CDR file icon

CDR File Extension

CorelDRAW Image Format

What is CDR file?

Files with the .CDR extension contain vector graphic stored in a proprietary format of the CorelDraw graphic program. CorelDraw is designed for creating and editing 2 D images, such as brochures, posters and logotypes. Storing format has changed along with software versions, since 1993, when it was decided that along with the Corel Draw 3, the RIFF format will be used for the CDR structure. Currently, a CDR file is a ZIP package containing different files, including XML and RIFF and DAT data files.

A CDR drawing may contain:

  • Graphic,
  • Background,
  • Shapes,
  • Lines,
  • Text,
  • Imposed effects.

Additional information

Due to the fact that CDR format is not very mobile, it is advised to export graphic projects into popular formats, such as JPEG, PDF or BMP. CDR files can be stored also as CDT templates, so that their elements can be used again. Range of possibilities of a CDR file is similar to the Adobe Illustrator – AI format. Although the format is proprietary, using backward engendering on the code led to creation of the libcdr library, which enables to read files stored by programs since the 7th version, up to the X3 version. There are also browsers and programs enabling to convert CDR format into other graphic formats.

Programs which support CDR file extension

The following list contains programs grouped by 4 operating systems that support CDR files. CDR files can be encountered on all system platforms, including mobile, yet there is no guarantee each will properly support such files.

Programs that support CDR file

Updated: 07/25/2023

How to open file with CDR extension?

Being unable to open files with CDR extension can be have various origins. What is important, all common issues related to files with CDR extension can be resolved by the users themselves. The process is quick and doesn’t involve an IT expert. The following is a list of guidelines that will help you identify and solve file-related problems.

Step 1. Install CorelDRAW software

Install software to open CDR file The main and most frequent cause precluding users form opening CDR files is that no program that can handle CDR files is installed on user’s system. This one is an easy one. Select CorelDRAW or one of the recommended programs (for example, PaintShop Pro, Canvas, CDR Viewer) and download it from appropriate source and install on your system. Above you will find a complete listing of programs that support CDR files, classified according to system platforms for which they are available. If you want to download CorelDRAW installer in the most secured manner, we suggest you visit Corel Corporation website and download from their official repositories.

Step 2. Update CorelDRAW to the latest version

Update software that support file extension CDRIf the problems with opening CDR files still occur even after installing CorelDRAW, it is possible that you have an outdated version of the software. Check the developer’s website whether a newer version of CorelDRAW is available. Software developers may implement support for more modern file formats in updated versions of their products. The reason that CorelDRAW cannot handle files with CDR may be that the software is outdated. All of the file formats that were handled just fine by the previous versions of given program should be also possible to open using CorelDRAW.

Step 3. Assign CorelDRAW to CDR files

After installing CorelDRAW (the most recent version) make sure that it is set as the default application to open CDR files. The next step should pose no problems. The procedure is straightforward and largely system-independent

Associate software with CDR file on Windows

The procedure to change the default program in Windows

  • Clicking the CDR with right mouse button will bring a menu from which you should select the Open with option
  • Select Choose another app → More apps
  • The last step is to select Look for another app on this PC option supply the directory path to the folder where CorelDRAW is installed. Now all that is left is to confirm your choice by selecting Always use this app to open CDR files and clicking OK.
Associate software with CDR file on Mac

The procedure to change the default program in Mac OS

  • By clicking right mouse button on the selected CDR file open the file menu and choose Information
  • Proceed to the Open with section. If its closed, click the title to access available options
  • From the list choose the appropriate program and confirm by clicking Change for all....
  • A message window should appear informing that This change will be applied to all files with CDR extension. By clicking Continue you confirm your selection.

Step 4. Verify that the CDR is not faulty

You closely followed the steps listed in points 1-3, but the problem is still present? You should check whether the file is a proper CDR file. Being unable to access the file can be related to various issues.

Check CDR file for viruses
1. The CDR may be infected with malware – make sure to scan it with an antivirus tool.

If the CDR is indeed infected, it is possible that the malware is blocking it from opening. Immediately scan the file using an antivirus tool or scan the whole system to ensure the whole system is safe. If the CDR file is indeed infected follow the instructions below.

2. Ensure the file with CDR extension is complete and error-free

Did you receive the CDR file in question from a different person? Ask him/her to send it one more time. The file might have been copied erroneously and the data lost integrity, which precludes from accessing the file. If the CDR file has been downloaded from the internet only partially, try to redownload it.

3. Check if the user that you are logged as has administrative privileges.

Sometimes in order to access files user need to have administrative privileges. Log out of your current account and log in to an account with sufficient access privileges. Then open the CorelDRAW Image Format file.

4. Verify that your device fulfills the requirements to be able to open CorelDRAW

If the systems has insufficient resources to open CDR files, try closing all currently running applications and try again.

5. Verify that your operating system and drivers are up to date

Regularly updated system, drivers, and programs keep your computer secure. This may also prevent problems with CorelDRAW Image Format files. It may be the case that the CDR files work properly with updated software that addresses some system bugs.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the CDR file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on CDR file.

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