It Doesn’t Work

March 24, 2011

Every single day I hear someone say “it doesn’t work”. It could be talking about something in CorelDRAW. It could be about a Web site. Heck, it could be about something that has nothing to do with computers. Many times it is a phone call or an e-mail to me. It also can be seen often in the support forums.

I hate to break this news to you, but if that is all you have to say, it still isn’t going to work. If you can’t provide more details, there is no way anyone can help you find a solution.

I’ll give you a quick example. A friend bought a wireless router last week. I got a call after it had already been boxed up for return because it “didn’t work”. I tried to get an explanation of what had been done to get it working and it was like pulling teeth to get any answers. Finally I asked if the manual had been read. Before you complain about manuals, I know that most router manuals are 15-20 pages and contain very useful information. The immediate answer came that there wasn’t a manual to read. I asked if the user had looked on the disc. Of course not. A week later a different router arrived and the user was able to get this one working. Sheepishly I got the confession that the first one probably worked just fine as well.

When you run into a problem, you’ve got to provide a good description of the problem if you want someone to help you. Describe what you were trying to do. If something doesn’t work as you expect, describe why it isn’t right. If there was an error message, provide it. When a computer is involved, try to provide some information on the computer. If nothing else, what operating system are you using. By taking a couple extra minutes to give a good description of what “doesn’t work”, you will save a lot of back and forth (meaning time) trying to get the problem solved. Not only will you save your time, you’ll also save the time of the person trying to help you. I know I would greatly appreciate having more time.

Some of the time, the “doesn’t work” is simply a user not understanding how to use a feature or tool. Even users who consider themselves “advanced” only know a fraction of the things CorelDRAW can do. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t learn something new and I know a lot about CorelDRAW. If you don’t have CorelDRAW X5 Unleashed, please consider getting a copy and studying it. It will make you a more knowledgeable, productive and profitable user.

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Foster D. Coburn III

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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