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Just a quick question but have you tried the free 15-day trial at Corel Draw. I have included a link. I'm not sure if there are any restrictions on export/save but perhaps you could give it a try.
I've downloaded the trial and managed to convert to .cdr but had to convert the image to .ai to allow me to open it in CorelDraw 2017. I will send the .cdr file to the client and see if that works for them but I can't help but wonder if there's a way to do this without the use of Corel. We've invested quite heavily in Adobe's CC and really don't want to have to purchase Corel if this problem comes up in the future.
Agreed Ian, most companies would naturally go the Adobe route as it is an industry standard. I guess if its something they need on a regular basis then without buying Corel Draw there are few other options. I would try to push them down the .ai or .pdf/psd route. Make life simpler!!
Do they want a CDR file because they are expecting a vector image?
Almost all mentions of CDR are usually because they can contain vector elements.
Not having CorelDraw i can't say for sure, but it must also support raster (pixel) images.
I can't believe that they would require a raster (pixels only) image be placed in a CDR file before they will accept the file.
Something would be seriously wrong & inflexible if they won't accept jpgs, tifs, etc for pixel images.
After reading your original post, you mentioned the artwork was originally created in InDesign.
Was the artwork text and InDesign drawn elements only? if so, they would remain vector if you saved it as a PDF. Sending a .jpg would not be recommended in this case since all the vectors would be rasterized.
I would ask they why the need a CDR file. Is it because they are expecting an all vector only image in CDR format? A mix of vectors & pixels in the CDR format? A raster image only image? If so, why won't they accept native raster file format files like .jpd. tif, etc?