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Old 03-07-2006, 05:43
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Default Clipping Path in bitmap with X3

Corel Draw X3

There is any way to have a bitmap 'linked externally" with a eps clipping path inside?

The only format with clipping path that X3 can manage is EPS (not TIFF), but I have no choice to 'link externally' the bitmap, when you have a catalog with hundred of photos you cannot import all of them inside Corel Draw.
All other DTP programs (Illustrator, Xpress etc.) works with external bitmap linked.

Any Idea?
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Old 04-07-2006, 20:25
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Yes you can have an externally linked bitmap, I'd suggest for a project putting them all in the same folder and the whole job inside its own folder so just in case anything gets moved on your drive, your file will still work.

The way this is done is when you import a file, you have options at the bottom that expand to allow you to link externally. However, you cannot link .eps externally. You can make .eps in PhotoPaint complete with clipping path and this is importable, however, you cannot link it, it is going to be embedded. I suppose because of having also vector data in it. So if you don't have any vector data, save it in another format then you can import it. Some other files which are not linkable are .pdf and .cpt, I've found. Anthing more complex, that may have layer data or spot color information isn't going to be linkable it seems.

CorelDRAW can do page layouts for sure and multi-page documents, however, there are somethings missing that would make it ideal for long documents, one of them is there is no way to calculate creep in the program. DRAW also doesn't manage memory as well as full-fledged page layout programs. For that I am told Ventura Publishing, also by Corel is perfect, but I have not ever used it. But it has to be better than Adobe PageMaker or InDesign. Well you cannot buy a new copy anymore of PageMaker though lots of people still use it and PageMaker has its bugs. InDesign is a good program but hard to learn and expensive and built to stay that way. As easily as you can switch from individual pages in DRAW to facing pages and then build anything into a booklet in Print Preview, you need to buy a plugin to do that in InDesign.

It really is destructive of workflow for a smaller commercial printer who has invested in equipment that does not have a booklet plugin in their digital platemaker. It is still always best to furnish the printer a booklet ready for plate.

Back to .eps, you can also save the clipping path separately from the bitmap, even though you can save it with transparency, and I suppose the reason for wanting to do this is that for a long publication where you would want to link as much as possible externally, is when importing a clipping path and having the bitmap which is much larger linked externally is going to save you a lot of file size. You can save the clipping path as .cmx. In fact if you haven't done this before, you can from the Path docker, you can set it as a clipping path and then you can save to .cmx. In fact you need to save the path really if your output is to .eps because if not you may find the box for exporting a mask are grayed out.
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Old 06-07-2006, 06:33
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So, CorelDraw cannot link external eps (or tiff) with clipping path inside the file.
Now I am doing this way:
I use Photoshop to make the path and save it as .ai file, import externally the bitmap in CD and use the .ai path as PowerClip.
Any idea for a faster process to have clipping in linked bitmap?

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Old 06-07-2006, 21:01
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It isn't that it cannot import the .eps file, it can, but not linked, as I explained.

Since DRAW is set up to work more quickly with PhotoPaint and PhotoPaint can do the clipping path, and create also the transparency, there is no reason to use Photoshop except you are used to it.

Because on the other end you have to now import two files. Which is more of an issue, your time or the file size?

The smallest file is with an imported .cpt file (Corel PhotoPaint) as a linked graphic with imported clipping path (as a .cmx file). I have run several experiments to see, all based on 300 dpi images. This test is without transparency because your intent is to PowerClip it, you don't need the transparency. Transparency means a larger file size. In comparison, the imported graphic was larger coming from Adobe's Photoshop in my experiment. The reason for this is that .cpt compresses when it saves and decompresses when you use it. However it downloads to a .pdf excellently and also prints just as well as a .tif or .psd of the same dpi. Since you are after small file size to be able to have the longest document possible, .cpt is the most efficient. It is not a lossy compression like .jpeg, it only is a compression to save the file in.

On to the other option: eps with transparency and clipping path. It is quite easy to make a clipping path in PhotoPaint. If you graphic is on a white background, you select with the wand and invert the selection, then under the Mask menu, the first option is Create, it opens to a submenu and choose make Path from Mask. Additionally it opens up a dialogue box for the smoothness of the path, 15 is usually a good choice, faithful enough to the shape without too many nodes. Then open the Path Docker and in the little arrow in the upper right you export path. The only option to save is .cmx. If you note that there is also clipping path available, you can choose both, it doesn't hurt, but if you wanted to export .eps with a clipping path and transparency, you'd choose this option, the option with a clipping path makes the save negibly larger.

Now you can import your graphic and a separate clipping path to PowerClip in DRAW. Or bring in an .eps. If you don't know how to save an .eps, read on.

Now if you have a shorter document in DRAW and want to have the transparent .eps with clipping path, from PhotoPaint, then you can save to by exporting it to .eps, then choose ".tif" -- not .wmf (that is only for a vector drawing out of DRAW without any bitmap in it) --, as I was saying, choose ".tif", in the first choice and in the second choice, you select clipping path and you also check the last box. Click OK. You now have one file that has transparency, and clipping path that will repel text when you import it into DRAW.

To import the .eps file you get a dialogue box to keep editable text or curves or just place as post script. You'll have no text, I still choose the first and it doesn't matter if you have text or curves. If there were text, I choose text as there may be a time you may need to edit the text.

Once the graphic is in place, right click and select wrap paragraph text. Then move the graphic behind the text as any placed item with transparency even in a PowerClip is safer for the text if exported to .pdf to be behind the text. Even if you can print to a digital plate maker, you are still best to keep the text in front of the graphic. It is a good habit to have.

I don't have Photoshop CS2 but I do have CS at work and 7.0 at home and neither of the versions of Photoshop I have can export a clipping path with the bitmap. You are always stuck with exporting to Illustrator.

So PhotoPaint shows up Photoshop. Hurrah! There is rarely anything that has to be done in Photoshop for me at work, unless the customer's file comes in as a Photoshop document. If you learn to use PhotoPaint, even if you think the interface is clunky, like DRAW you can customize it to get the most out of it.

It really is very powerful.

The .eps file made in PhotoPaint is importable to all page layout programs. Remember that DRAW is a full-fledged vector drawing program with page layout capability. It isn't designed to do lengthy books. Corel recommends that if you have a longer publication, you should not use DRAW but a page layout program such as Ventura Publishing, Adobe PageMaker, QuarkXpress or InDesign. All of these are better at managaing their memory in a long document.

If your publication is to be over 50 pages, do it in a page layout program. Unless there are very few pictures. There is nothing worse to have devoted hours or even days to a project and have it crash because you just chose the wrong program to do the layout in.

Last edited by sallybode; 06-07-2006 at 21:06.
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