CorelDraw X7 finds a nice balance between the full professional suite and the standard image editor. By offering its usual massive set of tools alongside X7's additional functions, CorelDraw can offer something for everyone, regardless of their skill level. With a friendly, modern UI, comfortable workspaces, and a flexible licensing model, the suite is more usable and affordable than ever. Future add-ons promise users a mobile pattern creator tool for iOS 7 and the ability to browse patterns and fills on the go with a Windows 8 app. Lack of support means that Mac users are left out for now. However, CorelDraw's robustness as an illustrator app may tempt users to give it try, especially at its cheaper rate.
Still, it takes just a couple of clicks to insert a JPEG, a GIF, a BMP, a PNG, or another image type. Click the graphic, and the Picture Tools Format tab lets you tweak the brightness, the color mode, and the contrast of a picture. You can also rotate it, crop it, skew its angle, add 3D effects and shadows to its borders, and convert it to all manner of shapes, such as a thought bubble, an arrow, or a star. Options for positioning an image and wrapping text around it are also front and center, which should be helpful for creating professional-looking business documents, as well as casual party invitations. You don't get nearly the amount of control offered by Microsoft Publisher, QuarkXPress, or Adobe InDesign, but Word 2007 may do the trick for ultrabasic desktop-publishing needs.
In its first versions, the CDR file format was a completely proprietary file format primarily used for vector graphic drawings, recognizable by the first two bytes of the file being "WL". Starting with CorelDraw 3, the file format changed to a Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF) envelope, recognizable by the first four bytes of the file being "RIFF", and a "CDR*vrsn" in bytes 9 to 15, with the asterisk "*" being just a blank in early versions. Beginning with CorelDraw 4 it included the version number of the writing program in hexadecimal ("4" meaning version 4, "D" meaning version 14). The actual data chunk of the RIFF remains a Corel proprietary format.
Boxed editions of Microsoft Office 2007 include a decent, 174-page Getting Started guide. During the first 90 days, you can contact tech support for free, and help at any time with any security-related or virus problems also costs nothing. Beyond that, paid support costs a painfully high $49 per telephone or e-mail incident. Luckily, Microsoft's online help is excellent, although we're displeased that Microsoft and other software makers are increasingly promoting do-it-yourself assistance. We especially like the Command Reference Guide for Word, which walks you through where commands have moved since Office 2003. You can also pose questions to the large community of Microsoft Office users via free support forums and chats. Microsoft Office Diagnostics tool, included with the Office 2007 suites, is also designed to detect and repair problems if something goes haywire. sequential numbering using word