There Can Be Real Costs to “Free” Clipart

May 21, 2013

Free Clipart Isn't FreeAnyone can do a Google Search and you just might find the graphic you need is available as a free download. Unfortunately users probably don’t understand that some of those free graphics may not be even remotely free. Why? Because you’ll waste a lot of time editing the graphic to make it usable in your project! What is your time worth? I doubt any of you like to waste time, so let’s go over some of the problems you might encounter with this so-called “free” clipart.

While the free clipart may come in a number of vector formats, the most popular formats are SVG and Adobe Illustrator (AI or EPS). We’re not talking about bitmaps today and they could have their own set of issues.

SVG Files

The biggest problem you may find is that some SVG files just can’t be imported into CorelDRAW. The older your version of CorelDRAW, the biggest the chance at failure. You might be able to open them in Inkscape and resave them, though my experience shows that only works about half of the time. If the file does import, you’ll probably notice a lot of extra SVG data if you look in CorelDRAW’s Object Manager. While this extra data can be deleted, it can be time consuming to get rid of it all and it does need to be deleted.

Quite often you’ll also find other invisible stuff in the file. Shift the View mode to Wireframe and look for objects you were not seeing in the Enhanced view. Transparencies are typically converted to Lenses, though the results may not look the same. Some effects are rendered as bitmaps and often the bitmaps are at insanely high resolutions. For some output methods, those bitmaps just won’t work. You’ll also find the outlines need to have Scale With Image enabled and often they can be loaded with excess nodes.

AI/EPS Files

Many of the issues listed for SVG files will also apply to AI/EPS files. You will not have the extra data as that is unique to SVG files. One thing that is much worse is that older versions of CorelDRAW can not read AI files from a version of Illustrator created after your version of CorelDRAW. There could also be problems if the files were saved with compression.

Clipart That Works

Why do I describe all these problems? Because I hear from users all the time who would rather beat their heads against the wall with these “free” graphics instead of purchasing artwork that is problem-free. Why not consider spending a few bucks to get artwork that has been tested and prepared specifically for CorelDRAW users? If you feel it is too expensive, you certainly haven’t looked at our Clipart Unleashed packages and Bonus Content Packs as they are all value-priced. Just remember the value these packages contain the next time you think a “free” graphic is really a good deal.

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2 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    only one thing…..

    These CD’s like a lot of em NEVER have what we NEED!

    Reply

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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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