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Making Tables - Corel CorelDraw Tutorial


Tim Carden


Being originally designed for DRAWING, not page layout, Corel built no table features into their CorelDRAW graphics software. You will find an extensive tool in both Ventura and WordPerfect, but for those including tables in their graphics there are only two options: manual creation or import from another application.

If you have the table open in a word processor or spreadsheet, simply copy and paste it into DRAW. DRAW has great object embedding features and will paste your object as a fully scalable object with a transparent background. You can even Paste Special... (from the edit menu) and select "meta file" to allow the table to be ungrouped and edited from within DRAW (note though, it will just be basic shapes, and so you will have to re-paste it if you want to change the number of columns or rows etc.).

However, for smaller tables, manual creation from within DRAW is not as tedious as you might think. There is a graph paper tool for instantly creating the table squares, and great alignment tools for getting text within each cell.

Switch to the Graph Paper Tool

Having worked out how many rows and columns there will be in your table, select the graph paper tool. It is normally in a flyout next to the polygon tool.

Create the table structure using the Graph Paper Tool.


Specify the number of rows and columns.

Before you click and drag with the Graph Paper Tool, you will need to enter the number of rows and columns into the Graph Paper Tool's property bar. Unfortunately this can NOT be edited once you have created the "Graph Paper" and so it's worth getting it right at the beginning.

Enter the number of columns and rows for the table
into the edit boxes on the property bar.


Create the table the size you want it

You can now click and drag to draw the table. CorelDRAW will create a grid of boxes with the dimensions you specified. You can ungroup these and edit them as you would any other rectangle control objects. Let's round the top row's corners for a more sophisticated effect.

Hold down Ctrl and click on the rectangle in the top left hand corner to select it from within the group. On the property bar, chance the roundness of its top left corner to 100. Repeat this process to make the top right corner of the top right rectangle round also.

Setting rounded corners is a nice effect used in some tables.
This effect is easy to reproduce in CorelDRAW.


Apply Formatting to some or all cells

Although some formatting options will require you to create more objects. Shading and outline effects can be applied to the current cells easily. To apply formatting to the entire table, simply select the entire group. Alternatively you can apply formatting selectively by Ctrl-clicking on each individual cell. In this example I will set the header row to a dark blue fill and highlight a selected cell because its data is of extra importance in this project.

  • Ctrl-click the first header cell and click on the navy palette color.
  • Repeat this for all header cells.
  • Ctrl-click to apply any extra formatting to cells of interest.

Ctrl+Click to individually select each cell to
apply any special formatting


Make the table text objects

This is perhaps the most tedious part of creating a table in CorelDRAW. Each cell needs it's own text object. It is easiest to create them in rows then individually.

  • Using the artistic text tool, create a text object for the first cell.
  • Apply any formatting.
  • Re-select the table and press Ctrl+U to ungroup the table into individual rectangles.
  • Select the text object, then shift-select the first table cell. Draw aligns all selected objects to the last-selected one.
  • Press "c" to align the text vertically to it's cell, "e" to align the text horizontally.
  • Repeat for the rest of the first row.

We will now duplicate this data for the rest of the table.

  • Select all the text objects in the first row.
  • While holding down Ctrl to maintain alignment, press and release the right-mouse button (to duplicate as you drag) then drag the row of text to position it as the data for the second row.
  • Press Ctrl+R to repeat for all remaining rows.
  • Now all you need to do is apply any formatting to to the text objects and enter your data.

In next to no time you will have a great looking table made with DRAW. But feel free to email Corel to include table features in v.11 :)

The final sample table that I made in minutes

What did you think? Did you like this tutorial? Was it easy to follow? Do you have suggestions for future tutorials? Have you seen an effect in Print, web or Flash that you would like to know how to achieve? Please feel free to contact me (Tim) on with your Corel technique query.


Copyright 2001, Tim Carden, All Rights Reserved

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