Wed, 13 Jul 2011 CorelCAD review
Corel introduces high-level computer aided design at an affordable price
- Manufacturer: Corel
- Pros: Competitive price; quick install; opens AutoCAD files natively
- Cons: Performs best with high-end Mac; some DWG files take a while to load; no printed manual
- Price: £694.80 (crossgrade £502.80)
- Star rating:
When it comes to CAD, the first product that comes to mind is AutoCAD. AutoCAD from Autodesk is deemed to be the industry standard, but it comes at a significant price that can’t be justified by all. CorelCAD is a new entry into this niche market.
Installation and activation is pain-free, allowing you to quickly make use of the program. The opening window is similar to AutoCAD’s. Icons include context-sensitive help so when you hover the mouse pointer above an icon you get a brief description of what it is. It’s just a little annoying that the application can’t tell the size of your display and scale the opening windows to suit it – on our 27in screen there was a large amount of the desktop unused.
Overall, CorelCAD performs well. For a start it supports AutoCAD’s DWG file format natively. Large DWG files took a while to open, but nothing was corrupted and everything was fully editable within CorelCAD. Where CorelCAD comes across an unsupported feature within a DWG file, rather than crash, the package works around it.
It has the usual features for a package of this ilk. Everything is managed through a system of palettes – properties, layers, external references – and the layout is straightforward. The drawing features themselves allow control over every aspect of the construction; whether working in 2D or 3D it’s quick to work through.
It’s quick and easy to get into CorelCAD thanks to its familiar user interface – and it’s feature-rich too
It’s just a shame that some features – OLE support, spell checking, voice notes – are limited to Windows users only