CorelDRAW Macros, Compatibility and Updates

July 16, 2012

Everyone take a deep breath and remain calm. It seems that the topic of getting macros updated makes users a little cranky, if not completely crazy. So I wanted to outline some information on macros and those who develop them so you can understand why they don’t just magically get updated.

What I am referring to as macros can come in a variety of forms (programming-wise) and could also be sometimes referred to as add-ons or plug-ins. The short answer is that these pieces of software were specifically designed to extend the functionality of CorelDRAW or Corel PHOTO-PAINT. In almost every case, there is a single person responsible for creating each specific macro. Some of the more prolific authors have created 50 or more. Of course you are more likely to use a macro by a particular author if they have created a larger number.

The automation tools built-in to CorelDRAW and Corel PHOTO-PAINT can change between versions. In most cases they are enhanced, though it is also possible that something gets removed. More advanced macros make direct requests from the operating system to provide even more functionality. What this means is that macros are version dependent. It is possible they will work in future versions of CorelDRAW (or Corel PHOTO-PAINT), but it is just as likely the author will need to update the macro when the new version arrives.

I’ve already explained that most macro are created by a single person. Yes, some of them are commercial and thus you may have paid money for it. Please realize that I’ve yet to meet a macro author who derived their entire income from creating macros. In fact, most of them derive a very small percentage (less than 10%) of their income from sales of macros. In other words, they have another job that pays their bills.

If the author needs to update a macro for a new version, they actually need that new version for design and testing purposes. Some of the authors may be involved in the beta testing of a new version and that gives them a head start. For others, they simply can’t afford to purchase the new version (see the note above about not earning much money from macros).

Now let’s put you in the shoes of a prolific macro author. In your spare time over the years, you’ve built up a nice library of useful macros. A new version has been released and you need to update each and every one of those macros. During the day, you work at your job that provides the majority of your income. After work, you want to enjoy a little time with your friends and family. That leaves very little time to work on the macros so updates aren’t ready nearly as fast as users would like.

So as I said at the beginning, take a deep breath and relax. Macro authors are people too, and very busy people. Most of them are working on getting their macros updated. Just give them a little bit of time.

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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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