18 December 2008

CorelDRAW's Find and Replace Wizard

Replacing Color Models

With each of the projects we're going to discuss, the Replace Wizard will be used. It is virtually the same in the past few versions of CorelDRAW and can be accessed by selecting Edit | Find and Replace | Replace Objects. When the Replace Wizard appears, it will look like the image below.

In our first project, we're going to convert a clip art image from color to grayscale. I've opened the image of a fish that contains 168 objects. Attempting to change every object by hand would take an unreasonable amount of time. Open the Replace Wizard and choose Replace a color model or palette from the first dialog box. When you've done this, click Next. This brings up the dialog box shown at right.

Sure, I could look at the fills used to know which color model is being used. But for this example, it is much easier to simply select Find any color model or color palette so that all colors will be replaced no matter what model is currently used. Since we want the finished image in Grayscale, we'll select that from the Replace with the color model drop-down. One of the flaws in the Wizard is that it only works with fills or outlines. You can't do both at the same time so you have to run it twice. One the first pass, we'll choose fills and then return and choose Outlines. Click Finish and the Find and Replace bar will appear as shown below.

Click Replace All and all fills will be changed from color to grayscale. Now re-run the wizard to replace outline colors using the some methods previously described. The image at right shows the clipart before and after this conversion. The total time for the conversion was less than a minute if you take away all this typing I did documenting the process.

Replacing Individual Colors

With other images, you simply want to replace one or two colors. For example, you may want to change the colors to Pantone spot colors from their RGB or CMYK origins. Run the Find and Replace Wizard choosing Replace a color as the first choice. When you click Next, you'll get the dialog box shown below.

You'll see that there are two drop-downs for choosing colors. In the Find drop-down, choose the color from your image that you want to replace. It might be a good idea to write down the exact colors values before running the Replace Wizard.

Tip: A quick tip for doing this is to select the object before running the Wizard. The color values will be shown on the Status Bar at the bottom right of your screen. You can then just use that as reference when running the Wizard.

In the Replace with drop-down, select the color you want in your drawing. I chose Pantone 339 and clicked Finish. Once again the Find and Replace bar will appear. Click Replace All and that color is replaced. You'll need to repeat the process for outlines and for any other colors you want replaced. The image at right shows the clipart boat before and after I converted the colors in the boat from RGB to Pantone spot colors.

Replacing Outline Attributes

Now let's look at another issue that doesn't include colors. Many clip art images do not have their outlines set so that they scale in size when the image is resized. The classic example for me is the clip art images of credit cards. Note, if you are looking for these, they were last supplied with CorelDRAW 5. The graphics are fairly large and yet most people will be outputting them at a small size. If you simply scale them, the outlines are a complete mess. Changing them one by one would take hours. I know, I did this once before the feature I'm about to describe first appeared.

Once again, run the Replace Wizard. On the initial screen select Replace outline pen properties and click Next. This will bring you to the Replace Wizard dialog box shown below.

For this project, we want to find outlines where Scale outline with image is turned Off and we want it turned on. Make those choices in the dialog box and click Finish. The Find and Replace bar will appear. Click Replace All and now you can resize the graphic to your heart's content without having the outlines look rather silly.

In Closing

Now that you've gotten an introduction to the Replace Wizard, you've probably thought about a number of ways where it can help you increase your productivity. Spend a little time experimenting with different options and you'll be amazed at all the time you can save. In another tutorial I'll cover another way you can easily change colors in your graphics by exploring Color Styles.

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