Sometimes you come across a great cropping tool in a non-pixel-based image editing package. CorelDraw is not a traditional image editor by any stretch. It does come with bitmap editing power in the form of the application PhotoPaint which is packaged with the Corel Graphics Suite. That type of Crop Tool isn’t what I am here to talk about today.
When anyone asks me my favorite Draw feature,
without hesitation: The PowerClip.
CorelDraw is an illustration and page layout program. Bitmapped graphics figure heavily into my varied designs and I am constantly moving pictures in and out of Draw as I build a variety of projects. Even the simple business card layout above makes use of two PowerClip objects.
PowerClip, simply described, allows you to create a container into which you may place objects-including images. If the object is larger than the container, it crops the excess off non-destructively. The PowerClip container can be any closed shape.
In the example above, I have used a photograph of the Costa Rican rainforest as a business card background. I use a PowerClip to constrain the previously uncropped image to the printer’s 3.5×2.5 dimension. In the logo at the top right is an oval that contains a “lensed” version of the same background. It resides within a PowerClip Ellipse that defines its position and reveals only that portion I wish revealed.
Inserting an object within a PowerClip object is simple. You can see the outline of the final revealed shape. This allows you to size and position your bitmap within the bounds interactively and repeatedly. You aren’t limited to simple shapes either. Ever wanted to crop your image into words?
PowerClip makes it easy. We just cropped our picture into text. That is some funky cropping (if you want to stretch the definition of cropping so far).
Rather than taking your bitmap out to an image editor and creating a one-time, one-size file with a difficult shape and an alpha-channel, consider using a PowerClip to place your image in a document. It is a non-destructive crop when that image must live within another document rather than a stand-alone picture.
CorelDraw is a utility every photographer can use. I wrote extensively about this in a previous article. PowerClip is my favorite feature. If you ever need to crop within a design piece consider reaching for PowerClip to PowerCrop!
Rikk Flohr © 2011