Never Import Workspaces From a Previous Version

April 5, 2012

When you are configuring CorelDRAW or Corel PHOTO-PAINT, never import a workspace from a previous version. If you have any question whatsoever, re-read the first sentence until it is crystal clear.

I can guarantee that I’ll get at least one e-mail from someone telling me that they have always imported their workspace and they’ve never had a problem. My answer to those users is quite simple. You have been extremely lucky. While it may have worked for you in the past, it will backfire on you at some point.

Why am I saying to never import workspaces? The most important reason is that it can lead to instability in the new version. I often hear users talk about how CorelDRAW is crashing on them when doing even the most basic things. CorelDRAW X6 has been released now for more than two weeks and I’m not sure I have had a single crash and I have it open all day, every day. Sure, I may not be doing something that triggers a bug to cause a crash. More likely it is because I don’t do things that I know could be problematic and one of those is importing workspaces.

I know some of you spend hours getting a workspace just right. I would also say that 90% of users probably spend less than 5 minutes on a workspace. There are probably 10-15 things I do to customize my workspace and I can easily do it in a couple of minutes. I can certainly appreciate that it does take valuable time if you are doing heavy customization. I’ll ask how much time it costs you with every crash? Five minutes? Ten minutes? Thirty minutes? So how many crashes will it take to waste more of your time than it takes to build a workspace from scratch?

One of the nice things about building a workspace from scratch is that you can re-think the elements you customize. Suppose you have added a custom toolbar with twenty buttons. I’ve seen plenty of those. But if you truly never use five of them, why not leave them out when you rebuild? Maybe you’ve got a shortcut key assigned to something. That key wasn’t used in the previous version. Corel adds a new feature using that shortcut key. Could it be more valuable to you than the function for which you had previously assigned the shortcut key? You may never know if you don’t at least see what the new feature does.

I highly encourage each of you to take the time to build a new workspace with each version. Make it even better than what you’ve had before. Yes, you should immediately save it in case it should become corrupt. Absolutely you should reload that saved workspace in the same version of CorelDRAW. Just don’t use it when the next version is released.

Post Discussion


  1. Anonymous

    You give no information about why it creates instability. This read is a waste of time.

  2. Foster D. Coburn III

    I’m sorry you feel your time was wasted. Feel free to import workspaces from previous versions and enjoy the instability it creates.


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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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