I got an e-mail last night from someone asking why they were unable to get the Jigsaw Puzzle Creator add-on to CorelDRAW to work. I noticed that the e-mail came from someone with a .edu e-mail address and asked if he was using the Academic version. Sure enough, that was the problem.
Just so we’re clear, the special version is called CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X3 Student and Teacher Edition. It is created so those in the academic community with limited budgets can still afford to work with CorelDRAW. Most of the popular software packages are available in Academic versions. Anyone who is a student or teacher, and can prove it, is eligible to buy. The package retails for $99 and sells for only $79.99 at Amazon.
Now let’s talk about why it truly costs less and why you shouldn’t be buying it. There are no printed manuals included. Obviously Corel can save money by not having to print the books and the decrease in the box weight helps on shipping costs. The hidden trap is that VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) is not included. It is a Microsoft product and Corel has to pay licensing fees to include it. So by leaving it out, they save a few more bucks on this special edition. This is what bit the person posing the e-mail question to me. For the most part, this eliminates all plug-ins and add-ons for CorelDRAW from working!
There are also some legalities about the Academic version that are often overlooked. You can’t use it to make money. How many people are buying it to save money that are truly going to be using it for their business? My guess is that a large percentage of sales would violate this rule. The Academic version is not eligible for upgrades. So when you realize that VBA is not included or that you shouldn’t be using it, you must buy the full version.
From time to time I hear grumbling about the “high cost” of CorelDRAW. The people who tend to complain the most are those using it to run their business. They have machines costing tens of thousands of dollars being run entirely by CorelDRAW…which costs $399 for the full version before discounts. Sure sounds like a bargain to me.
So before you run out and buy the Student and Teacher Edition, think about how you will be using it and what is missing. If you own any previous (non-Academic) version of CorelDRAW, you are eligible for the upgrade. It lists for $179 and sells for $159.99 at Amazon. For those of you who have been using an Academic version or if you are simply a new user, you’ll need the full version. It lists for $399 and sells for $306.99 at Amazon. I just hate to see users who can’t realize the full power of CorelDRAW because they decided to save a few bucks and thus missed out on all the cool stuff that VBA brings to the table.