The Art of Anticipation: A Comprehensive Guide to Previewing Traced Results in CorelDRAW


In the dynamic landscape of graphic design, CorelDRAW stands as a pillar of creativity, offering a plethora of tools that cater to the diverse needs of designers. Among these tools, the ability to preview traced results holds significant importance, providing designers with a real-time glimpse into the outcome of the vectorization process. This comprehensive article embarks on a detailed exploration of the preview functionality in CorelDRAW, unraveling its nuances and empowering designers to anticipate, refine, and perfect their traced results before finalizing their vector creations.

Understanding Tracing in CorelDRAW:

Before delving into the intricacies of previewing traced results, it’s essential to understand the process of tracing in CorelDRAW. Tracing involves converting raster images into scalable vector graphics, allowing for unparalleled flexibility, scalability, and editing capabilities. CorelDRAW achieves this through its advanced tracing engine, PowerTRACE, which interprets the visual information of a raster image and generates corresponding vector paths.

Importance of Previewing Traced Results:

The ability to preview traced results is a pivotal stage in the vectorization workflow. It serves several critical purposes:

  1. Real-Time Assessment: Previewing traced results provides designers with a real-time assessment of how the vectorized image will look. This immediate feedback allows for on-the-fly adjustments, ensuring that the final result aligns with the designer’s vision.
  2. Refinement and Iteration: Previewing facilitates an iterative approach to vectorization. Designers can make adjustments to tracing settings, experiment with different methods, and refine the traced result multiple times, fine-tuning the outcome until it meets their standards.
  3. Optimizing Settings: By previewing traced results, designers can optimize tracing settings for the specific characteristics of the input image. This ensures that the vectorized output captures the nuances and details of the original raster image accurately.
  4. Avoiding Surprises: Previewing traced results helps designers avoid unpleasant surprises in the final vectorized output. It allows them to catch potential issues, such as loss of detail or unintended distortions, before committing to the vectorization process.
  5. Saving Time and Resources: The ability to preview traced results in real-time saves valuable time and resources. Designers can quickly assess the impact of changes without the need for repeated trial-and-error iterations, streamlining the vectorization workflow.

How to Preview Traced Results in CorelDRAW:

The process of previewing traced results in CorelDRAW is user-friendly and seamlessly integrated into the vectorization workflow. Follow these steps to preview traced results:

  1. Import the Raster Image: Start by importing the raster image into CorelDRAW. Select the image file, navigate to the “Bitmaps” menu, and choose “Outline Trace” to access the PowerTRACE feature.
  2. Select the Trace Method and Adjust Settings: Choose the appropriate trace method based on the characteristics of the image – options include Line Art, Detailed Logo, and Sketched Art. Adjust the tracing settings using the available controls such as color sensitivity, detail level, and smoothness.
  3. Enable the Preview: Before finalizing the trace, enable the preview feature. This can usually be done by checking a checkbox or clicking a button that initiates the real-time preview of the traced results. CorelDRAW displays the vectorized output on the workspace alongside the original raster image.
  4. Iterate and Refine: With the preview active, designers can iterate and refine the tracing settings. Make adjustments to see their immediate impact on the traced result. Experiment with different trace methods, fine-tune detail levels, and explore variations until the desired outcome is achieved.
  5. Compare Before and After: CorelDRAW often provides a convenient “Before and After” comparison view. This allows designers to toggle between the original raster image and the traced result, facilitating a side-by-side comparison to ensure that the vectorization process meets expectations.
  6. Finalize and Confirm: Once satisfied with the previewed result, designers can proceed to finalize the trace. Commit to the vectorization process, and CorelDRAW generates the vector graphics based on the selected settings.

Advanced Techniques for Previewing Traced Results:

  1. Multiple Tracing Passes: For complex images, consider conducting multiple tracing passes with different settings. Preview each pass to evaluate its impact on the traced result. Combining multiple traces allows for a more nuanced and accurate representation of the original image.
  2. Custom Tracing Presets: Save custom tracing presets for specific projects or recurring requirements. This ensures consistency across different traces and streamlines the workflow. Apply these presets during the preview stage to achieve a predefined look.
  3. Fine-Tuning Node Placement: After previewing the traced result, designers can manually fine-tune node placement. CorelDRAW provides a range of tools for adjusting nodes, curves, and paths. This meticulous adjustment ensures that the vectorized output aligns seamlessly with the original image.
  4. Experimenting with Color Palettes: If the traced image involves multiple colors, experiment with different color palettes during the preview stage. CorelDRAW allows designers to assess how color variations impact the final vectorized output, providing insight into potential aesthetic enhancements.

Practical Applications of Previewing Traced Results:

  1. Logo Refinement: Designers often use tracing to convert rasterized logos into scalable vectors. Previewing traced results is crucial for refining the logo’s appearance, ensuring that it maintains its integrity and visual impact across various sizes and applications.
  2. Illustrative Artwork Enhancement: Artists and illustrators leverage tracing to enhance hand-drawn sketches or scanned artwork. Previewing allows them to assess how different trace settings affect the details, lines, and overall aesthetics of the vectorized artwork.
  3. Photograph Vectorization for Print: Previewing is essential when vectorizing photographs for print. Designers can evaluate the traced result to ensure that it captures the essential details while maintaining a clean and polished appearance suitable for high-quality printing.
  4. Creating Clean Icons and Symbols: Tracing is widely used to create clean and scalable icons and symbols. Previewing the traced results helps designers confirm that the vectorized icons maintain clarity and readability at different sizes.
  5. Architectural Plans and Diagrams: Previewing traced results is beneficial when vectorizing architectural plans or diagrams. Designers can assess the accuracy of the vectorized output, ensuring that intricate details are preserved for clear and precise representation.


In conclusion, the ability to preview traced results in CorelDRAW is a pivotal step in the vectorization process, offering designers immediate insights into the outcome of their efforts. Through real-time assessment, refinement, and optimization, designers can ensure that the traced results align with their creative vision and meet the specific requirements of each project.

As CorelDRAW continues to evolve, the previewing capabilities remain at the forefront of innovations in vectorization technology. Embrace the power of anticipation that comes with previewing traced results, and let your designs flourish in the realm of precision, scalability, and boundless creativity. By mastering the art of previewing in CorelDRAW, designers can confidently navigate the intricate path from raster to vector, bringing their visions to life with clarity and finesse.