How to Create a Web Page in Corel Draw

by Thomas Cholewa

Slick, graphics-rich, professional website designs aren't limited to products built for the Web. A program long thought of as the sole province of graphics designers, CorelDraw offers a robust website creation option. For those who don’t have the time to invest in courses on HTML markup and Web programming, CorelDraw offers a practical alternative for designing a professional website.

Familiar Territory

You design, CorelDraw compiles the code.

If style sheets, DIVs, anchor tags, JavaScript and other HTML markup verbiage constitute a foreign language to you, then CorelDraw offers a welcoming, familiar environment for building a fully functional, Web-ready site. CorelDraw allows you to build Web pages from a purely visual perspective, using tools shared amongst most graphic design and many word processing programs. Forget about building columns based on pixel height and width, absolute or relative positioning, float left or float right commands. With a click and a drag, CorelDraw lets you draw out perfectly-sized columns, text boxes, headers and footers. You can make quick and easy adjustments on ideas that don’t look quite right or discard the ones that simply don’t work.

Process

Draw your website with CorelDraw's WYSIWYG tools.

CorelDraw uses the concept of what-you-see-is-what-you-get. All you need to do is draw the individual sections of your site -- header, footer, columns, textboxes -- and CorelDraw creates all of the complex source code behind the scenes. This WYSIWYG feature makes CorelDraw attractive to those who do not have the time to invest in learning complicated HTML or Web-based programming. As you build your site in CorelDraw, periodically export your work as an HTML page to a file on your desktop to see how your page is shaping up. Once exported, double-click on the HTML file to load it into your favorite browser. This allows you to carefully inspect the layout in a Web-based environment without actually publishing your page the Internet. Should the page require tweaking, simply go back to CorelDraw, make adjustments and then export it again to create a new HTML file.

Pros and Cons of CorelDraw as a Website Builder

CorelDraw's HTML output can present problems.

The ability to design attractive, fully functional Web pages without expert knowledge of HTML markup and Web-based programming is a clear benefit of using CorelDraw as a website design engine. Another plus is the nature of the program as a graphics design tool. CorelDraw renders vector images, which are based on geometric lines arrived at through mathematic expressions. The result is a cleaner, sharper line than you can produce in pixel-based raster images. Learning to use the graphic design capabilities of CorelDraw opens up creative freedom and maintains aesthetic purity when it comes time to create logos and other graphics proprietary to your website. Be cautious, though. While CorelDraw offers design capabilities with a subtle learning curve, the program outputs table-based HTML. This type of HTML markup often falls short of Worldwide Web Consortium standards and it may create compatibility problems from one browser to another. Though it is certainly possible to design a fully functional website using only CorelDraw’s WYSIWYG functionality, you may need to augment the design with a working knowledge of HTML markup and W3C-recognized document types. Problems with HTML markup typically come into play with more complex Web pages, so a good rule of thumb is to design pages with simplicity in mind.

Corel Website Creator in X6

CorelDraw X6 features greater Web design capabilities.

The release of the Corel X6 creative suite includes Corel Website Creator, a highly advanced WYSIWYG Web authoring tool. This program empowers you to design your site with preconfigured templates and tools that add the kind of dynamic functionality seen in most modern websites. It also eliminates the problems caused by table-based HTML output with a stylesheet authoring tool and pre-designed style templates. Corel Website Creator is as much an authoring platform as it is a learning environment. It can help you gain a better understanding of what goes on under the hood of one of those impressive-looking websites you see on the Internet.

About the Author

Tom Cholewa’s work spans the breadth of several decades and media platforms. In the 1980s, Cholewa served in the Army as a reporter where he received two Keith L Ware Awards for Excellence in Military Journalism. He later brought this experience to the digital medium as an editor, blogger and copywriter.

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