Cool Tricks with Paragraph Text Part 1


By Steve Bain

The applications and features described in this tutorial require CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X3 or newer to be installed.

These days, there's no excuse for churning out plain-looking text layouts. With CorelDRAW, there are so many ways you can make text more interesting to read, it's a shame not to take advantage of them. Let's explore a few tricks that you can use with paragraph text to produce visually appealing text layouts.

Text Selection Techniques

Before we delve too far into cosmetic improvements, let's start by looking at the various ways you can select paragraph text for manipulation. Using CorelDRAW, you have a choice when it comes to selecting and manipulating text characters in paragraph frames. There are three ways to select text for editing, formatting, and/or manipulation. At the object level, clicking a paragraph text frame with the Pick tool selects the entire object. While the frame is selected, any font, color, size, or formatting changes you make are applied to all the text in the frame.


At the cursor level, you can choose the Text tool (F8), and use either a click-drag mouse action or your keyboard (Shift or Ctrl combined with arrow keys) to select characters and/or words. Cursor-selected text is usually displayed with darker or lighter highlighting (shown below) to distinguish it from non-selected text and to signify the characters are ready for formatting and/or editing.

At the character node level, choosing the Shape tool (F10) while a paragraph text frame is selected displays a white-filled node marker at the lower-left corner of each character in the string. You can click once on a character node to select the character, click-drag to marquee-select characters, or hold Shift while clicking characters to select multiple characters. While a single character is selected, the node markers are displayed in black (shown below).

Using the latter two selection techniques enables you to apply formatting to only those characters that are selected. Using the Shape tool for manipulation, however, enables you to apply vertical baseline or horizontal spacing changes (shown below).

Flow Imported Text into Position

Although you can always type or paste text directly into a text frame, the most ideal way to populate frames is by using the File > Import command. You can import text directly into a specific insertion point in a paragraph text frame. CorelDRAW does this automatically during import if the Text tool is selected and an insertion point is active.


Here's how to do it:

  1. Using the Text tool, drag to create your paragraph text frame.
  2. Choose File > Import (Ctrl+I) to open the Import dialog box. Use the Browse options to locate and select the text document you want to import, and click OK.
  3. In the Importing/Pasting Text dialog box, choose an import preference (shown below). If you choose the Discard Fonts and Formatting option, the imported text will be automatically formatted with the current paragraph text frame style properties.
  4. Click OK to import the text. The imported text will automatically be added at your insertion point and flow with the current text in the frame.


View Part 2 of Cool Tricks with Paragraph Text here.


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