The first version of Corel Draw appeared back in 1989 and in the ten years since over ten million copies have been sold. During that time it has become established wisdom amongst Draw users that Corel saves up the most important upgrades for the program.'s odd-numbered versions. As such, and with the suite's new shift to an eighteen rather than a twelve-month production cycle, hopes for a watershed release with Draw 9 are high. So does it live up to expectations?
One of the indications that Draw 8 was something of an interim release was the fact that the major interface changes it introduced were only half-carried through. In particular the replacement of the previous clutter of floating roll-up palettes with the neatly tabbed docker window down the right of the screen was a major advance but many of the onscreen palettes, such as those handling transformations, were left untouched. That's now been remedied with all former roll-ups now docked by default and floatable when required. The program's unmatched customisability has also been further enhanced right down to the ability to associate sounds with specified events. Combined with the efficiency of its unique context-sensitive property bar, Draw 9 should now be able to offer the most streamlined, controllable and productive interface of all the professional drawing packages.