Hairline Outlines in CorelDRAW Do Not Have a Specific Width

January 29, 2015

Hairline OutlinesI was working with a user recently who had used hairline outlines on a number of lines in a CorelDRAW project. When output, the results were not as desired.

The idea behind hairline outlines is that they will output at the minimum possible width on any given output device. On a 600 dpi printer, they would be a single pixel wide and thus 1/600 of an inch. In short, barely visible. Yet your screen is lower resolution so that same outline would look thicker on your screen. What you see is definitely not what you’ll get. Look at the screenshot shown at right. Hairline looks thicker than both the .5 points and 1 point outlines!

If you want the outlines to output at a specific width, choose that width! Corel even changed the default from hairline to .5 points (or an equivalent in your favorite measurement system) in recent versions of CorelDRAW. Try to avoid hairline outlines unless that is exactly what is required for a specific project or type of output. For example, output with a “cutline” might require a hairline width.

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5 Comments

  1. ODesign

    If you draw a horizontal hairline and convert it to an object (Ctrl+Shift+Q) the result is 0.003″. Which basically confirms your premise that a hairline has limited use. One such use is to use them to define cutlines for a large format printer-cutter.

    Reply
  2. Foster D. Coburn III

    The width you found after converting to curves was the “default” width in older versions of CorelDRAW, yes it was hairline.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    At the government office I work at, we have 2 different Xerox printers. I think some of our internal forms must have hairlines designated in postscript inside the PDF files for certain interface elements. The reason is that those lines come out at different thicknesses, depending on the machine we print those PDF’s to.

    Reply
  4. Bob Thompson

    How do I stop a hairline from being 2 lines when sent to cut in Graphtec plotter. It chows i line in CorelDraw.

    Reply
    • Foster D. Coburn III

      The hairline is always a single line. If it is being output any differently, it is the driver being used to run your plotter.

      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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