Some users of CorelDRAW X4 complain that file operations like opening and saving are much slower than in previous versions. Others don’t experience these problems. I’m one of the lucky ones in that regard, but viewing a folder full of CDR files in Windows Explorer was painfully slow. After talking with some of my friends at Corel, I found a solution to the folder slowness and I think the same issue is causing the slowness when opening files.
Starting with CorelDRAW X4, the CDR file is actually a zip file in disguise. If you really want to test this, rename a copy of a CDR file with a ZIP extension and open it up in your favorite ZIP program. Of course Corel prefers you use WinZip. 🙂 By using a ZIP file in disguise, this can provide a number of benefits such as larger thumbnails, thumbnails for each page, many more keywords, ratings and a lot more. The downside is that your security software (mainly anti-virus software) sees the files as ZIP files and a potential threat to the security of your system. Every time you open a file, the anti-virus software has to take a close look at the file to make sure there is nothing dangerous within.
So to speed up opening files and to make it quicker to browse folders, you need to tell your anti-virus software to not process CDR files. By doing so, you are creating the very slim possibility of being infected by a CDR file. I’ve never heard of one being infected and thus the reason it is a very slim chance.
This probably won’t have much of an effect on saving files. Most of the slowness there is from creating thumbnails. X4 is creating a larger thumbnail than previous versions and it will also generate separate thumbnails for each page. This means documents with a higher number of pages will take significantly longer to save. As I rarely create documents with more than one or two pages, the saving issue does not affect me. Users who regularly create longer documents have been the most vocal critics of the slower speed.
Corel is certainly well aware of the situation and I’m sure they will find a way to speed things up in future versions. If you do create documents with many pages, maybe you’ll want to skip CorelDRAW X4 and wait. The vast majority of you won’t see any significant difference since you have a small number of pages.