CorelDraw

This is a test of CorelDraw 12.

The page background color is #000066 and the text is #FFFFFF.

TEST ONE

The first set of graphics is exported as “selected only” and without a bounding box.

The image is exported with antialiasing, but without dithering:

The image is exported without antialiasing and without dithering:

The image is exported with antialiasing and with dithering:

The image is exported without antialiasing, but with dithering:

CONCLUSION: Antialiasing smooths the text, as it’s supposed to. Because of the limited number of colors, dithering has no effect.

TEST TWO

The second set of graphics is exported as “selected only” and with a bounding box that has no fill and an outline that has no color.

The image is exported with antialiasing:

The image is exported without antialiasing:

CONCLUSION: At this point, I thought the bug was gone and apparently didn’t text the option that would have revealed its continued existence.

TEST THREE

In this third set of tests, the image now has a background that is #009900 with a 2-point #009900 outline.

The image is exported with antialiasing, but without dithering:

The image is exported without antialiasing and without dithering:

The image is exported with antialiasing and with dithering:

The image is exported without antialiasing, but with dithering:

CONCLUSION: The bug is not gone. If DITHERING is turned on, the text is smoother, as expected, but the annoying bounding box is back.

TEST FOUR

Test with PNG file format, full color. Because this is full 24bpp color, dithering is not needed and is not an option.

Image exported without antialiasing:

Image exported with antialiasing:

CONCLUSION: Using PNG doesn’t help.

TEST FIVE

CPT Image brought into Draw

CPT graphic with transparency exported without antialiasing:

CPT graphic with transparency exported with antialiasing:

Draw sample illustration with drop shadow

Illustration exported without antialiasing:

Illustration exported with antialiasing:

Draw sample illustration without drop shadow

Illustration exported without antialiasing:

Illustration exported with antialiasing:

CONCLUSION: Depending on the image, this may be workable as long as you don’t try to use antialiasing.

This is how it should work! Here I use Macromedia Fireworks, an application I find significantly harder to use than Corel Draw and a much less capable graphics application, but the folks at Macromedia understand what an output file should look like.

Antialiased text with a transparent background:

Antialiased text with a visible background:

This is not appreciably better than the output from Draw. If I create a blue background, though, both programs do better.

The better output is clearly from Fireworks.

Gears (a CorelDraw graphic, exported from Draw as EPS, opened by Fireworks, and exported):

There’s not much that can be done with this particular graphic. It wasn’t created with the intent of being placed on a dark background. As a result, no application will produce suitable output for a page such as this one.

I may have a workaround. This idea occurred to me while I was taking a shower. I was sorely tempted to jump out of the shower and run down the street screaming “Eureka!” I elected not to do this for two reasons:

The temperature outside is 23 degrees Fahrenheit.
The police take a dim view of naked people running down the street screaming “Eureka!”
WORKAROUND (TEST A)

The bug in Corel’s export engine assumes that the bounding box should be antialiased. This is wrong. But what if we play along and give Draw an extra bounding box? Below is a graphic (text) surrounded by a green box. Those two objects are surrounded by a third object: A box with no fill and no outline. It is 10 pixels taller and 10 pixels wider than the green box. Draw antialiases the surrounding box, but since the surrounding box is invisible, we don’t see it. Ha!

I also created a custom palette because I can select only ONE color to be transparent and Draw had created several “almost white” colors for the surrounding box. I delete the extra near-white colors.
The INTERIOR box (the green one in this example) MUST have an outline (1 pixel is enough) that is the SAME COLOR as the box. Because the outline is applied to the outside of the box, we’re adding 4 pixels on each side to allow for “invisible antialiasing”.

Adding 4 pixels to everything seems a bit extreme and it will, of course, create some alignment problems. Can I reduce the exterior bounding box to being just 1 pixel larger on each side and still get the same effect?

(I guess not.) This isn’t a perfect workaround by any means and I’m glad that I didn’t run down the street shouting “Eureka!” But if you use Draw and you don’t have Fireworks or some other application that can get the export right, adding 4 pixels to every side of your graphic almost solves the problem.