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Dye Sub Artwork: Using Rulers in CorelDRAW

“Well, I know how to read a ruler” you might think to yourself, so let me start this off by saying, “This session is not meant to be condescending”. Of course you know how to use a ruler but do you know all the things CorelDRAW ties to its "rulers" that can make your life easier? If you don’t know, then this session might be for you. Obviously, you can see the rulers on your draw screen. It is probably in inches, and if you zoom in on it, the divisions keep getting smaller and smaller.

That is easy enough, but you can go to the box on the active tool bar, at the top of the page, and select rulers shown in millimeters, feet, yards, and miles. There are some other options like points, didos, and ciceros that you may have never heard of and chances are, you will never use anyway. For the record, ciceros and didos (not dittos) are from the French printers of a century ago. A cicero is about the same as a pica (1/12”) and a dido is 1/72”. Pica and Points are both lithography terms from the 1800’s and refer mostly to text. A Pica is the width of a text character and Points refers to the height. These are German terms and are still used in the printing industry today, as well as the desktop publishing industry (including Corel users).

Click on the type of measurement you want to use and it will show on your drawing screen. The rulers can be turned off and on by going to “View” and clicking on “Rulers”. Along with rulers, come guidelines, which can be turned off and on in the same way. Also, guidelines, which are stored behind the rulers on the top and bottom of your screen, can be made to snap to a division on the rulers by going to “View” and clicking on “Snap to” and then “Document Grid”. 

Another feature that can be used with rulers is the “Nudge Tool”. This is the ability to pre-set the amount of movement that will result from touching the arrow key on your keyboard each time. The default is .1” but I like to put a zero in front of the one to make it .01”. This means each time I hit the arrow key, the selected object(s) move one one-hundredths of an inch. If I am working on something very small or precise, I may add yet another zero making it move .001”.  The nudge tool can also be set up by going to “Tools”, then “Options” and then “Rulers”.

You will see there is not only a Nudge setting but also a Super Nudge and a Micro Nudge. These can be preset to whatever you want or you can use the default settings. The Super Nudge, which is usually twice whatever the Nudge is, can be accessed by holding down the Shift Key while pressing the arrow key. The Micro Nudge, which is usually half of the Nudge setting, is accessed by holding down the Control Key while hitting an arrow key.

We hope this has helped you in your understanding in many of the features associated with the rulers in CorelDraw.

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