorelDraw Graphics Suite", Fri, Oct 26 2007 at coreldraw.com/blogs/
- Lisa Picarille, "CorelDraw to be ported to Sun, Dec HP Unix, InfoWorld, 11 Mar 1991, page 27
- "New Products: Unix", Computerworld, 21 Sep 1992, page 58
- "Corel Announces 'CorelDraw 3.0'[dead link]", May 15, 1992 /PRNewswire/ via www.highbeam.com
- Heck, Mike (July 13, 1992). "CorelDraw 3 moves faster, integrates modules". InfoWorld. Vol. 14 no. 28. San Mateo, CA: InfoWorld Publishing. pp. 66–67. ISSN 0199-6649.
- "Index of ftp://ftp.corel.com/pub/CorelDRAW/DRAW_Unix/" at corel.com
- "New Products", Computerworld, 30 Aug 1993, page 55.
- "CorelDraw 3 will remain on market as low-price option", InfoWorld, April 19, 1993. (Anticipated date)
- "Testers praise CorelDraw 5", InfoWorld, April 18, 1995.
- "Corel Corporation Begins Shipping CorelDraw 6 Suite for Windows 95", August 24, 1995, at corel.com via archive.org
- "Corel Corporation Announces the Launch of CorelDraw 7", October 8, 1996, at corel.com via archive.org
- "Corel Corporation Launches CorelDraw 8", October 27, 1997, at corel.com via archive.org
- "Corel Launches CorelDraw 9 Premium Color Edition", August 31, 1999, at corel.com via archive.org
- "CorelDraw 10 Graphics Suite Available Now", Nov. 13, 2000, Corel Press Release via findarticles.com
- Troidl, David (2007). "SVG – From CorelDraw to Your Browser". Graphics Unleashed. Archived from the original on 23 February 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- "CorelDraw Graphics Suite 11 Now Available", Aug 1, 2002, at corel.com via archive.org
- "CorelDraw Graphics Suite 12 Marks a New Era of Intelligent Graphics Software", Corel press release, via Archive.org
- "Corel Introduces CorelDraw Graphics Suite X3", Jan 17-06, at corel.com. Full text at hexus.net
- "CorelDraw Graphics Suite X4 Unveiled Today", January 22, 2008, at Corel.com
- Arah, Tom (January 2008). "Product Reviews: CorelDraw Graphics Suite X4". PC Pro. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
- "CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5 Delivers More Versatility, Content and Color Tools for Graphics Professionals", February 23, 2010 at corel.com
- "CorelDraw X5 Whats New: CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5". Corel Corporation. February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-27.
- Iconic Fonts from Monotype Imaging Part of CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5 Archived 2013-01-29 at Archive.today
- "Corel Releases CorelDraw Graphics Suite X6", March 20, 2012 at corel.com
- "CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6 Reviewer's Guide – Corel Corporation" (PDF). Corel Corporation. February 2012. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
- "CorelDRAW Graphics X7 Press release", March 27, 2014, corel.com
- "CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X7 Reviewers Guide" (PDF). Corel Corporation. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
- "CorelDRAW Graphics X8 Press release", March 15, 2016, corel.com
- "CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X8 Reviewer's Guide" (PDF). Corel Corporation. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
- "CorelDRAW Graphics 2017 Press release", April 11, 2017, corel.com
- "CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2018". GlobeNewswire News Room. April 10, 2018. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
- "CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2019". GlobeNewswire News Room. March 12, 2019.
- "CorelDRAW Returns to Mac After Nearly 20 Years With macOS Mojave Dark Mode and Touch Bar Support". www.macrumors.com. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
- "CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2020". Techrika. Nov 6, 2020. Retrieved Dec 6, 2020.
- "CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2020 Product Guide" (PDF). Corel Corporation. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
- "Programming Guide – Developer Area". CorelDRAW Community. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
- "CorelDRAW X7 Supported file formats : CorelDraw (CDR) – CorelDraw (CDR) technical notes".
- "CorelDRAW CDR Signature Format". NTFS.com. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- Corel Corporation. "Corel Draw file format". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- ".CDR File Extension". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "CorelDRAW X7 Supported file formats : CorelDRAW Template (CDT) – Additional file formats".
- "Corel Presentation Exchange (CMX), CorelDRAW X7 Help".
- "sK1 illustration program – The history of sK1". Archived from the original on 2010-11-29. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Libre Graphics Meeting 2007 – Friday May 4". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "CDR explorer". Archived from the original on 2010-11-29. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Can I open/import *.cdr (Corel Draw Vector drawing file) files in Inkscape?". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "UniConvertor at Sourceforge.net". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "sK1 – UniConvertor – universal vector graphics translator". Archived from the original on 2010-11-29. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Information about certain file types that are blocked after you install Office 2003 Service Pack 3". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "CorelDraw .CDR file format and Microsoft Office 2003 SP3". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Microsoft admits to 'mistakes' in Office format fracas". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Support for Corel DRAW files in free software gets another chance". Libre Graphics World. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
- "LibreOffice CorelDraw Import filter – text support hatches out". Fridrich Strba. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
- "Libcdr resurrects Waldo, gets basic spot colors support". Libre Graphics World. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
- "Supported file formats in Illustrator CS4 and CS5". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "CorelCAD 2019 Reviewer's Guide" (PDF). Corel Corporation. 2018-12-20. Retrieved 2020-10-01.
- "Adobe Freehand MX 11.0 – Minimum System Requirements". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Visio2000: File Formats That Can Be Imported into Visio". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
You can import the following file formats into your Visio drawings: CorelDraw! Drawing File versions 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0 and 7.0 (.cdr), Corel Clipart (.cmx)
- "What you won't find in Microsoft Office Visio 2003". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
The following file formats and converters are no longer supported:CorelDraw! 3.0–7.0, Corel Clipart Format, CMX
- "UniConvertor 1.1.5 review". Retrieved 2010-12-01.