Problems with CorelDRAW: Publishing as AI and EPS


Attention CorelDRAW users: Did you know that serious problems arise when CorelDRAW files are published as an AI (Illustrator file) or EPS?

If you use DRAW, especially for logo designs, it is crucial that you completely understand its drawbacks. You do not want to provide clients with incorrect or corrupt files.

The problem

Although DRAW is a vector program, files are handled differently than other programs, particularly in areas of transparencies and gradients. When a design is exported out of DRAW as an AI or EPS, certain effects get rasterized.

For example, conical and square gradients are NOT supported by Illustrator which results in jagged and rasterized edges. Here is an example of a JPEG saved in CorelDRAW… it looks fine:


Normal Vector


However, this is the same design published as an AI file:

Ai File

Same design published as an EPS:

PDF file

More examples of CorelDRAW files published as AI or EPS:

Raster Edge Ex1


Raster Edge Ex2


Raster Edge Ex3


Raster Edge Ex4

Unfortunately for CorelDRAW users, more and more clients are demanding Illustrator files. Why? Because most printing companies and designers do not support or use CorelDRAW — they only use Adobe programs.

This could be a future problem if your client wants to edit their design and their in-house designer tells them, “I can’t do anything with this file unless I re-design it in Illustrator.” How irritating would that be?

The “Solution”

The “solution” is neither simple nor direct. It seems that publishing your file as Acrobat 8 (PDF 1.8), while making sure the flattening settings are NOT enabled results in a smooth, printable design. However, having a printable design still leaves a problem when your client demands an AI or EPS editable-file.

Here are a few ways you can ensure your clients receive correct, editable files:

1. Limit your CorelDRAW effects

If you are thinking of sharing a DRAW created file with an Illustrator user, then you’ll have to use the Illustrator standard. For example, only use linear and radial gradients and do NOT use conical and square gradients

Gradient Examples

2. Use CorelDRAW and Illustrator

We talked to a few designers that still love DRAW and don’t want to give it up completely. They construct their designs in DRAW, then publish it as an AI file and finish their effects within Illustrator

3. Train yourself in Illustrator

As a modern-day designer, it’s important to keep up with demand by learning new programs and providing your clients with their desired files

Are you a CorelDRAW user? How do you provide clients with correct EPS and AI files? Please provide your feedback in the comments below.


Based in San Francisco, Allison (Alli) Stuart works as Head of Community Marketing at 99designs. When she's not writing articles and communicating with designers, she is working on her Children's Book. She also enjoys extreme sports, like sky diving and traveling to new places. Alli has a Fine Arts Degree with a concentration in Graphic Design from Louisiana State University, her home. Geaux Tigers!

  • Amos Kofi Commey

    I have been having headaches with CorelDRAW to Ai. thanks for the tip. Really helpful topic.

  • fadi

    I do that always

  • EFBE


    • Lj Muna

      Stay away from inkscape

  • heba

    no its easy to convert from corel to illustrator just save the file as .pdf file and open it in illustrator and save it as ai, no problem

    • cobasa

      Agreed !!, no problem w Corel !

    • Lordbyaku

      Really aggreed.. no problem at all
      but i think Client should get what they want :)

  • melody

    if I use the Corel. can it? if possible. exstention file size and dimensions of size and number. thank you. I just beginners

  • GoFlyers

    Corel Draw is a much more powerful app than Illustrator. I was a long time illustrator user…since learning Corel Draw, I’d never go back.

  • destrecht

    People should just change to Draw. I know them both, and for the most part, Draw is superior.

  • Ronda

    My major issue with CorelDRAW X7 is every time I save the file as AI or EPS it opens as an empty file?! But saves to PDF fine… Doesn’t appear to corrupt the orig file, others can open the CDR and edit. WTH

  • David

    CorelDRAW is a drug, the more limited graphics program that exists. I suffer a lot to get export a .EPS that do not lose quality.

  • Lelouch

    draw with corel, then finish it with adobe, it’s faster than learning adobe from scratch.

  • biba

    Corel Draw is the best vector program and YES the files can be exported as pdf. file and preserve everything done.

  • Lj Muna

    Quite subjective eh. Long time user of CorelDRAW, since version 11, never encountered any problems while printing and I honestly think it’s better than illustrator in handling vectors, but if the client wants Illustrator then alright, give them Illustrator. Good thing about Illustrator is it makes it easier to work with PS or other Adobe software

  • Herry Tjahjono

    CorelDRAW X7 is very good vector app, faster than Illustrator

  • Duminda Alahakoon

    I’m using CoralDRAW for more than 15 years. But had no any problem so far. When I want to export CDR file to Adobe AI of PSD I use the layered files as it is. All those layers are editable in AI of PSD.
    But there is a very big problem with CorlaDRAW. The color effects & appearance are so poor in printing process. But I don’t know how to solve this Prob !. If someone know the reason please help me. Thanks in advance.
    My E-mail :

  • Debra Muirhead Gallaway

    Simple TEXT and a very simple vector design were exported as an eps and CorelDraw X7 ROTATED THEM BOTH 90 DEGREES!!!! Not only that, but it left out part of the text! What gives?!!! Perhaps I need to DITCH CorelDraw before I have a heart attack!!!!

  • fadjart convection

    Dear seniors corel draw .. I really like CorelDraw program, I use coreldraw x4. I want to ask, how the correct way to change the CDR files to EPS / PVG?. why when opened, the picture is less good results. do not like to change the picture from CDR to PNG / JPG … I want to know my mistake in exsport clicking the file. please help me …. is there any special way?

  • alex_poulsen

    Haven’t tested Affinity Designer .ai etc exports yet
    Does Illustrator support elliptical gradients?

  • rozi

    How do you provide clients with correct EPS and AI files?