One of the hottest new features in CorelDRAW X6 is full support of OpenType fonts and the extra characters they contain as shown in the example at right. Those of you using Windows XP as your operating system may find that the new text features are significantly slower than in previous versions. In this post I’ll explain the slowness and possible solutions.
First, Windows XP is coming up on its tenth birthday. It is old and doesn’t have support for all of the latest and greatest technology. For example, it doesn’t have the native support of OpenType that is required by the feature found in CorelDRAW X6. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you really should consider updating your computer and/or its operating system if you are still running Windows XP.
The fact that Windows XP didn’t have the support for OpenType needed by CorelDRAW X6 left Corel with a decision to make. One option would be to drop Windows XP support completely. From a development standpoint, that would have been the best decision by far. Yet from a marketing standpoint, that would be a hard sell to those of you still on Windows XP. Obviously Corel made the decision to support Windows XP (don’t be surprised if it isn’t supported in future versions) and that meant they had to create the support necessary for all of the cool new OpenType features. Unfortunately this workaround means the text engine can be somewhat slow. Again, the alternative would be no support for Windows XP at all.
There are a group of Windows XP users who will find the text engine much snappier. Microsoft faced the same dilemma with Microsoft Office 2010. It needed the same OpenType support. In this case, Microsoft already had the code needed for the support because it was part of Windows Vista and Windows 7. They simply installed the needed text features from the newer operating systems when you install Office 2010 on Windows XP. Corel knew this would be a better solution so they will use the engine installed by Office 2010 if it exists. As it is Microsoft’s code, Corel can’t distribute it. Therefore CorelDRAW X6 will have a much faster text performance on Windows XP if you also have Office 2010 installed.