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Old 09-01-2006, 09:25 AM   #1
Sandy
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Default Simple vector drawing program

Once upon a time I was required to create a database and had the wisdom to select a program that used DBF files. A dozen years later, we can still read the data. Perhaps such decisions were not available when I started drawing, but most of the work ended up in Corel Draw 4 CDRs. Now our parent is changing its name (yet again) and I need to redo logos, tee shirts, and such. Believe it or not, Draw 4 still works in XP, but it refuses to export BMPs, and we need BMPs for letterheads and such. The current fix is to run Windows 98SE under Virtual PC and export the raster images there. Technically the version 4 CDR can be opened in Draw 7, saved, and then opened in 11, but the results are too nasty to use.

So it's time to stop creating in Draw 4 and move on - but where? Is there any way to rescue the old drawings? They can be exported to EPS or AI, but I no longer have a PS printer to know how they look. And is there current software to create simple vector graphics without drowning in blends and layers and gammadoodles.
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Old 09-01-2006, 11:29 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Sandy View Post
Is there any way to rescue the old drawings? They can be exported to EPS or AI, but I no longer have a PS printer to know how they look.
Have no useful idea about your other questions, but if you can make PDFs from your EPS files, then you can print them on any printer. Acrobat essentially rasterizes the PostScript code.

There is also a PC graphics editor called IrfanView that can work with many formats (for EPS you also need Ghostscript). Might be the long way around, though.

How many of these files are there? Maybe someone else could could convert them to a current format for you.

I bet others will have more expeditious suggestions.

   
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Old 09-01-2006, 02:45 PM   #3
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FWIW, IrfanView, wonderful as it is, isn't really an editor and what editing it does is bitmap based, not vector. Did I mention that it's wonderful despite all that? It is, you know. <g>

   
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Old 09-01-2006, 02:51 PM   #4
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Since you're familiar with Draw, upgrading to a newer version might be the best bet, or at least the path with the shallowest learning curve.

It's been a bazillion years since I used Draw4. I'm surprised that the results going forward are so bad, though. What specific problems have you run into?
Workarounds that occur to me: if Draw 4 saves as CMX, try that as a way of moving the work to a newer Draw format.

Or try exporting as EPS then use Draw 11's PostScript Interpreted filter to bring the drawing back in.

Another possible trick: if it's just BMPs that are a problem, export as something else ... TIFF, for example. Then you can use IrfanView (www.irfanview.com, free!) to batch convert back to BMP or pretty much any other raster format.

   
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Old 09-02-2006, 11:44 AM   #5
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You never know how the gremlins will work. While looking for a nice example to share, I learned to Export from Draw Essentials at double the previous resolution and then shrink the resulting raster to half size. Don't even ask. That seems to fix the smearies on images with 0 line width. Actual lines and complex colors remain to be checked, but we rarely use them.

So the remaining fun is text that had been fit to path flying all over the place. Seems to happen most when the line has been removed. I have to recreate the line, retype the text, and refit.

AI might be a possibility for the future. There's no preview, so Draw 4 will export without the busted rasterizer. Select/11 imports the resulting AI as a bunch of little bits, but the result _looks_ about right.

As for Irfanview.... Can anyone think of a more worthy free program? And the requested donation is much less than others'.
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