Thursday Tip: Bump Up Your Icons

January 1, 2009

When CorelDRAW first arrived on the scene, most of us were still using screens that were only 640 x 480 pixels. Those pale in size to the monitors we are using today. 1024 x 768 is the absolute minimum to run the latest versions of CorelDRAW and many of us run on monitors with an even higher pixel count.

Just a few days ago I fired up CorelDRAW 3. Wow, things have certainly changed. The current versions have more icons to go along with the huge increase in productivity and functionality. With more icons, sometimes it is hard to find the one you need when working with the default icon size. I’m a huge fan of making them larger. Other users prefer to remove large numbers of icons that they won’t use. This customization is one of the most powerful features of CorelDRAW and there is no reason that you can’t use both of these methods. Delete the icons you don’t need and increase the size of the rest.

While I won’t go over all aspects of customizing the interface here, I will point you to where you can increase the size of the icons and from there you can explore other areas of customization. For complete details, there are a couple of chapters in my CorelDRAW X4 Unleashed book that spell it all out for you.

Select Tools | Customization to bring up the Options dialog box in the Customization section. Now click in the tree menu at left on Command Bars. This will show you a list of every command bar in CorelDRAW. Some will be checked meaning they are currently visible and some are uncheck meaning they aren’t currently visible. I highly recommend that you do not change the icon size on the menu bar. Click on the entry under Menu Bar and then Shift + click on the last entry. This will highlight everything except the Menu Bar. Now change the button size to Medium or Large. If you are using CorelDRAW X3 or lower, I would recommend medium sized icons. CorelDRAW X4 added true large icons (older versions just stretch the medium icons) that look really nice. So if you have a large monitor, go for the large icons.

Of course this means your drawing page will be a bit smaller since the icons will fill more of the area around the drawing page. I think the tradeoff is worthwhile. Other users prefer to have the largest possible drawing area. There is no right or wrong answer here. Do what makes you the most productive!

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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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