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Using the Curve smoothness slider in CorelDRAW 12

Did you know that you can reduce the number of nodes in complex curves without changing their appearance by using the Curve smoothness slider?

Reducing the number of nodes in curves makes it easier to work with a drawing, saves you time, and lets you easily output a drawing to a variety of printing devices and file formats. You'll find the Curve smoothness slider especially useful if your drawing
  • contains objects with contour effects applied to them
  • contains text converted to curves
  • was imported from file formats such as AutoCAD® Drawing Interchange Format (DXF) or Windows® Metafile (WMF)  

In addition to reducing the number of nodes, the Curve smoothness slider can also smooth curve segments or entire curves.

With the Shape tool selected, you can access the Curve smoothness slider from the property bar.

To reduce the number of nodes in a curve without changing its appearance
A contour effect is essentially one or more curves that contain multiple nodes. In this procedure, you'll apply a contour effect to text and then break the new contour group apart so that you can edit the contour curve. Next, you'll use a low Curve smoothness value to reduce the number of nodes in the contour curve without changing its appearance.

1) Using the Text tool , type Contour in the drawing window.

2) Select the text, and do the following:

  • On the property bar, choose Times New Roman from the Font list box.
  • From the Font size list box, choose 100.
  • Click the Magenta color swatch on the default color palette.

    This is how your text should look.

3) Click Effects > Contour.

I4) n the Contour docker, click the Contour steps button, and enable the Outside option. Next, type 0.03 in the Offset box and 1 in the Steps box. Click Apply. 










he Contour steps page of the Contour docker.

5) Click the Contour color button, open the Fill color picker, and click the Cyan color swatch. Click Apply.






The Contour color page of the Contour docker. The Fill color picker is marked by a red ellipse.

This is how your text should look.

6) You'll now separate the text from the contour effect. Using the Pick tool , marquee select the text in the drawing window. Next, press Ctrl + K.

In the Object manager docker, you should see two objects listed on Layer 1: Artistic Text and Curve.

You can now manipulate the contour curve. Note that if you had applied a contour effect with multiple steps, you would need to ungroup the contour curves to be able to edit them.

7) Select the contour curve, and move it below the text. 

The contour curve is positioned below the text.

8) Open the Shape edit flyout curves_09_shape_flyout.jpg,

click the Shape tool ,


and marquee select the contour curve to select all nodes.


Use the Shape tool to select all nodes on the curve.

9) On the property bar, move the Curve smoothness slider to 2.

You can also type Curve smoothness slider the Curve smoothness box, and press Enter.

Pay attention to the status bar. In our example, the status bar now indicates that 86 nodes are selected. The number of nodes was reduced from 2799 to 86 in the modified curve.

Click anywhere in the drawing window to deselect the curve, and you'll see that its appearance has not noticeably changed.


Top: The original contour curve; bottom: the contour curve with a low value of smoothness applied.

To smooth a curve
In this procedure, you'll create a freehand curve and then smooth the curve by using high values of the Curve smoothness slider.

1) Open the Curve flyout ,

click the Freehand tool , and draw a tulip in the drawing window. Duplicate the tulip by pressing Ctrl + D so that you can later compare the original and the edited curve.


A closed curve drawn with the Freehand tool.

2) Using the Shape tool, marquee select the part of the tulip that you want to smooth. In this example, we marquee selected the right side of the tulip.


We used the Shape tool to select the nodes in the right portion of the curve.

3) Move the Curve smoothness slider to a value between 80 and 90.


The curve segments in the right side have been smoothed.

4) To smooth the entire tulip, click the Select all nodes button  curves_19_select_all.jpg

 on the property bar, and move the Curve smoothness slider to 80 or more. In the example below, we used a value of 90 to smooth the entire curve.

The smoothed curve.

5) Compare the original tulip object to the edited one, and note the smoother appearance of the edited tulip. 

6) Select the original object, and then the edited curve, while watching the status bar for the number of nodes each object contains. In our example, the original curve contains 103 nodes, whereas the edited curve contains only 8 nodes.