Importing or Opening Corel Draw files in Illustrator ?

Community Beginner ,
Jan 10, 2021 Jan 10, 2021

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Just installed Illustrator on January 2021 with the latest version.  Trying to open or place corel draw files from Corel 2020 and recieve the following error message.

 

The file "xxxxx.cdr" is an unknown file format and cannot be opened.

Installed illustrator to transition from Corel for my Trotec Laser Engraver.  No longer have a working copy of Corel, the copy I bought off Ebay was turned off from Corel saying it was not legit.   I no longer access to corel for saving or exporting files.  

Need to run some parts for a client today, really need some help with this.. 

Thanks.

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Community Beginner , Jan 10, 2021 Jan 10, 2021
Final conclusion - For future readers.  As of January 2021, Using Corel 2020 and Adobe Illustrator 2020Option 1 .  If you still have acess to corel, export files in Corel as .AI files .  Best option but time consuming. Option 2. Use online converter websites.  This was the option I went with, allowed me to upload them in batches keep the names.  I exported them to .EPS files and was able to open/place in Adobe Illustrator.  Used cloudconvert.com to perform this process. Conclusion - Disappointed...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 10, 2021 Jan 10, 2021

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How many files are there?

If it's not dozens, please upload them on Dropbox or the like. I have CorelDRAW 2020 and could export them as AI files.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 10, 2021 Jan 10, 2021

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Over a 100, was using Corel for a few years, till I finally got tired of it.. 

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 10, 2021 Jan 10, 2021

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Might need to over a trade with someone for some laser cutting time.   Sounds like this is going to take a few hours...  Thanks, disappointing on Adobe side, I can import .AI files into Corel..  It's not great but it works.. 

Corel being a nightmare all the way to the end...  Thanks

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 10, 2021 Jan 10, 2021

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Maybe you can post them in chunks. And then maybe some more people can help in converting them.

 

I would not recommend exporting them to EPS. CorelDRAW can export AI pretty well.

 

Of course you can also try online converters, suchas: https://www.zamzar.com/de/convert/cdr-to-ai/

In case your files contain transparency, you might get unusable results.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 10, 2021 Jan 10, 2021

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Just tried an online converter to .eps and it worked.

Used cloudconvert.com and converted them to .eps.

The laser only cares about RBG black so this will work for this use case.   Thanks for all the help.. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 10, 2021 Jan 10, 2021

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The only that's going to work is if you have a working copy of CS5 (or CS6 with the Tensai extension). If you can post the file on a file-sharing site, maybe some one here will be able to do it on a one time basis.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 10, 2021 Jan 10, 2021

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Hmm What is CS5 or CS6 ??? 

I might need to find a way to access Corel one last time then to export them as .eps files it seems..  What a nightmare Corel has been all the way to the end...

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 10, 2021 Jan 10, 2021

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"Hmm What is CS5 or CS6 ??? "

 

Lollll, that's the previous marketing name, it was Creative Suite before it was changed to Creative Cloud.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 10, 2021 Jan 10, 2021

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Final conclusion - For future readers.  As of January 2021, Using Corel 2020 and Adobe Illustrator 2020

Option 1 .  If you still have acess to corel, export files in Corel as .AI files .  Best option but time consuming. 

Option 2. Use online converter websites.  This was the option I went with, allowed me to upload them in batches keep the names.  I exported them to .EPS files and was able to open/place in Adobe Illustrator.  Used cloudconvert.com to perform this process. 

Conclusion - Disappointed in Adobe for not allowing an easy import .cdr function, Corel has an easy .AI import function.  The laser engraver only cares about RGB colors, mainly Black, Blue and Red.  Scaling had to be adjusted after conversion. 
Solved the problem.  Thanks

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Enthusiast ,
Jan 10, 2021 Jan 10, 2021

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Some years ago Adobe Illustrator had a CorelDRAW import filter. The capabilitiy was around for only a short amount of time because of bugs. There was one instance where I tried to open a CDR file directly in Illustrator and something happened that completely trashed my Illustrator installation. I had to uninstall and reinstall the whole Creative Suite (or Cloud) package in order for Illustrator to run again.

I use both CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator heavily. The two applications overlap each other with most features but then there are numerous other areas where the two have unique features or capabilities not found in the rival. It makes moving artwork between the two applications an adventure. CorelDRAW has grown better in its last couple or so versions at opening Illustrator files and exporting AI files that will open properly in Illustrator. But it's still not 100% accurate and may never be.

I have some ancient CorelDRAW CDR files; if I ever need to open them I have to use Inkscape to do that. The last few versions of CorelDRAW won't open CDR files made in version 5 or earlier. The newest version of Illustrator will open 30 year old AI files.

I'm somewhat concerned about the future of the CorelDRAW application. Version 2019 had some serious bugs. Version 2020 was better, but the only notable improvement was the addition of Variable Font support. I don't think Corel has the resources to release whole versions of CorelDRAW on an annual basis. They're not building up enough new features and improvements in a 12 month time span for the product to be worthy of a whole version number change, and the cost to users that goes along with it. Worse yet, maintenance updates have been few and far between. CorelDRAW 2020 has received only one point-release update and only one "hot fix" update. Compare that to three point-release updates for Illustrator CC 2020 and perhaps a dozen or more maintenance updates.

Corel has made some dubious business decisions lately. They did away with perpetual license upgrades. Later they raised their annual subscription and "upgrade protection" prices by $50. This is resulting in a lot of users staying put on older versions of the software. It seems pretty sensible considering the lack of new features and improvments in the newer versions. They're not worth the money. The hazard of sticking with an old version is Microsoft could come along and change something in Windows that prevents that old software from running.

I think Corel needs to go back to a 2 year product cycle with CorelDRAW. They need to bring back perpetual license upgrades and charge a fair price for them. Other lower cost rival drawing applications (Inkscape, Affinity Designer, Vectornator, etc) are continuing to improve. Corel isn't in the same league as Adobe and they're about to be caught in the middle by these newer, more affordable upstarts.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 10, 2021 Jan 10, 2021

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Thank you for the insight.

 

What I don't understand - if you keep both Illustrator and CorelDRAW because of their unique features (which they undoubtedly both have), then why are you afraid of Affinity Designer? Their only argument is the low cost. Feature-wise they just have nothing to offer. Even FreeHand outdid them on basically every level. And FreeHand is dead for about 15 years now.

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Enthusiast ,
Jan 10, 2021 Jan 10, 2021

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I'm personally not afraid of Affinity Designer or the other lower cost upstarts. I bought Windows and iPad versions of Affinity Designer when Serif was having its 50% COVID-19 themed sale last Spring. Despite some of its limitations the application is growing in popularity, so I figured it might be a good idea to jump on that sale just to have the application on hand in case we start seeing a decent number of customer provided .afdesign files come in for various sign projects.

Still, I think Affinity Designer and other low cost/free vector graphics programs are a growing threat to CorelDRAW. Corel is not getting many existing Illustrator users to defect from using Creative Cloud. Their first Mac release in many years (CDR 2019) had all kinds of problems. Then they killed off perpetual license upgrades and adopted IMHO an onerous pricing and subscription setup. That kind of ruined any selling advantage CorelDRAW had for users looking to escape Adobe's subscription-only model. Then there is the overall identity of the CorelDRAW user base, mostly home/office productivity and casual users. That's where Affinity Designer and other low cost apps become an even bigger threat.

When it comes to full time graphic design jobs CorelDRAW is widely used in niche categories, like sign design, embroidery or screen printing. For a lot of mainstream work like magazine/newspaper publishing, print advertising and video production Adobe dominates (along with the Mac platform). I think Corel is more dependent on casual and home/office users. But Corel is in great danger of losing those kinds of users. The rival applications are far more affordable. Even though applications like Affinity Designer may be primitive when compared to Illustrator or CorelDRAW many of those casual or home/office users have relatively basic needs. I think Inkscape is a pain to use, but its latest version has a pretty impressive feature set.

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