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Here are some lessons with step-by-step instructions to help you learn more about CorelDRAW for use on your laser. They are in print-ready PDF format. They are not to be shared commercially, or distributed in any format.

Setting up a basic job in CorelDRAW

Line Widths & Scaling

Exporting CorelDRAW vector images to the PLT/HPGL for use in Engraving Systems

Print Merge – X3

Creating Ornaments With The Artistic Media Tool

Plaque Layouts

Scale With Image vs. Convert Lines To Objects

Notching Corners If you are using a version below X3, you might need this.

Rounding Corners If you are using a version below X3, you might need this as well.

Nametags with Contour & Weld

Borders for Plaques with Transform & Trim

Logos For The Laser

Guidelines for Corners on Plaques

Creating Basic Blends Ever want to create a chain, rope, or make objects flow around a path?

Creating An Outline For An Acrylic Award

Creating 3-D Layouts for the Laser

Borders Created with Polygons

Creating a Border with the Blend Function

Creating A Nametag with a Cut-out Great for adding a third color

Creating The DAYS INN Logo Using the following tools & commands: Shape Tool Trim, Weld, 3-point Ellipse, Polygon Tool.

Trimming Text Lots of examples of manipulating text with the Trim Tool.

More About Line Widths

Multiple Nametags

Print Merge Tip Sheet How to create multiple badges by merging a print file into CorelDRAW X3 and X4.

Tips & Tricks

Configuring CorelDRAW for the ULS Laser

Changing the order of filters when exporting/importing

Do you ever get tired of scrolling through the many file types when you are selecting a file format for import or exporting? You can change the order they appear in the dialog. In Tools/Options, under Global, choose Filters. Select Raster under available file types and select your choices from the list at the right, moving them up or down in the list as you choose. The Raster list primarily affects the import/export dialogs. Vector list primarily affects the Save as Type dialog. I keep CDR at the top of both lists, and put GIF and JPG right under that since I often need one format or the other, but you can put it into any order you want.

Deselecting all objects

If you have one or any number of objects selected, you can deselect all of them at once by pressing the ESC Key.

Selecting hidden objects behind another objects

You can select an object that is hidden behind other objects so that you can edit it. To select a hidden object: 1. Using the Pick tool, select the topmost object behind which the object you want to edit is hidden 2. Press ALT, and click the topmost object again to select the object directly behind it 3. Repeat Step 2 until you have selected the object you want to edit. Watch the Status Bar to see when your object is selected.

Shortcut for selecting the Outline Pen dialog (Line widths)

A quick way to bring up the Outline Pen Dialog, is to double-click on the or Outline Pen swatch, located at the bottom right of the Status Bar (at the bottom of the CorelDRAW screen). If you have non-text objects selected, it’s easier to go to the Outline Width option on the Properties bar to change the outline width. But, it you are working with Text, the Outline Width option IS not on the Property Bar. Use this tip to get to the Outline Pen Dialog to change the width.

Shortcut for selecting the uniform fill dialog

You can save a couple of clicks to get to the Fill Dialog by double-clicking on the Uniform Fill swatch on the Status Bar (at the bottom of the CorelDRAW screen).

Additional Tips

CorelDraw X3 Contours

The Contour has long been a powerful tool for the laser and rotary engraver. However, the number of points created for the finished output has affected the output. With excessive points the rotary runs slower. But, CorelDRAW X3 has resolved that problem.

x3_contour_01x3_contour_02 x3_contour_03

Contoured Heart

Contoured Heart Version 13 – 10 nodes

Contoured Heart Version 12 – 172 nodes

CorelDraw X3 Crop Tool

The Cropping Tool works with both vector and bitmap graphics. You could achieve the same with the Trim Option in the Shaping Tool, but then you would have to know the in’s and out’s of it. The standard from most programs is the Cropping Tool, which CorelDRAW X3 now has. You ‘crop’ the area you want to save and everything else on the drawing page disappears.


Above is the original object I imported from one the hundreds of new vehicles now available in X3 under the Vehicle Graphics category.


After using the Cropping Tool – Note that the areas that will be deleted are grayed out.


Results after double-clicking with the ‘cropped area’.

CorelDraw X3 Create Object

This new command, ‘Create A New Object That Surrounds The Selected Object’, or Create Boundary, takes longer to say it than it does to use it. It’s great for the laser and engraver owner who needs an outline for cutting out a piece of artwork. Below is a piece of CorelDRAW 8 clipart. I selected the object, went to Effects -> Create Boundary. After the new object or outline was created, I moved it away from the original to show the results.


CorelDraw X3 Smart Fill

I really like this new feature, especially when working with HPGL (PLT) artwork that I import into CorelDRAW X3. Many times, the paths are open and I cannot fill them. This new option can fill an open path (with overlapping nodes), complete with an outline that can be filled with a color of choice. I’ve been working with it for over a month, and I am still finding new ways to use it. Here are a couple of examples below:


To help you better understand the Smart Fill Tool, I drew a rectangle, converted it to curves, broke the 4 corners apart with the Shape Tool, and then use the Break Curve command. The explode view (Test Box 1) shows the lines are not connected. At this point I could move the individual lines of the rectangle apart. Since it was an open path, it could not be filled. But with the Smart Fill Tool I just clicked inside the 4 lines of the rectangle (Test Box 2) and got a vector outline. I moved the new object from the original artwork (Test Box 3)


CorelDraw X3 Star

Surprising, how you can make life easier with a few small changes. To draw a simple star outline in pre-X3 releases, you used the polygon tool, and in 2-4 steps, you got a star. Or, you used the one in Perfect Shapes. Version 13 now has separate Star, Polygon and Complex Star options. It makes life so much easier, and remember time is money.



CorelDraw X4 Straighten Bitmaps

Every new version of CorelDRAW offers us more artwork. And yes, some of it duplicated from version to version. But CorelDRAW X4 is offering a lot more new categories than before. Some of the artwork is pretty basic, but then again it’s hard to live up to the artwork that came with CorelDRAW 8.