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Coloring clipart in CorelDRAW

By Ludmila Minkova

This tip has been updated for CorelDRAW® Graphics Suite X5. While similar features might be available in previous releases the tip will be fully applicable to CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5 only.

Be creative with CorelDRAW clipart by changing its colors! Just drag a color swatch for simple changes, or use Fill tools for more intricate effects.

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite includes a huge collection of clipart to help you with your projects. To customize clipart, you can change its colors. Often, changing the color of clipart is as easy as dragging a color swatch from the default color palette, or applying a fill with the Interactive Fill tool. Sometimes, clipart contains enclosed areas, which can be filled only with the Smart Fill tool. In other cases, you may first need to prepare the clipart by creating closed paths.


Original clipart (left); clipart with changed colors (right)

To fill clipart with color

  1. Start Corel CONNECT (Go to Start > All Programs > CorelDRAW Graphics Suite > Corel CONNECT)

  2. In Corel CONNECT, navigate to the CDGS Content Library and pick the file you want. Alternatively search for a file using keywords in the Search bar in Corel CONNECT.

    Corel CONNECT


  3. Select the file you want from the main window in Corel CONNECT and click Open in CorelDRAW

  4. Drag a color swatch on the on-screen color palette to the part of the drawing you want to color, and release the mouse button when a filled square appears with the cursor

To use the Smart Fill tool

By simply dragging a color swatch, you can color objects in clipart. If you want to color areas enclosed by objects, however, you need to use the Smart Fill tool.


This design contains areas that are enclosed by objects: the interior of the diamond shape and loops (shown in top inset at a larger zoom level). These areas can be filled only by using the Smart Fill tool.
  1. Open the Smart tools flyout, and click the Smart Fill tool.

    The Smart Fill tool is located in the toolbox, on the Smart Tools flyout.

  2. On the property bar, choose one of the following options from the Fill Options list box:

    • Specify lets you choose a solid color from the Fill Color picker on the property bar.

    • Use default lets you use the default setting of the Fill tool. No fill applies no fill to the area.

  3. Choose one of the following options from the Outline options box:

    • Use default lets you apply the default outline setting.

    • Specify lets you choose a line width from the Outline Width box and a line color from the Outline Color picker.

    • No outline applies no outline to the area.

  4. Click inside the enclosed area that you want to fill.

    A new object is created from the enclosed area, and the current fill and outline styles are applied to it. The new object appears on top of the existing objects in the layer.


    The design filled with color

To create closed paths in clipart

Clipart contains curve objects that are made up of components called paths. A path may be open (for example, a line) or closed (for example, an ellipse). You can add color to the inside of closed paths. To apply a fill to an open path, such as a line, you first need to join its start and end nodes to create a closed path.

In the example below, the four small loops in the design cannot be filled by dragging a color swatch nor by using the Smart Fill tool. A higher zoom level shows that the loops are not closed paths and are not fully enclosed. To fill the loops, closed paths need to be created first.

  1. Select the entire clipart in the drawing window, and press Ctrl + U to ungroup it.

  2. Using the Pick tool, drag a marquee around an area with an open path while holding down Alt.

Dragging a marquee around an open path
  1. Click Arrange > Close Path, and choose a command.
    Now that the path is closed, you can fill it with color.

The four small loops are closed by using the Arrange > Close Path > Closest Nodes with Curvy lines command. Then, they are filled by dragging a color swatch from the color palette.