CorelDRAW Tips: Getting Rid of that Pesky White Bounding Box with Bitmaps

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By J. Stephen Spence Alright, frustration big time! You finally found the perfect piece of clipart or logo for a project. It looks clean and looks as if it will import just fine…and it does…except it has one of those blasted white bounding boxes around it and you need it to go over a colored background.   In the old days (about three years ago), it would take a 15 step process to get rid of that bounding box – if it worked at all. Or, you could go in and manually erase it in PhotoPaint or PhotoShop which might take hours and probably wouldn’t be all that clean anyway after you got done hacking on it.   Of course, if you were really, really, really lucky, the clipart would be square or rectangle or a circle so you could PowerClip it and get rid of the bounding box that way. Or if you were comfortable tracing the logo, you could create your own shape to PowerClip it into but these solutions often took time to do.   For the past few versions of CorelDRAW, there has been something called the “Bitmap Color Mask”. It is hidden pretty well under the “Dockers” menu so many people still don’t know it’s there and wouldn’t know what to do with it if they did.   So, here’s the skinny: This will not only get rid of a white bounding box, but any solid color background or even a color(s) inside a logo or clipart and it will work to some extend on photos too – it just depends on how the photo is composed.   Go to “Window” in the top CorelDRAW task bar. Select “Dockers” and then “Bitmap Color Mask”. A docker will appear on the right hand of the drawing area with 10 black bars. Put a check mark next to the first one.   Now click on the eye-dropper just below the black bars and take it out into the drawing and click on the color you want to go away. It if is a white bounding box and you can’t see it, click on it anyway. The top bar should turn white (or the color you clicked on). Now, click apply.   If everything works the way it should, the color you selected with the eye dropper will go away. Now you can place the clipart or logo, etc. over a new background without a bounding box.   Simple if you know how to do it. Best of all, you no longer have to open PhotoPaint and jump back and forth between programs. This can all be done right in DRAW.   Now, THAT’S worth the price of admission! Your version of Corel doesn’t have this feature? Then it is way past time to upgrade.   If the clipart doesn’t look clean, it is probably because it is a very low resolution which is death on anything we do. Still, the slider in the docker can often help clean up the art so it is acceptable and if you are using a medium to high resolution piece of art, it will probably clean it up to look absolutely perfect.   Not only can you use these tool with clipart, you can also use it with photographs. If you have a photograph with a solid color sky for instance, you can actually remove the sky and replace it with something else. I have used it when taking a picture of a football stadium on a pretty day and replacing the sky with the sky from another image that had a stormy sky.   Try it yourself. It’s fun to see what can come up with. Not all photos will work but some will and it’s a challenge to figure out which are which.   By the way, Conde is now an Authorized Corel Distributor and they have the lowest prices I’ve seen – both in the disk version and the downloadable versions so be sure to check it out.   Oh, I made a video showing how all this is done. Click here to see it, "Dye Sublimation CorelDRAW Tips: Remove Pesky White Bounding Box with Bitmaps".