The basics of the CorelDraw interface haven't changed a bit, and that's good news: Its uncluttered, logical design makes it unusually approachable for business folks who aren't graphics mavens. Also, drawing-software newbies will benefit from a new Hints window offering context-sensitive guidance as you work.
Many of the application's changes are intelligent tweaks that enhance longstanding tools. For instance, Fit Text to Path--which lets you perform such tricks as wrapping a logo around a curve--now allows you to drag type interactively into the perfect position. More than ever, CorelDraw can double as a desktop-publishing program, thanks to such text-wrangling additions as bullets, drop caps, and support for multiple columns.
CorelDraw's new Smart Fill tool, like Illustrator CS2's Live Paint, is clever enough to flood a region with color even when that space is actually the intersection of two overlapping objects. Smart Fill does not match Live Paint's ability to keep a region filled even when you reshape the objects that created it, but in many ways it's more practical, since you can apply both Smart Fill and all of CoreDraw's other effects, such as blends, bevels, and so on, to the same item. This isn't true of Illustrator's similar feature.
In earlier CorelDraw editions, you needed to use a separate utility to trace bitmapped pictures into line drawings; in X3, tracing is built into CorelDraw itself. I achieved excellent results with a little experimentation, though I found this tool unexpectedly persnickety. For example, the one-click Quick Trace option sometimes ignored large portions of images.