How to Split Objects with the Knife Tool in CorelDRAW


In this video I’ll demonstrate a variety of ways to create object cuts using CorelDRAW’s Knife tool. Before we get started, if you’re watching this video on YouTube you’ll find a link in the description below that will take you to our tutorial page on Corel’s Discovery Center. Here you can also download a written copy of this tutorial. For my first example, this heart consists of two curves: the red heart-shaped curve and a pink curve for the 3D effect. I’ll activate the Knife tool from the toolbar and by default, the cut will be along a two-point line. I can start the tool on a point along the curve or I can start in blank space. I’ll drag out my line so that it only cuts within the red fill. Now I can see a faint cut line and in the Objects docker I can see that the heart is now split into two curves and both curves are selected. I’ll use the Pick tool to first unselect everything, then I can select just the lower curve and move it. If I want to move the top part I’ll need to select both the pink curve, which wasn’t cut, and the other curve of the heart. I’ll undo the cut. In addition to cutting curves, the Knife tool can also slice through groups. I’ll select both the red and pink curves and group them. With my Knife tool again, this time I’ll use a Bézier cut. I’ll click points to make a jagged cut, double-clicking when finished. I now have a group of 4 objects, because the knife operations slice through both curves that comprise the group. There are now 2 red curves and 2 pink curves. If I want a broken heart this time, I need to select both objects before moving. Next I have some text to which I’ll add an outline in the Properties docker. This time I’ll use the Knife tool with a freehand cut. This number controls the level of smoothing of the freehand curve and I’ll set this to about 80. I’ll click and drag a wavy line across the text. This operation results in 2 separate groups. Each group has 2 curves: 1 for the curves of the fill and the other for the curves of the outline. But there are no outline curves along the cut. I’ll undo to get the whole text again. This time I’ll use a Bézier cut and I’ll also turn on “Auto-close on cut” which will close the outlines surrounding the resulting text curves. I’ll click and drag to create a smooth set of curves and double-click when finished. This time when I select one of the groups and move it, each group retains its outline. Next I’ll use the Pen tool to create a wavy curve. In the properties bar I’ll thicken the curve and give it a start and end arrowhead. To break up this arrow I’ll go back to the Knife tool. So far with this tool I’ve been using Automatic mode, which lets CorelDRAW decide where and when to convert outlines to curves. With my freehand cut, both objects are now still curves. If I repeat this cut using Convert to Objects I’ll get the same result in this case. But if I undo again and cut again using Keep Outlines, each part of this curve retains the same arrow properties. Next I have a graphic that I want to use as a window banner and I want to add gaps where the window frames will be. From the ruler on the left I’ll drag out guidelines where the gaps are to go. I’ll activate the Knife tool, choose 2-point Line and go back to Automatic. I’ll also add a gap and set its width to 1 inch. I’ll drag 3 cut lines across the guide lines. The resulting gaps are centered along the cut lines. For my final example I have a graphic that I’d like to print as a split-front on a sports jersey. I’ll want some overlap along the center where the two sides of the jersey will button together. With the knife tool again, this time I’ll choose Overlap and set a width of half an inch. Keeping the Shift key pressed for a vertical line, I’ll draw a 2-point cut line down the center. Now I’ll use the Pick tool to select everything on one side of the graphic. After moving these curves straight down, the overlap can be clearly seen. This brings us to the end of this tutorial on the Knife tool in CorelDRAW. If you’ve been watching this video on YouTube, you’ll find a link in the description below that will take you to our tutorial page on Corel’s Discovery Center. Here you can also download a written copy of this tutorial to try out the steps yourself.

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