View Full Version : A Corel Draw like program for the Mac?

Bill George
10-26-2015, 7:26 AM
I want to get away from the constant downloads. the annoying Windows 10 reminders and security issues with Microsoft and purchased a like new MacBook Pro, 8 Gb memory and running the latest OS. So Corel no longer makes a Mac version, and without spending a lot of money what are you Mac people using for creating files for your laser?

I know Corel will take PDF format files in just fine and my shop computer will still be a MS system, but not connected to the internet. It will still have Corel installed to use with the ULS laser.

Suggestions? BTW I have downloaded and trying to learn Swift Publisher but it may not be what I want.

William Adams
10-26-2015, 7:45 AM
Serif’s Affinity Designer: https://affinity.serif.com/

AutoDesk renamed iDraw to Graphic: http://graphic.autodesk.com/mac/

Inkscape works in X11, but is RGB only, unless paired w/ a post-processor: https://inkscape.org/

An old NeXTstep opensource program is Cenon: http://www.cenon.info/frame_gb.html


- http://www.eazydraw.com/
- Creaturehouse Expression
- Freehand if you’re running 10.6 or earlier

And of course there’s Illustrator if you can stand the license and interface.

John Bion
10-26-2015, 9:02 AM
CorelD and Vectric software are the only reason I use Parallels on my iMac. I would be thrilled to find Mac compatibles of these or for them to run on Macs (illustrated aside). I will have a peek at some of the ones mentioned above, thanks for those links William. I did not get along with Draftsight on my Mac and I tried a trial version of CorelCad (retails for something like £700) only to find it to be a virtual copy of Draftsight (which is free).

Bill George
10-26-2015, 9:14 AM
I would be interested to hear from someone who has used Autodesk Graphic. It looks very interesting and would tie in great with the rest of the Autodesk products I am using for my 3D printer. Swift Publisher is nice and would be great to replace MS Publisher... maybe.

William Adams
10-26-2015, 12:47 PM
Rather than Swift Publisher, I'd suggest Apple's Pages.app --- it's a truly native program, and reasonably capable.

Autodesk Graphic, as noted, was iDraw: http://www.indeeo.com/idraw/

review: http://www.macworld.com/article/2045193/mac-gems-idraw-has-surprising-horsepower-for-an-affordable-graphics-app.html

Bill George
10-26-2015, 5:12 PM
Not impressed with Swift but I paid for and downloaded from the App Store the Autodesk program and it has a lot of potential. Still trying to learn it. But without a good desktop publishing program like MS Publisher *no its not that good, my wife will never switch to Mac.

William Adams
10-26-2015, 6:00 PM
Have you tried a Pages.app?

Opensource option is Scribus or LyX (for technical documents).

Might be able to find an inexpensive used copy of Quark or InDesign.

Calamus seems to still be around: http://calamussoftware.com/index.html






There’s also Stone Design Create.

Clark Pace
10-26-2015, 6:26 PM
Inkscape. Similar and a few short cuts are the same.

Keith Winter
10-26-2015, 7:21 PM
Illustrator. But I think you have to be connected to the web these days, it's all subscription :(

Chris Edens
10-27-2015, 3:36 AM
I use parallels on my Mac only for Corel. Other than that I illustrator is your only bet and then you have to learn how to use it. The subscription from Adobe is not a bad deal. You can pick programs a la carte or get all of them for $600 a year. Not a bad deal since you get photoshop, illustrator and Lightroom.

William Adams
10-27-2015, 6:41 AM
I know how to use Illustrator, and have been using it, and have copies from v3.2 up until now. It’s never the first choice for anything other than editing a .ai file, or .eps which AI made or accessing OpenType features in a complex font, or running a script. The interface is Byzantine in its specificity, and the menu structure is like a Labyrinth.

I could retire if I had a dollar for every time I’ve asked an AI aficionado how to accomplish a task which takes N steps in FH, but N+X steps in AI — usually the response is, “Oh! That’s cool, I always did that this way, N+Y (where Y >X).”

Bill George
10-27-2015, 8:01 AM
Well today my goal with the Mac is to get A printer connected. My old faithful HP6p which is yes... old but works wonderful with the rest of our computers, and the laser cartridge lasts forever does not work. HP has no plans to update any drivers for El Capitan, solution is to buy a new printer from them of course. But I have a couple of other printers, one is a Brother laser that is only a couple years old and rumor online is it works just fine with the new OS.
For a MS compatible word processor and simple publisher type program I think I will try Pages.
Thanks for the help.

William Adams
10-27-2015, 5:57 PM
My suggestion for the HP6p printer would be to get an old PC set up on your network running Linux, set up CUPS and Ghostscript and have it pretend to be a PostScript printer.

Bill George
10-27-2015, 7:54 PM
Since its so old the official HP6p driver is long since obsolete. I have been using the HP version 5 Universal postscript driver on the network and it works fine. I did get the Brother connected today and that was fast and easy, just plugged in the USB cable and 10 seconds later its ready to go!

Tony Zona
10-27-2015, 8:41 PM
OP said he wants to create files on the Mac for his laser.

Please excuse my ignorance, but what kind of files does a laser engraver take?

William Adams
10-27-2015, 10:11 PM
Typically it’s a vector / Bézier file, esp.for cutting out outlines (though some CAM workflows for lasers will accept the more typical .dxf).

There are also programs which will accept raster / pixel images so as to do greyscale images.

Bill George
10-28-2015, 7:39 AM
My current laser a ULS, uses a Print Driver interface. In the Driver software you can designate certain colors to do different functions. For example I have Red (hairline width) set to do vector cutting at a much higher power and lower speed to do material cutting, such as cork or wood. I have Black set to do Raster engraving at a certain power, speed and frequency. So by changing colors in the design you can pretty much do anything. Corel also lets me do dithered black and white images that look pretty darn good on wood or even granite.

Dave Hutton
10-28-2015, 9:11 AM
I'd second the option of using parallels (or the other one - whose name I forget) its not much money to install. Obviously the idea of buying a mac is to go with mac programs but as we have discovered that's not always an option.

I have windows XP and 8.1 running under parallels with no problem (one at a time mind) and swap between programs/ OS easily seamlessly (most of the time :-)

I have just installed Corel X6 and that appears to work easily under 8.1

I also had problems getting printer drivers for some of my printers (quite new ones as well) and gave up in the end.

My two cents worth


William Adams
10-28-2015, 11:55 AM
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