View Full Version : Corel 8 and Vector - Flat edged circles...Help!

11-08-2001, 02:06 PM
Here's a problem that's been bugging me, and not being anywhere near as proficient in Vector as I am in Corel, I can't get a good handle on how to solve.

Sometimes (most times) when I layout a design in Corel and then import it into Vector as a DXF, my nice bezier curves and circles end up being an ugly collection of straight lines that are put to gether in a "circular" shape. I know there has to be a way in vector to fix these paths, but either I can't find it, or I'm doing something wrong.

If anyone can tell me how to deal with this, I'd really appreciate it because my arms are getting tired from all the sanding


11-08-2001, 05:43 PM
Randy, I would wager good money that your problem
is either in your video card or configuration!

If you have your resolution set at 16K try 24, or 32 bit. res. if that don't work try turning down your hardware acceleration, if you are using
win 98.. I have encountered this problem with
some video cards ATI, and Nvidia tnt.
some where to start....

11-09-2001, 09:24 AM
I'll take that bet ;)

The thing that doesn't jive with that solution is that the lines manifest themselves on the cut parts. For example, I have a panel that has several 1.125" circles in corel draw. When it is exported to dxf and then imported to Vector, it no longer is made up of curves, rather many straight lines in a circular orientation. Then, when the part is cut, there are distinct corners inside the hole and the round part that I want to fit in the hole doesn't fit because of this.

Curved edges of my cut parts have exhibited this very same problem, leading to sanding to "round" them out. In Corel, it is a nice sweeping curve with only a couple nodes with smooth curve transitions, but something gets lost sometimes when going to Vector.


11-09-2001, 11:40 AM
Vector does not modify a DXF file when it is opened. Corel is saving the file with facets, so Vector processes them that way.

There is a function in Vector to fit arcs to the kind of geometry that Corel produces. Select the geometry and then Draw-Spline-Arc Spline. There is an error tolerance, that should be set to .003-.005 to eliminate any visible changes in the outline, or leave it at .020 if using it on letters that are 1.5 inches or larger, as you will not get that much noticible distortion. You may want to select only the curved portions of the geometry as sometimes straight portions will get a noticable "bow" if you leave the accuracy too high. The default values are set to do a fairly good job on Corel text, as that was the original application that the arc spline was designed for.

This function can make a major reduction in the number of entities in Corel or even in Vector generated Tru-Type text outlines. Reduced entity counts will speed up the pocketing and offsetting processes.

11-09-2001, 12:36 PM
Thanks Fred, that was the ticket.

Of course all that post-processing is going to be a real PITA. I'm starting to think that Corel isn't the tool for the job, which really hurts me since I have about 10 years of experience with it :/ .

I did make another discovery which I don't understand. If I take a normal circle in corel draw, convert it curves (giving me 4 nodes) and then *manually* insert 4 more nodes into the geometry, one at about the middle of each existing node, it goes into Vector and gives me a circle with plenty (maybe too many) nodes that makes a nice smooth curve.

Does anyone know how to get Corel to export geometry to DXF with more nodes without all the manual interaction?

Thanks for the help,

11-17-2001, 04:46 PM

I believe that vector 9.3 can metafile cut and paste, and that should solve the problem too. Fred would know for sure,

Greg Facer

11-17-2001, 05:40 PM
I don,t use vector so can,t answer that question,
But I do inlays and a variety of small and large
jobs using corel 7 and 8 exporting as DXF then
use the shopbot converter, and have never encountered your flats or stepped sides..
so don't give up on corel yet..I have drawn circles just to test,1/4in. to 8in. and exported
looked at them in autocad and signlab and magnifyied them and they still looked good..

11-20-2001, 04:58 PM

The Metafile cut and paste worked perfectly. I wish Vector could actually load in a WMF but this will work as well, as long as I reposition my zero point. Thanks for the suggestion.


I can't explain the whys or whens. I have drawn a circle, but just one, in Corel and exported it with no problems. Plenty of segments for a reasonable circle, but when it is a circle on a more complex drawing, it seems to lose detail. I'm thinking there may be limit on the total number of segments exported as a DXF. As a side note, I imported the file into TurboCad with the same results, but since TC supports a WMF import, I was able to do that and it worked fine. So, I'm concluding that it is some kind of limitation in the DXF export filter of Corel. Thanks for the info.


11-28-2001, 03:59 PM
It appears I spoke too soon.

In Vector (Version 9 I believe, not the new one) when I cut and paste from Corel 8 the geometry looks ok, but the scale is off. My 48" panel turns into a ~40" panel. Needless to say, this is not good.

Anyone know if the new version of Vector has this same problem?


11-29-2001, 12:47 AM
RandyT, In your three programs that you are using to produce the circles, Corel/Vector/Shopbot, the least likely one to change the scale is Vector. If your Unit Values in Shopbot are correct (checked with simple MX commands and a tape measure), then I would start looking more at Corel to find the problem.

Vector doesn't change scales, and it it isn't easy to do this by accident either.

11-30-2001, 02:41 PM
It's also very easy to check the scale when you are in Vector.

Shift or box select the geometry and then do a 'special, verify'.

Remember that Vector takes it's measurements from wherever your coordinate axes are, and that it is easy enough to just drag the axes to where you want them.

12-01-2001, 02:33 PM
Sorry Gerald and Steve,

I believe Randy is right on this one. I just recieved my version of 9.3 and tried to import the letters TEST from Corel (after converting to curves), not only was the scale off, but the scaling was not proportional....just tried a few other tests, a circle from Corel and TEST done in Wordart (which had its own scaling issues)... these two where definately not to scale, but I think the proportions are OK

I think I will ask about this at www.vectorcam.com.

Greg Facer

12-01-2001, 08:00 PM
Sorry? I don't believe I've contradicted Randy, or anyone else in this thread at any point. I was just trying to offer a tip, and now my own observations.

I use CorelDraw 9, not CD 8 anymore, and export to a file as a dxf (after converting to curves) before opening in Vector 9.3. I'm not finding any scale or proportion issues... yet... but, I've only had Vector 9.3 for a very short time, and have done so with only a half dozen or so files so far. When I open a Corel generated dxf file in Vector, I do have to change the attributes of the lines from 0.003 width to zero, and the line color from red to something else.

I used Coreldraw 8 and 9 extensively with Vector 8 but never had any problems with scale or proportion.

Now faceting.. that's another story. But that was addressed earlier in this thread.

12-02-2001, 02:49 AM
It should be quite easy to find the problem here. The .dxf file, that you are using as the communications link between Corel & Vector, is sort of readable as a text file with Notepad or Wordpad. We should be able to see from that file where the scale is getting changed.

Randy, could you make 2 very simple dxf files for me please? One with a single 48" square panel, and one with a single 48" circle. My email is mechtron@iafrica.com (mailto:mechtron@iafrica.com). I will open those files with Vector 8, Vector 9.3, Turbocad, AutoCad & NotePad and then tell you if there is anything funny. I don't have Corel, so I can't make this dxf myself.

12-03-2001, 02:13 AM
Sorry Steve,

Your beginning with "It's Also" made me lump your response with Gerald's above.

I agree that the DXF importing from Corel works acurrately.

For the thread in general, I have got Fred more info on the problem, we'll have to wait and see what the "official" word is.

My test for his info was to cut and paste a 5" square into vector via metafile...came out as a 2.79" square (numbers approxiamate from memory).

A 7" wide by 3" rectangle came out about 5-6" wide and 1" tall. So, there definately are some issues. However, I would assume that one could make a box with known measurements as part of the design, and scale back to the proper scale in vector using that box's dimensions (say 1" by 1").

Greg Facer

12-03-2001, 07:54 AM
Hi Greg, Is this scaling problem restricted to a METAFILE transfer to Vector?

We have no experience with Metafiles, while all our experiences with DXF's are also 100% okay.

12-03-2001, 09:41 PM
Hi Gerald,

Yes, this is a metafile problem. ALL metafiles seem to have scaling problems when cut and paste into Vector. Corel has the additional problem that the pasted graphic is not proportional in x and y either.

The best way to use the metafile cut and paste, in my opinion, is to include a 1" square in your design. Then, after pasting, take the measurements of the square and scale the selection in Vector (using 1/x in the dialogue where x is the length of the line in either x or y). It probably is still quicker than saving to DXF and re-opening. However, the little lines are still there, but may be more plentiful than in a DXF.

Greg Facer

12-20-2001, 04:57 PM
Thank you Greg

I haven't been to the boards in a while to defend my position on this one. Glad (but not really) to see that I'm not the only one who is experiencing this anomaly. The cut and paste would have proven very handy as the original problem I had with the angular curves goes away, but this one is even more severe.

So, does anyone know why Vector is doing this? And, does it do it with the latest version?


12-20-2001, 07:38 PM
Hi Randy,

Fred doesn't know why Vector is doing the scaling, but it probably is windows, not vector. The weird problems are Corel specific.

And yes, the newest version does this too. Heck, I didn't know the older ones used metafiles at all. Despite the flaws, I am using the cut and paste method to move things between the two programs. Works quick enough if you have a pad of paper to write the new measurements of your 1 inch Corel square on (to use in the scale dialogue in Vector.

Have a good Christmas everyone.

Greg Facer

12-27-2001, 11:03 AM
Thanks for the tip Greg.

I tried it out and found out a couple of things.

One strange thing I noticed was that if you do a cut in Corel 8 and then use the "paste special" and select Corel object (I think) the pasted objects are all out of whack, meaning the X and Y are not proportionate to one another with both being out of scale. However, when I simply do a CTRL-V (Keyboard shortcut for PASTE) in Vector, the X and Y are still out of scale, but they are out by the same amount (ie. proportionate to one another). It's still a PITA but you only need to adjust the scale with one number.

I also noticed that a 3 decimal place re-scale still gives me an error of about .005" with a 1x1 sqaure. What I found gets me closer is to put a 10"x10" square on my drawing, move decimal place one digit to the left and use the resulting 4 decimal place number as the argument for the scale command. Gets the error down below .001" which is more acceptable.

Another interesting thing that leads me to believe that Vector isn't handling something properly is that when a Corel object is pasted into TurboCAD 6, the dimensions are very close to what they should be. TC6 always adds .03 to every dimension of the Corel object. A 1x1 square become 1.03x1.03 and a 6x6 becomes 6.03x6.03. While this still not good, the error is much less than that of Vector's import. Sounds like something more than a Windows problem is at play here and it would be nice if there was a patch issued to take care of it.

Hope everyone has a safe and Happy new year! And remember, "Don't drink and Shopbot"


12-27-2001, 03:34 PM
It looks like there are about 4 patches available for Corel Draw 8. Have you installed them, or at least the two that have to do with ex/import filters?

12-28-2001, 02:12 AM
I'm wondering if the extra size that gets added is a result of the line width you have selected in Corel? What if you specify line width of .001?

12-28-2001, 09:01 AM

My Corel is up to date. The only patches available for 8 that address any import/export issues are only to allow older revs of the software to do multi-page PDF documents. I was referring to a patch for Vector to address an obvious issue.


I have tried with hairlines (.0005) and still get the same result. I can't remember if I tried it with no outline at all, I think I did, but will give it another go to be sure.


12-28-2001, 10:59 AM
Randy, it is very unlikely that there will be a patch released for Vector to correct a problem with Corel Draw 8, (not the latest version). Since there is a problem with both TurboCad and Vector, it would appear that the problem is with Corel. If there are Corel 10 users that can document the problem, there would more likely be a future revision. For best results, that communication should be directly to me with e-mail.

We usually try to keep Vector updated with changes in DXF as they are fairly well documented. There will always be some lag, as the format is controlled by Autodesk and we cannot adapt to changes until after they have been released. There will always be some time lag due to this. Luckily for all concerned in ACAD2002 the DXF format did not change so Vector by catching up to the DXF standards of ACAD2000 is now actually current.

However, Corel is not documented at all and as such from one version to another the interaction between Corel Draw and Vectorcam will probably be handled differently. It would be impossible to try to make Vector compatible with 5 different versions of Corel Draw. What we have attempted to do is improve the ability to use designs produced in Corel Draw *and* other applications, using the clipboard. This has been done in particular with the 9.3 release with some extensions to the entities supported in the Metafile format. DXF is still the best way to transfer designs. Vector cannot change the scale of a dxf file as it is well defined with floating point numbers. In the case of the metafiles, there is some ambiguity as to what is actually to be used. I believe it has to do with only integer coordinate values.

Best Regards,

Fred Smith

01-07-2002, 12:06 AM
>If there are Corel 10 users that can document
>the problem, there would more likely be a future

>It would be impossible to try to make Vector
>compatible with 5 different versions of Corel


Vector 9 has the same type of problem with Corel 10. Has there actually been any testing with Vector 9 or 9.3 and Corel 10? Is this problem fixed in the latest version of Vector? Surely you can test *one* version of Corel and make sure it works with your software. And for what it is worth, pasting into TurboCAD gets in the ballpark, but Vector seems to put it in the river on the other side of the parking lot.

It would be nice to know these things before upgrading to fix a problem and then finding out that it didn't fix it. I am seriously considering the upgrade, but if the problem isn't solved, that will affect my decision.

BTW, when you go to "paste special" in Vector, it certainly does know which version of Corel Draw the objects are coming from, so your statement
about it being "impossible" to make Vector work with 5 Versions of Corel is not exactly accurate. Now, if you were to say, "troublesome", "not worth it", "we don't care to" or "we really don't know how", I could accept that. But I'd appreciate it if we could "keep it real".


01-08-2002, 10:02 PM
If you check out 'windows metafile resources'
for programmers you will find that the questions
you have raised are "windows" related the clp. is
interpeting the file transfer and will change the
dim. to whether its and object related or windows
boundary related or rasterizied or vectored..in other words.. if the program that its being captured in is object related and the program
recieving is object recieving your file will be
sized properly..such as vcarvz to vector..but if
the program is border or frame rather than object
such as corel to vector or signlab or turbocad you will get a distorted file..

01-08-2002, 11:45 PM

From what I can gather from your message (you might want to re-word it, as it isn't making much sense
), you are implying that Corel is a different type of object than what Vector and TurboCAD expect, while also implying that Vector and TC are the same, and thus this is a "Windows problem". The only problem with this theory is that both Vector and TC produce VERY different results when a Corel object is imported. This points to something more specific at issue with either of the programs mentioned, rather than a generic "Windows problem".


01-09-2002, 01:39 AM
Randy what I'm saying is, wmf.will handle files different from diff. programs, it was made to handle vectored, rastered, and fonts.. it has many
little built in handlers that kick in when its used.. such as ...a rectangle it handles as a vector, at the same time it handles a filled circle as a raster,and when opened in another program the circle will be resized, it has a variety of idiosycrycies handling cad files..and is not accurate, it has nothing to do with the
program thats opening it, it has more to do with whats in the file.. try rotated bitmaps,polypolygons,hatch patterns with holes in them,and hatch patterns with hidden lines.. and combinations of same..

01-09-2002, 07:22 AM

The WMF cut and paste was designed to allow interoperability between programs that didn't necessarily use the same types of objects. Like you said, these objects include Bitmaps (or raster), Line-based images (vector) and fonts. However, a filled line-based circle behaves no differently than an outline of a line-based rectangle. Hell, I even cut and pasted a spiral from Corel, into Vector and it looked fine except for the scale.

When a file is cut and pasted from one application to another, the OS merely presents the data to the application. It is then the applications job to decide what to do with it in the context of it's own code. Therefore, any "idiosycrycies" between CAD or other programs that use the same graphic type (line based, Bitmap, etc.) are the fault of that program's implementation of the "paste" routines. Corel, Vector, Signlab, Autocad, Adobe Illustrator, etc. are ALL line-based programs, and should be able to import objects from one to the other, but each will have a different way of exporting and interpreting the data. This is where the problems arise, and this is what I believe we are seeing in Vector and, to a lesser extent TurboCAD.


01-09-2002, 06:40 PM
Ok we agree on the operability, "but" the cut and paste apps. are all window api's you can create
a Visual basic box with a place holder and use
a windows cut and place app. and presto...there is no code to do anything with it.. and if your
placeholder is not proportioned right your paste
is going to be distorted "but" its not windows
fault... the thing that bothers me the most is..
have a discresionary problem with some clp.pastes.. what do you make of that?...

01-10-2002, 09:58 AM
Well, the fact that all those programs have "discresionary problems" should be the first thing that tells you that the code is *not* a standard API. I think you are comparing apples and oranges here. The type of import that you are describing is the most basic. It is a simply a place holder for a representation of the object. The object that is pasted in that manner cannot be edited or altered by the program that it is pasted into. With this type of object, you would usually need to double click on it, at which time the program that created it is started and you can then edit it within that program.

The type of cut and paste we are discussing can better be compared to the export and import features of most software. Just as each software package must write these routines specifically to convert to and from an alien file format, so must it also have routines in place to deal with conversion during the paste process. Since it seems that no two pieces of software seem to deal with this process in the same way, it is quite obvious that this is dealt with through custom code. Otherwise, Vector would show the exact same differences as TurboCAD, but it does not. TC seems to add .030" to the X and Y of every object from Corel, while Vector can change the scale unpredictably.

Keep in mind, I am not saying that this whole process is handled properly in Corel, as I have seen first hand what can happen. I am only stating that it is possible for any program to identify the source application and properly account for it's idiosyncracies during this process. If it's not being done correctly, there is very high probability that the programming code responsible for this process is at issue.


01-11-2002, 11:59 AM
Randy, FYI.

"Windows Resources""notes", cut and paste (function)only.
The windows platform has over 1000 applications
that use its cut and paste (function)..
To use each application in its native format is
impossible, due to (source code),(cost), and (size)..
Windows cut and paste uses instead,(object handlers) to carry out its task.
A set of (object handlers) will cut and object as near to native code as posiible, and a set of (object handlers) will paste the object, as near
as possible to native code.
It is possible though to make applications that run on the Windows platform cut and paste (function)(Propietary) at the loss off cross platform use...

01-14-2002, 11:27 AM

I have a complete, albeit older, Microsoft C++ development kit with all of the several thousand pages of manuals, and I have read the resource reference for the clipboard and Metafile formats.

I'm not sure what the point is that you are trying to make. Would care to summarize?


01-21-2002, 07:56 PM
Vector 9.3 metafile paste is now scale compatible with Corel Draw 4, Micrografx Designer 7, and MS Word 2000. The demo download at http://www.vectorcam.com has the latest build available for 30 day trial.

01-22-2002, 10:18 AM

Just did some preliminary testing on the demo with Corel 8 and am pleased to say that it seems to work quite well with it. The maximum error shows to be less than .005" at worst case and seems to average at less than .001" error. More than sufficient...for woodworking anyway ;).

I had already ordered the upgrade, and it looks like I made the right choice. Hats off to IMService and Centriforce. Vector32 now has a more accurate cut and paste from Corel than any other app I have tried.