Awards & Engraving

January '20

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A&E JANUARY 2020 • a-e-mag.com 37 Laser Engraving IMPORTING TEXT AND GRAPHICS We often need to import customers' and other graphics to be lasered. Sometimes we need to import text in the form of a DOC file or perhaps a PDF file. I request vector graphics in a PDF file, although I often receive an EPS or AI file. Bitmaps generally are sent as a JPG or PNG, and rarely as a TIF file. All importing can be accomplished by going to File>Import (Ctrl+I). Navigate to where the file is and select it. If you have difficulty importing vector graphics in a PDF, AI, or even an EPS file, and you have an older version of CorelDRAW, you may need to upgrade. Import filters can become outdated. Since I subscribe to Corel and always have the latest version, I have never had a problem importing a vector file, including text documents. GRAPHICS PREPARATION I like to use vector graphics whenever possible. As a vector graphic is an object or group of objects, I can alter them more easily as needed. They also engrave with crisp edges, providing a high-quality result. I often vectorize a bitmap, turning it into a vector graphic. To do this, CorelDRAW provides a tool. Select the graphic, and from the top menu, select Bitmaps>Outline Trace — I usually use Line Art or Clipart. Experi- ment with all the settings when you are not under pressure to get a job done. If you are looking for a specialized program for vectorizing, Graphic Tracer has many built-in tools. With vector art, I typically turn my color graphic to a black-and-white or gray- scale graphic for lasering. To use a color Corel's built-in tool to vectorize bitmaps is one of my favorite and daily-used tools. The tool box holds many of the important tools you will frequently use. Take an in-depth look at importing and exporting files in CorelDRAW with a two-part series from Doug Zender. Find part one in the August 2019 issue, page 70; part two can be found on page 44 of the September 2019 issue.

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