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CorelDRAW X5 : Navigation and Page Setup - Setting View Mode

5/21/2013 4:40:57 AM
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Because the type of artwork you usually design in CorelDRAW is vector artwork, the objects you create need to be written to screen from moment to moment: the process is called rasterizing. With today’s video cards and computer processors, the response time between changing an element in a file and seeing the change can usually be measured in a fraction of a second. CorelDRAW has always supported different levels of detail with which you view your CorelDRAW work. They’re accessed through the View menu, and these view modes can help you find an object and draw an object when your design becomes intricate and the page gets cluttered.

View modes are used to specify how your drawing appears onscreen. Modes offer feedback as to how a design will print or export, and lower-quality view modes can help you locate an object hidden by other objects. You switch between view modes by using the View menu and through keyboard shortcuts. The View menu itself indicates the current view using a button indicator to the left of each menu item.

You have the option of choosing from one of six display qualities: Simple Wireframe, Wireframe, Draft, Normal, Enhanced, and Pixels. The default mode is Enhanced, and this is the best proofing quality for working and displaying your work to others. Additionally, you can check or uncheck Simulate Overprints and Rasterize Complex Effects when viewing in Enhanced mode. The following section explains how these display modes render to screen paths and objects that have different fills and effects. Here you can see the list of View commands:

Wireframe and Simple Wireframe

The views listed make a top-to-bottom progression from low to high detail. At the top, Simple Wireframe and Wireframe provide the least detail and refresh onscreen almost immediately when you make edits or change the zoom level of your document. In Simple Wireframe viewing mode, all you see is the silhouette of vector objects: a thin black outline with no fill. This is a very useful view mode for locating a shape on the page when you don’t have the time to perform a search in CorelDRAW . Simple Wireframe mode provides no view of object fills, but it does reveal the structure of effects objects such as extrudes and blends. Figure 1 is a visual comparison of Simple Wireframe, Wireframe, Pixels view, and the default viewing mode in CorelDRAW, Enhanced. Clearly, you’re not going to apply fills to objects in Wireframe mode while you work; however, these different modes indeed provide user information about objects you don’t usually see, and you can edit paths, copy objects, and perform most other necessary design tasks in any of these view modes.

Figure 1. View modes can help you see the structure of complex objects and provide you with “unseen” clues where editing might be desired.

Getting a Draft View

Draft view is the middle-ground of view quality between Wireframe and Enhanced modes. In Draft viewing mode, the objects in your drawing are rendered with color fills, but only Uniform fills are displayed with any accuracy. Outline properties such as dashed lines, width, and color are displayed. The two greatest visual differences between Draft and Enhanced views are that there is no anti-aliasing in Draft mode (so object edges look harsh and jaggy), and bitmaps and Fountain fills do not display as you’d expect them to. Figure 2 shows a Fountain fill, a Bitmap fill, and a PostScript fill viewed in (the default) Enhanced view at the top and then at bottom in Draft mode. There is a subtle visual indication that you can use to tell the difference between a Bitmap fill and a Fountain fill in this mode, but it’s hardly worth the challenge. Draft mode is best used to evaluate basic color schemes in a vector drawing and for quickly navigating incredibly dense and complex illustrations such as CAD architecture designs and a single page containing 45,000 Extrude effect objects.

Figure 2. Draft view provides Uniform color fill views and outline colors, but not more elaborate object fills.

Using Normal View

Normal view displays all object properties—Bitmap fills, Fountain fills, and PostScript fills—correctly, unlike Draft and Wireframe views. The only difference between Enhanced and Normal view modes is that Normal mode does not anti-alias the edges of objects. Anti-aliasing is part of the rasterization process because visual data is written to the screen that creates a smooth transition, whereas image areas have very different colors and brightness. This is usually done by adding pixels to the color edge of an object whose color is a blend between the neighboring, contrasting areas. The effect of anti-aliasing is particularly evident along edges of objects that travel diagonally across the page, and in curved areas such as circles and ellipses. Without anti-aliasing, the Normal view might remind you of Microsoft Paint back in 1991, when the best monitor you could buy was a VGA and you ran Windows 3.x.

Normal view mode will appeal to users whose video card doesn’t have a lot of RAM, and to artists who create thousands of objects on a page. Screen refreshes are quicker, and if you don’t mind the stair-steppy edges of aliased object edges, you can pick up some speed using Normal mode.


Bitmaps—whether they’re imported photos or bitmap fills you define using the Interactive fill tool—do not change their screen appearance if you switch from Normal to Enhanced view mode. Bitmaps do not update or refresh in CorelDRAW because the pixel color definitions are set within the image or fill.

Using Enhanced View

When you use Enhanced view, all vector objects (text is a vector object, too) are anti-aliased around the edges. It’s your best view of your work and is the default setting in CorelDRAW.

Previewing with Pixels View

New to version X5 is a view option that displays both vector and bitmap data onscreen as though the objects all were constructed from pixels. Pixels view quality depends on the resolution of your document, another new X5 feature. When you open a new document, you’re presented with the Create A New Document screen; there, you set the Rendering Resolution—the factory default setting is 300 dpi (dots, or pixels, per inch). As an example, suppose you’re creating a web graphic. Because CorelDRAW artwork is vector- and resolution-independent in nature, you can’t truly preview what a bitmap version of your vector design will look like on the Web, because every zoom level you choose displays the vector graphic smoothly using Enhanced view. The previewing solution is simple—before you draw, set up your document to 96 dpi in the Create A New Document box, and then use Pixels view mode to preview your artwork before delivering it and getting paid handsomely for it.

The higher the resolution of the document, the smoother that Pixels view displays your artwork.


To change the resolution of a document, double-click the gray page border to bring up the Page Size tab in Options. Change the Rendering Resolution to suit your current need, and go to town.

Simulate Overprints

Simulate Overprints is a print production preview mode. Overprinting is part of the standard commercial printing process used to simulate how colors actually will print to a physical page and also is used to check for any gaps between printed objects due to any printing registration problems. If you have no need for commercial printing, Simulate Overprints will be a seldom-used view. However, if you use CorelDRAW for physical commercial output, bear in mind two things:

  • You need to check in with Window | Dockers | Color Proof Settings and to ensure that your intended output device is chosen from the Simulate Environment list (shown next). If you don’t find the printing press of your choice, contact the commercial printer and request the drivers or ICM profile they use. By default, SWOP is the color space when proofing, and chances are good that the simulation of a CMYK color space will display colors as accurately as any monitor can.

  • “Simulation” means exactly that. It is physically impossible to proof physical pigments rendered to a physical surface with total accuracy by using a monitor that displays virtual artwork. However, CorelDRAW’s color simulation of real-world color output is excellent, and “close” is far better than “none” when it comes to proofing printed material on your screen.


To quickly switch between your current view mode and the last-used view mode, press SHIFT+F9.

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