CorelCAD review

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

OUR VERDICT

As the first release of a new CAD package, CorelCAD has a lot to offer. It has all the features you’d expect, it works in the way you’d expect, and has the export facilities to allow files to be created however you wish. In common with similar packages you’ll get the best performance on a high-spec Mac but it should work with virtually all of them. On top of all of this it works natively with DWG files meaning that work created in CorelCAD will be fully accessible to those using AutoCAD and vice versa. It’s good value for money, and has much to recommend it.

Find the best price