September 01, 2008

The newsletter this month will look back at the differences from Corel version X3 to X4, the locations of holiday ideas in LaserU and at a great feature that has been updated in X4- the Print/Merge feature.


Corel X4 - do you need it? Location of Holiday Ideas

Here are the biggest changes from Corel's version X3 to X4 that effect our industry - laser engraving.

1) Print/Merge – If you do many plaques (for example) at the same time you will want to know about this! I have a lesson in it in the X4 column in the Corel Center already & it is featured below - scroll down!

2) Vector Tracing – wow, what a difference a version makes in the area called Vector Tracing. Look at Learning Center Course 14 Lesson 6 to compare what version X3 did for difficult patterns (or rather did not do! The results were awful). See what EngraveLab does – the results are beautiful- well, version X4 now handles just like EngraveLab for this Vector Tracing function. If you have any customer supplied art that you need to scan you will miss out if you do not have X4.

3) What the font? Now when a customer supplies you with a piece of artwork and asks that you match the font – you can! I have not created a lesson yet. I hope to this month. CorelDRAW X4 looks at the raster or vector art and comes up with possible matches to the fonts.

4) Free Images - X4 comes with 1000s of royalty free art - clip art and real photos - all for you to use, even in a commerical setting without fear of penalty from copyright.

5) Straighten Images - The Straighten image dialog box lets you straighten bitmap images quickly. This feature is useful for straightening photos that were taken or scanned at an angle.

Now it is up to you! Do you need to upgrade? I think the answer is a YES!

boysGetting ready to start creating samples for your clients to view? Here are some ideas for the holidays that you may want to include in your product line.

Below you will find the location followed by the item title.


Project Center: ArtWelder
Learning Center: Course 12; Glass, Wood & Acrylic

Gift Ideas:

Gifts from the Project Center:

tyler glassUnique Alder Wood Frames
Black Acrylic Plaques - Photos
Glass Photo Frames

Gifts from the Learning Center:

Course 5 (you need this if you are engraving photos!)
Course 13; ideas for adding color to different substrates
Course 15; inventive ways to use engraver's plastic (Rowmark)

crosssUse these ideas to springboard and create you own unique offerings. Please share your product ideas and images with us!


Laser Spotlight

Each month we showcase an item, product or skill from LaserU. We give a summary of the item and provide links for more information. This month we will look at Print/Merge. This comes from our Corel Center item titled - Print/Merge - found under the Experienced section.

These badges were created using the updated Print/Merge feature in Corel X4. This feature has changed dramatically in the new release. Using it the first time around can be a bit tricky. Follow the steps outlined and you will be a pro in no time!

Print/Merge allows you to create items (like name badges) that require some static information - remains the same from piece to piece, like a logo. The best part is that you can also include dynamic information - parts that change from piece to piece, like names and titles.



This finished product was engraved and cut on RowMark FlexiColor plastic.

For more information on the Print/Merge feature see the same name item in the Corel Center.

Please send questions and comments to

See you next month with our next The Laser Engraver Newsletter.