One of the most overlooked and misunderstood features in CorelDRAW is the imposition feature. I’ll describe a simple example of it and I’ll recommend that you dig in a bit deeper to see the many ways it can help you. Yes, this is especially important for those of you using cutters and engravers as well as designers who output on paper. It is covered in detail in CorelDRAW X5 Unleashed Advanced Topics.
Below is a screenshot of two name badges side by side. My usage for these is to print them on a pre-perforated sheet of 8.5″ x 11″ paper that is designed for six name badges per page. The final badge size is 4″ x 3″.
Many users will leave their page size at 8.5″ x 11″ in CorelDRAW and then move each of the badges into position on the page. Laser engraving folks, your bed size is bigger than a sheet of paper, but the exact same principle applies! Those who do it this way are not taking advantage of the power of imposition.
As the final badge size is 4″ x 3″, that is exactly what you should enter as the page size. Each badge (or whatever piece of artwork you are creating) is then created on a separate page. For our name badge example, six pages of name badges will output on a single sheet of paper. If you are designing business cards, the page size is smaller and you’ll likely have either 8 or 10 per printed page.
For printed artwork, you can even design bleed on your pages and imposition will use it where necessary. Folks who cut will need to include a cut line (in the appropriate color) to cut each item. That could be cutting to the rectangular page size or to whatever shape you desire. For example, you could laser a large sheet of wooden nickels and have a round cut shape to cut them all out.
Once you have the artwork completed, go into the Print dialog and set whatever settings you need to use. Then click Print Preview to get to the window where the magic happens. With my name badges, I specify two columns and three rows along with the margins on each side of the paper. When I switch back to the Pick tool in Print Preview, I see the sheet of badges exactly as it will print. Now the hard part is figuring out which way to feed the pre-perforated paper.
Combine this technique with Print Merge and/or the Variable feature in eCut Designer Toolkit and you have a very powerful way to take a database full of information and get finished pieces in record time.