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John Bion
08-24-2017, 5:00 AM
Hi All,
I would not want to start a Ford or Chevy debate here (Land Rover or Toyota debate if you are in Africa) :)

I have used CD for years now, currently on CD 2017. I use an iMac with Parallels for the Microsoft based software, with which I experience issues (crashing, not recalling recent work etc etc, these issues only occur with CD not with Vectric software and I have neither found a solution nor have the energy to do so at this stage).
If I was to swap to AI (which would work on my iMac), what is the learning curve like from one to the other and would AI open all my CD files? Is the trace function in AI as good or better than that in CD?

Thanks for your help. John

Scott Shepherd
08-24-2017, 8:53 AM
I use both every day. My design work, if done offline, is always done in Illustrator. But I'm pretty fluent in CorelDraw, and that's what's on every laser we have. Illustrator has a pretty steep learning curve compared to CD. Illustrator will NOT open a CD file. The trace function isn't any better than CD in my opinion. In fact, the trace function can be a bit complicated for many things and doesn't do a great job very often.

If I just ran lasers and didn't have printers, we'd probably only use CD. I would not make the switch you are talking about, unless you had a real need for Illustrator for some reason.

Mike Null
08-24-2017, 9:12 AM
I have a MacBook pro with parallels, win 10 and Corel X7. It is not a work machine but one I use in the den for puttering with my website, photo albums, social stuff etc. I'm a big fan of CD but I hate X7 because of it's quirky behavior. I also have it on my pc but I still use X5 for all my work.

I can't find a reason to get AI, though many of my customers use it.

John Bion
08-24-2017, 9:18 AM
Thank you Steve and Mike, coming from the two of you, I will call that solid advice. Much appreciated.
Kind Regards, John

William Adams
08-24-2017, 9:26 AM
One alternative to consider might by Serif's Affinity Designer --- competitor to Adobe Illustrator, it's inexpensive enough just to try, and doesn't entail a monthly fee. Available for both Windows and Mac OS X, but was initially developed for the latter.

Matthew Mann
08-24-2017, 12:39 PM
I use Corel Draw X5 at work for our design work. I have used Adobe Illustrator at home for personal graphic design, but I prefer CD. To me the trace tool is easier to use and I like the way the Bezier tool works on CD for when I need to rework a costumers artwork.

CD can open .AI files but I am not sure if AI can open .CDR. I normally ask my customers to send me PDF or EPS files anyways so its not a huge problem. If you go with AI you can get UniConvertor and convert your CDR files to AI. Here is the link (https://sk1project.net/modules.php?name=Products&product=uniconvertor)

I always hate saying this because its been said time an time again, but it all comes down to preference. Whatever software you feel comfortable with.

Look into getting a trail version of AI and see which one you like working with better.

Kev Williams
08-24-2017, 12:40 PM
I've run into AI users who flat out say that if you're using CD you're ------- stupid. That's enough to keep me away, lol.. Just to see if I am, I just now downloaded a 'free trial' version just to check out... free that is, IF I consider HAVING to sign up and giving yet another company the chance to overwhelm me with spam email from themselves and whomever else they give my email address to. I don't consider that free at all, so I guess I'll never know. Call me ------- stupid I guess. :D

Up until my new version of Reader, I've always liked Adobe. But the new version is 10% "Reader" and 90% advertising to buy Reader upgrades and other Adobe stuff. Glad I never throw out all the old setup files ;)

As for AI not opening Corel files, doesn't Corel's AI export work? None of my 3 graphics programs will open any of the other 2 but they'll ALL import and export DXF or EPS files.

I'll never need AI anyway. Between the 3 programs I can *usually* make laser engraveable vector art out of almost any *reasonable* art within 10 minutes. Yesterday for an experiment I started Tim's job again from scratch-- from the PDF to Corel-Paint (to remove splotch background) to Casmate (to vectorize) back to Corel (to export to DXF) to Ezcad to finished engraving-- took less than 10 minutes, including the engraving time. And I can probably cut that time down now that I've done it once ;) .. helps that I don't have to do one speck of editing...(I'll post a pic of the engraving it Tim says it's okay)

Scott Shepherd
08-24-2017, 1:01 PM
Illustrator is just a lot more complicated and powerful. Powerful on things that don't really aid or matter to people using lasers. Now, if you are doing proofing or need things to look almost realistic, then it's fantastic. But for lasering, not so much. Plus, I haven't seen a single laser system that worked as well with Illustrator as they do with Corel.

If you want to see what people do with it (and Corel), check out some of the vectors. You'll think they are photographs.....

https://www.vectorgraphit.com/10-photo-realistic-vectors/amp

Dave Sheldrake
08-25-2017, 1:48 AM
Careful John, Leetro doesn't like Illustrator and will play up when you least expect it

John Bion
08-25-2017, 2:08 AM
Thanks to all who have answered. I will stick with CD right now but will have a play with Serif’s Affinity Designer (when I actually manage to find the time).
All your input is much appreciated.
Regards, John

Ian Stewart-Koster
08-26-2017, 8:22 AM
I've used Illy since version 5, when I had to, and Corel since version 2. (still have the whoppping 3 floppy discs it came on!)

Corel Draw is miles more intuitive. Illustrator is nothing like Photoshop- except in a mental snapshot of the desktop.
I keep Illy to open stuff that Corel cannot handle, to then backwards-convert it so I can edit in Corel.

I prefer Indesign, even, to Illustrator- but those two are somewhat similar in many aspects.

As far as 'experts' go, well just because so many industry professionals use Illy, does not make them experts... some still manage to make a right hash of files, and do stupid things. I was sent a digital Illy file last week- 5 ft x 3 ft size, to be printed on 1-way vision- and the designer made the file 1.3GIG in size!
Please explain the logic in that! Most of the picture was thrown away in the holes in the 1-way vision. Utterly stupid filesize. 2 or 3 meg would have been plenty.

Curt Harms
08-26-2017, 9:20 AM
I've used Illy since version 5, when I had to, and Corel since version 2. (still have the whoppping 3 floppy discs it came on!)

Corel Draw is miles more intuitive. Illustrator is nothing like Photoshop- except in a mental snapshot of the desktop.
I keep Illy to open stuff that Corel cannot handle, to then backwards-convert it so I can edit in Corel.

I prefer Indesign, even, to Illustrator- but those two are somewhat similar in many aspects.

As far as 'experts' go, well just because so many industry professionals use Illy, does not make them experts... some still manage to make a right hash of files, and do stupid things. I was sent a digital Illy file last week- 5 ft x 3 ft size, to be printed on 1-way vision- and the designer made the file 1.3GIG in size!
Please explain the logic in that! Most of the picture was thrown away in the holes in the 1-way vision. Utterly stupid filesize. 2 or 3 meg would have been plenty.

Bigger is ALWAYS better ........ isn't it? I have similar complaints about people who send .jpgs suitable for for printing billboards to be viewed on a PC monitor or worse, phone screen.

Bill George
08-26-2017, 9:31 AM
I have an older version of Photoshop I use for well..... photos. But for laser work and graphics Corel Draw is really all you need. We are not doing work for color magazine publication.

John Bion
08-26-2017, 9:56 AM
I have a love-hate relationship with CD. I think it is great, but hate the issues I have, compounded by lack of help from CD itself. I long for a native Apple/Mac version of CD.
I use Adobe InDesign too (for other purposes), and find that fine, but not as intuitive as CorelDraw. I will be sticking with CD, the proverbial straw that broke the camels back is AI not opening CD files, that would drive me insane very quickly.
Thanks to everyone for all your responses. Regards, John

Doug Griffith
08-26-2017, 2:13 PM
I use an iMac with Parallels

You may need to think through your connectivity strategy. It sounds like you are trying to get away from Parallels due to issues and use Illustrator running native on the Mac. You may still need Parallels to connect to your laser if that's working for you already. Just thinking out loud.

John Bion
08-26-2017, 2:36 PM
Thanks Doug, I use sticks to transfer data to my lasers and CNC’s, so connectivity is not an issue. The other Microsoft based program I use is Vectric software, which works fantastically, no crashes, no issues, and on the two occasions when I have had questions over the years, I got to speak to a living, breathing, friendly, knowledgeable human, speaking in comprehensible English.
Kind Regards, John