NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
Windows Draw 5
Carl Bethea, President - March 97
(click to email author)

Windows Draw by Micrografx has always been the entry level competitor to Corel Draw, but with the new version 5, Micrografx Draw should no longer just be considered an entry level program. The program now includes drawing, diagramming, 3D text and graphics, internet graphics, photo editing, painting, and a drag-and-drop clip art manager, plus more than 20,000 clip art and photo images and 250 fonts.

The package consists of several component programs just like Corel Draw. There is Windows Draw for drawing and diagramming, Instant 3D for quick and easy 3D text and objects, Photo Magic for capturing, creating, and editing photo images, and ABC Media Manager for organizing and accessing clip art and photos. The programs all are contained on one CD and a second CD contains 20,000+ Clip Art and Photo Images for use with any Windows 95 software, and 250 typefaces for dressing up your text.

One of my favorite features of this latest version of Draw is the Project Wizard Assistance. Here you can choose from more than 300 professionally designed projects in over 20 categories. There is a wide variety of wizards that include, certificates, letterhead and envelopes, flyers, signs and posters, business cards, labels, diagram, banners and tons more. It also has a wizard for Internet graphics that helped design the clubs web pages. Add this to the 20,000 clip art images, and you have a very powerful program for graphic design. But even with all the features it is still very simple to use.

Another neat new feature of this version is the QuickSilver Plug-In for the Internet. It allows the placement, viewing and editing of vector graphics from Windows Draw inside of Web pages. Or, you can save your graphics as JPEG, GIF, and interlaced GIF output, for rendering and viewing on your personal home page.

And if you want to add a 3D look to your home page or drawings, the Instant 3D application included in Windows Draw allows you to easily create stunning 3D text and graphics. Use the Text Wizard to quickly create 3D text, or choose from the library of 90 3D objects that already have textures and lighting in place. If you don't like the texture, you can apply your own choice of textures, adjust lighting and rotation. Once you have your 3D graphic, you can drag and drop it into any Windows 95 application.

One new feature to Draw 5 is the addition of the PhotoMagic application. We saw this powerful photo editor as part of Micrografx Designer when Micrografx was at one of our meetings last year. With this program you can scan in that favorite photo of Uncle George, and paint in the full head of hair he used to have. PhotoMagic includes the tools to crop, resize, rotate, and enhance personal photos. Adjust contrast, brightness, and other basic qualities. Or apply any of more than 50 special effects, such as motion blur or emboss, using the built-in Effects Browser(TM). Even retouch photos to fix "red eyes", torn or faded corners, and other common photographic problems.

The final feature of Draw 5 is the fantastic ABC Media Manger. With this you can drag and drop stored artwork from Windows Draw 5 to any other Windows 95 application. Thumbnail sketches of existing artwork can be previewed, and new artwork can be cataloged from more than 50 different graphic file formats. You can also organize your own files by subject, and use the keyword search to find just the right image for your special project. Then, just click the thumbnail and drag it into your Windows program. It is amazing.

And to top off all this, Windows Draw sells on the street for around $65, placing it almost $200 lower than just an upgrade to Corel Draw, much less buying Corel Draw for the first time at around $450. If you need some graphic tools, but just don't want to pay the prices Corel Draw charges, take a look at Micrografx Draw 5; you won't regret it.

Click here to return to top