Tips and Tricks
Please note that most of the tips below work only for CorelDRAW 8 and 9 but
some are valid for earlier versions also.
Do you know that...?
Selecting and transforming objects
- You can select an object that is a part of a group by clicking it while holding down the
- If you marquee-select objects with the Alt key down, then you select
objects that are not only surrounded with the marquee completely but also only
"touched" with it.
- To select an object completely obscured by another object, just click where the
underlying object should be with the Alt key down.
- To stretch an object from its center hold down Shift, and drag one of
the side selection handles. To stretch an object in increments of 100%, hold down Ctrl
as you drag a selection handle. To stretch an object vertically and horizontally at the
same time, hold down Alt as you drag one of the corner selection handles.
- You can rotate and skew an object freely if you hold down Alt key while
Working with text
- In CorelDRAW 8 there's a feature of automatic node tracking. When it is on, a pointer
turns into the Shape tool whenever you move it over a curve node. However if you press
"Z" you enable a node tracking for text objects. Hold down
"Z" key and move over a character node. The pointer turns into
the Shape tool and you can drag separate characters by their nodes.
- To change text kerning using the keyboard, select two or more characters of Paragraph or
Artistic text with the Text tool, then hold down Ctrl+Shift,
and press ">" or "<" to either
increase or decrease the space between characters.
- By Pressing Ctrl key while you drag a character with the Shape tool you
can constrain it to the text baseline.
- While in text editing mode, you can use Ctrl+B to apply bold to
selected text, Ctrl+I for italic, Ctrl+U for underline.
You can also set text justification by pressing Ctrl+N to apply no
justification, Ctrl+L justify left, Ctrl+E
center, Ctrl+R justify right, Ctrl+J full
justify, Ctrl+Shift+A All Caps, Ctrl+Shift+K
Small Caps. Pressing Shift+F3 brings up Change Case dialog and Ctrl+Shift+C
toggles display of non-printable characters. Alt-F3 invokes Find Text
- If you press Ctrl+M with Paragraph text object selected you can
add/remove bullets to/from text.
- You can interactively change the point size of selected text (object) if you press Ctrl
and 2, 4, 6 or 8 on
the numeric keypad. Ctrl+8/2 increases/decreases the text size in steps of 1 point.
Ctrl+6/8 increases/decreases the text size in steps specified in text size drop-down list.
These steps are 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 24, 36, 48, 72 and so on.
- Pressing Ctrl+F8 converts artistic text object to paragraph text object
and vice versa.
Drawing and editing curves
- Holding down Alt while drawing with the Bezier tool let's you
reposition the last node you created. Holding down "C" changes
the last node to a cusp node, while holding down "S" changes
the last node to a smooth node.
- When you cut an object with the Knife tool you can choose to leave only one part of the
object by pressing Tab while the pointer is over the ending point of the
cut (but don't release the mouse button until you select a desired part).
- Holding down Shift while cutting an object with the Knife tool puts you
in Bezier curve mode. Holding down Shift+Ctrl puts you
in Bezier curve mode with the curve constrained by increments of 15 degrees.
- You can add a node to a curve by double-clicking with the Shape tool on a curve's
segment where you want the node to be added. The same way, you can delete a node by
double-clicking it with the Shape tool.
- While in node editing mode (Shape tool selected), you can add a node exactly in the
middle of a curve segment if you select a node and press gray "+"
on the numeric keypad. You can select several nodes at once to add multiple new nodes to
- To move a control point hidden under its node, deselect all nodes on the curve object,
hold down Shift, and drag the control point out from under the node.
- To select the first or end node on a curve object, select the curve object with the
Shape tool. Then press Home to select the first node, or press End
to select the end node. Note that on a closed curve, the first node and the end node are
- To select all nodes on a curve, hold down Ctrl+Shift
and select the curve with the Shape tool.
- With the Pick tool selected, you can easily access full node editing capability by
holding down "Z" on the keyboard.
- Pressing Tab while you draw with Freehand or Natural Pen tool toggles
between straight and freehand line segments.
- Double-click outline/fill color swatch on the status bar to bring up the corresponding
outline color/fill dialog.
- You can quickly move a button on a toolbar by dragging it while holding down Shift
and Alt. To delete a button from a tool bar, drag it off the toolbar with
Alt key down. You can duplicate a button or create a copy of it on
another toolbar if you Ctrl+Alt+drag it.
- You can change the image of a button on a toolbar if you click it with the right mouse
button while in Customize Toolbars section of Options dialog and select Properties from
the pop-up menu.
- You can group roll-up windows if you Alt-click the title bar of one roll-up and drag it
over another. To ungroup a roll-up just drag its name from the group list of a roll-up
- The Status Bar in CorelDRAW 8.232 suffers from some problems and tends to loose some
controls such as object datails. To restore it to the default state click it with the
right mouse button and choose Reset Status Bar from the pop-up menu.
- You can enter arithmetic expressions in the Proprty bar, such as 1.0+(.4+.2)*2. Thus, to
increase the object width by .75" you don't have to calculate in mind, just type
"+.75" at the end of the current width value and hit Enter. Or
to scale the object by 50% just type "/2" in its width/height field.
- You can duplicate an object without offset by pressing gray "+"
on the numeric keypad.
- You can adjust the distance for placing duplicates instantly without visiting Options
dialog. After you duplicated an object, move it to desired position. If you duplicate the
object again, a duplicate will be placed at the new offset. Once the object is deselected,
duplicate offset distance is reset to its default values.
- You can align objects without opening Align dialog box. After you select objects press
"C" to center them horizontally, "L"
align to left, "R" align to right, "T"
align to top, "B" align to bottom, "E"
- If you press Alt key while placing an imported picture, you can scale
- Pressing Alt+Arrow keys pans the document.
- You can click a color well in the on-screen palette with Ctrl held down
to add 10% of that color to fill of selected object(s).
- If you click on a color well and pause for a second, the color variation window pops up
allowing you to choose variations of the selected color.
- If you hit the spacebar or Enter key when CorelDRAW
prompts you to specify where to place the imported image, the image is placed in the
center of the current page.
- Pressing Ctrl+Shift+A brings Copy Properties From... dialog.
More tips to come soon!
If you have problems using CorelDRAW (e.g. crashes, hangs, etc) and nothing seems to
help, try reseting your workspace. Corrupt workspace information might be the major
problem which may result in CorelDRAW not launching.
To restore the workspace to the factory defaults press F8 while launching CorelDRAW8.
Then you will be prompted whether you want to overwrite the workspace data with its
factory defaults. You may also do this from a DOS box command line. Use switch
"/FACTORY" on the command line that has the same effect as pressing F8:
However if this doesn't help, then probably you'll have to reinstall CorelDRAW. Don't
forget to clean up the workspaces after you uninstalled CorelDRAW because they are not
removed by Uninstaller if you are running multi-user system setup.
If you have Windows 95 installed on your computer and under Control
Panel/Passwords/User profiles you have clicked on "All Users of this PC use
the same configuration..." then you only need to delete Corel/Draw8 folder
(or whatever you installed CorelDRAW8 into). Don't forget to backup any custom files
(color palettes, patterns, templates, scripts, etc.) first!
If you have Windows 95 installed on your computer and under Control
Panel/Passwords/User profiles you have clicked on "Users can customize..."
or you have Windows NT 4 installed, then follow these steps to remove CorelDRAW8
- Under your Windows directory find a folder called Profiles.
- In that folder select the user profile that you used when you ran CorelDRAW8 and open
- Choose Application Data folder and then Corel folder.
Delete the folder called CorelDRAW 8. Deleting other files or folders may
result in not being able to uninstall other Corel applications on your system