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CorelDRAW X5 : Text and Styles

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7/12/2012 5:56:05 PM

Embedding Objects into Text

Graphic objects and bitmaps can be embedded into blocks of artistic and paragraph text—in the layout profession, this is called an inline graphic. This is great for adding special symbols to text such as logotypes, bullet points, or horizontal separators, or for embedding instructional graphics such as mouse cursor images.

You embed an object into text in two ways:

  • With the Clipboard Copy or cut the object to the Clipboard (CTRL+C or CTRL+X), click the Text tool in the text where you want the object to be placed, and paste the object (CTRL+V).

  • Drag-and-Drop Select the object with the mouse, and then drag it with the right mouse button to the position in the text where you want it to appear—a vertical bar between characters in the text indicates where the object will be placed. Release the mouse button and select Copy Into Text or Move Into Text from the pop-up menu.

Embedded objects are treated as “special characters”—they can be selected only with the Text tool or the Shape tool. To resize an object after it has been embedded, select it and set its point size on the property bar as if it were a typographic character.

To delete an embedded object, select it with the Text tool and press DELETE.

Changing and Proofing Formatted Text

Once you have your text formatted the way you want, it’s still editable text; if you’ve entered it by hand, you should probably proof it before sending it off for printing. There’s no equity in 12,000 four-color posters that proudly exclaim, “Enter The Millyun Dollar Speling Contest!”, right? Proofing for spelling and grammar is easy: you select the text with either the Pick or the Text tool, and then press CTRL+F12 (or right-click and then choose Spell Check from the pop-up menu). You’ll see that you have not only a spelling, but also a grammar checker and a thesaurus right there at your cursor tip.

Spell checking is only one area of CorelDRAW that you can use to put the finishing touches on your text message; the following sections take you through other features and a little text preflight for your work.

Changing Text Case

Occasionally you’ll receive text from a client who doesn’t know where the CAPS LOCK key is on the keyboard, or you have a really, really old plain-text file created using a DOS application. In any event, using all caps in a text message, unless it’s a very brief headline, can be a real eyesore.

To change the case of text you have typed, insert the Text tool cursor in text, and then right-click the text: choose an option from the Change Case submenu. Changing the case of characters replaces the original characters with new characters of the correct case.


It’s bad form to have two or more consecutive lines of text with a hyphen at the end, and this sometimes happens when you use a specific column width or frame shaping.

  • To remove hyphenation from a paragraph, choose the text with either the Pick tool or the Text tool, then choose Text, and then uncheck Use Hyphenation.

  • To manually hyphenate a line after hyphenation is turned off, you can put your cursor between the characters you want to break and then press CTRL+-. Alternatively, click the insertion point with the Text tool, and then choose Text | Insert Formatting Code | Optional Hyphen.

Converting Paragraph Text to Curves

It is possible to convert paragraph text to curves. By converting text to curves, the resulting shapes can be extensively modified, reshaped, and restyled. This is also a method for preventing others from making any text modifications to the document. It is also an acceptable way to prepare text-heavy illustrations for sharing when you’re confident that a coworker doesn’t own a font you used in the document.

To convert a paragraph text object to curves, select it and choose Arrange | Convert To Curves. Or, right-click the text object with the Pick tool, and choose Convert To Curves from the pop-up menu or press CTRL+Q. Because paragraph text as curves can have thousands of nodes, don’t perform this sort of thing thoughtlessly, and be prepared to wait a while during the conversion of large paragraphs. CorelDRAW converts paragraph text to curves quite intelligently; it breaks the text into groups, groups almost never consisting of a single shape that has more than 1,000 nodes. PostScript printing language has a complexity threshold of 1,000–1,200 nodes along a single path. If you ever arrive at a single curve shape that has more than this amount, you’re best off breaking the shape (Arrange | Break Curve Apart; CTRL+K) and then joining shapes that should be joined (Arrange | Combine; CTRL+L). Too many nodes, and a PostScript job will fail, and a commercial printer is not likely to thank you for your business.

Text and Styles

After you’ve created a specific look for text, it would be a shame not to be able to save it as a style so it can be reused later. You can create styles for artistic and paragraph text in CorelDRAW. Styles store the text attributes from one object and can be used to apply those attributes to other objects at a later time in the same document (styles are by default local properties). If you edit the properties of a style, all the text formatted with that style is updated immediately.

To save a style, with the Pick tool, choose the text, right-click, and then choose Styles | Save Style Properties, and you’ll get a box that looks like the following illustration. This box is valid for objects as well; object styles can also be applied for fill and outline settings.

Creating and Editing Styles

In the Save Style As dialog, only select those formatting options that you want as part of the style. If, for example, you select the Text option but clear the Fill and Outline options, then applying this new style to some text will only modify the type-related properties and will keep the existing fill and outline.

Give the style a new, unique name. Click OK, and the style is created and ready for use on the Graphic and text styles docker, which is opened by pressing CTRL+F5 or by choosing Window | Dockers | Graphic And Text Styles. You drag the title of your saved style and drop it onto a text object you want formatted. Alternatively, right-click the text object and choose Styles | Apply in the pop-up menu; then choose the style you want from the list.

Editing Text Styles

To edit a style, right-click its title on the Graphic and text styles docker, and then choose Properties. This opens the Options dialog at the Styles page under Document, with the style selected in the list, from where you can enable and disable features of the style. You can also edit the settings of the style by clicking the Font, Fill, or Outline Edit button in the Options dialog.

To delete a style from the docker, right-click it and choose Delete. You cannot delete default styles.


To revert some text to its assigned style, either reapply the style, or right-click and choose Styles | Revert To Style from the pop-up menu.

You have in front of you a very handy and thorough documentation of how to make a text message stand out in the marketplace—how to attract attention in a polished, professional manner. From drop caps to justification, leading to indents, these aren’t just a typographer’s tools, but the tools of everyone who needs to communicate visually. After a while, what you used to consider an extraordinary effort to accomplish with text will feel quite natural and even ordinary. Now that you know how to drive CorelDRAW’s text engine. Fonts are like any artistic element: there are wise and poor uses for typefaces, and you’ll want your message to read as well as it looks.

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