For Dye Sublimation: Line Width in CorelDRAW

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By Steve Spence Why should I dedicate an entire YouTube video to something as simple as line width? A line is a line and if you make it 10 points wide, then it’s 10 points wide – so what’s the big deal?   Actually, it is a big deal. Because of how Corel increases width to a line, it can destroy a design or logo and it can destroy our hard work when we try to increase or decrease the overall size of our work.   The reason for this is because Corel increases a line from the center outward in both directions. Each line has two nodes – one at each end. Those nodes are always in the center of a line so when the width is increased, Corel puts half of the new width on each side of the center line.   In most cases, we have to “fix” this so when we reduce or increase the overall size of the object, everything remains proportional. This is an easy fix but WE have to do it manually. There is no default setting to make this magically happen. It can be done one line at a time or all the lines at the same time but you have to know what to do and where the fix is located.   To fix the problem, we have to go to the “Outline Pen” dialogue box on the left of our drawing screen (almost at the bottom). Once the dialogue box opens, click on “Outline Pen” option and then the “Scale with Image” box. This is change the line so it will always remain proportional.   And then there is the second problem as to line width. If you have a box and want a specific size inside a box (lines), you must also check the second box in the Outline Pen dialogue box – the “Behind Fill”. This allows the inside of the box or circle to remain whatever you drew it at. In other words, it allows your fill (and it must have a fill), to cover up half of the line’s width and remain the same as it was drawn. This is critical when drawing control panels and other architectural designs that require precise measurements.   Now, the final part. When you make the line go behind the fill, you are hiding half the width of the line so the line width isn’t what the screen says it is. If you made it 8 points wide, it’s now only 4. So if you want to maintain the integrity of the inside of a box or circle and still have an 8 point line around it, you will have to increase the width of the line to 16. This means half of the line is hidden and the other half, which is revealed, is now 8 points wide.   This is the way this has been in Corel since my first encounter in Version 3 and it isn’t likely to change so as designers, we must learn to compensate to obtain the actual widths we want. It isn’t hard, it’s just one of those things we have to remember to do when working with Corel.   For a visual explanation, check out the video called, “Line Width Adjustment in CorelDRAW” on CondéTV.