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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Imposition Is One of CorelDRAW's Most Powerful Features

I had a user contact me last week. Part of their workflow involved making quite a few duplicates of an object (or group of objects) to be positioned on the page. In short, they wanted a bunch of copies of the graphic to be output at specific positions on the page. I asked why Imposition wasn't being used and the user didn't know anything about the feature.

I hate it when users don't even know about one of the most powerful features in CorelDRAW. Especially when it is a feature that could save them hours each week. Those are hours that could be spent on other jobs making more money! Before I go any further, let's talk about the value of an hour. USA Today published a snapshot about the value of an hour last week. The question asked was "For your small business, how much is one more productive hour worth?" I'll list the answers by value along with the percentage who gave each answer.
  • Up to $10 (25%)
  • $200 (24%)
  • $300 (11%)
  • $400 (5%)
  • More than $500 (35%)
Look carefully at those numbers. 75% of the people asked said that one more productive hour was worth at least $200! So if this one feature could you more productive hours each week, it is pretty darned valuable.

Let's start with an example of a business card. When you print them, you don't want to print just a single business card. You want 8 or 10 of them at least on a page. What about name badges? You probably want a bunch of those on a page as well. The customer who contacted me last week was designing identical shapes to be cut on a laser engraver. All of these are perfect examples of projects where imposition needs to be involved in the job. Combine imposition with print merge and you have the ability to print money (ok, print stuff to make money) in CorelDRAW! Believe me, I know some of you are well aware of imposition and print merge and you're using it to make money.

These two amazing features have been around for many versions of CorelDRAW, though they are most valuable in CorelDRAW X4 and higher. This is because of the ability to do a print merge to a new file and then to impose the results. CorelDRAW X6 takes it to another level because the 64-bit version can handle bigger files. Both of these features are covered in Lesson 9 of CorelDRAW X5 Unleashed Advanced Topics. Yes, the lesson costs $10. According to the small businesspeople who answered the USA Today survey, it is worth a lot more than that. You can also get the whole DVD for well below the value of an hour of productivity. I'll be updating it for CorelDRAW X6, though that is some time in the future. The good news is that the techniques are virtually identical in CorelDRAW X4-X6 so this lesson can get you started with it right now.

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