Thursday Tip: Creating a Cutline

December 11, 2008

Sometimes the most asked questions are somewhat baffling. Not it isn’t that this tip is the easiest thing in the world to learn, it is just baffling that it is so often needed. Or at least it is one of those things that people ask me the most often.

Given a piece of vector artwork, how do you create a cutline around it? One of the key parts of the question is that we are dealing with vector artwork. If it is a bitmap, the answer is completely different and we can talk about that another day. First, select all of the vector objects and press the Boundary button on the Property Bar. Note that this button first appeared in CorelDRAW X3 so if you have an older version, now you know a good reason to upgrade. This gives you a line around the outside boundary of your objects. If there are inside areas you also need to cut, use the Smart Fill tool and click on each of those areas. Again, Smart Fill debuted in CorelDRAW X3 giving users of older versions yet another reason to upgrade. If you needed to use Smart Fill, select the outer boundary and all of the objects created with Smart Fill. Combine those objects and you have a cutline. Simply assign the color your device recognizes as a cut color and you’re all set.

If you don’t want the cutline exactly on the edge of the objects, use the Contour Effect to offset a new line just a bit from the original line. You can control the exact amount of the offset.

Now you have exactly what you need to create a cutline!

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Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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