Slow Performing CorelDRAW File Loaded With Transparencies

May 1, 2014

Often when someone hires the geek, they want to know why a file or group of files is performing poorly in CorelDRAW. Today I wanted to share some of the things I found in a recent file. First, the logo in this file was sized to be one inch square. This is important as the logo is going to be output at such a small size that details just won’t be seen.

Before you think I am slapping the wrist of the person who sent me the file, you should know that it was likely supplied to them by a client. While I don’t have proof positive, the fact that the file was full of “Group of 1 Objects” makes me think it was originally created in Adobe Illustrator and then imported into CorelDRAW. Hint: having a “Group of 1 Objects” will not help the file perform faster. I doubt it hurts performance greatly, but having a file full of hundreds of these groups can slow things down.

Most likely you have created the shading from one color to another through a blend. This is a common technique and there is nothing wrong with doing it. Yet it is important to use the appropriate number of steps in the blend. Not enough and you won’t get the smooth transition you desire, too many you you slow things down for no reason. This file definitely had too many steps…way too many steps. Remember, the whole logo was one inch square and so having hundreds of steps over an area that was maybe a tenth of an inch is overkill!

If you look at the screen shot of the Object Manager I’ve shown above right, a number of the “Group of 1 Objects” contained a single curve with a Lens applied. That Lens was really a uniform transparency. Having hundreds of objects with transparency is a good way to bring your computer to its knees and that is exactly what happened with this file.

The transparency wasn’t even needed and that was the worst part. If the objects had been filled with the appropriate colors and blended, the desired effect would be achieved. Unfortunately the person who sent me this file will likely have to spend many hours rebuilding it because of the way it was originally created. Be careful when you import files as this same thing could happen. And if you create something from scratch, only use complex effects when they are truly needed.

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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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