I'm having a recurring problem with exporting raster imagery in QGIS's print composer for use in CorelDraw X7 (for map styling). The problem has persisted for some time, through many releases of QGIS (now on 2.18.16; Windows 10).

Maps will appear as expected in print composer, and the exported image appears as expected in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. In CorelDraw X7, however, some raster images in the PDF will appear as either black or white, though any vector items appear normally. Examples of rasters with this problem include both high resolution orthoimagery, as well as scanned and geo-referenced maps.

This problem is sometimes fixed by generating a new PDF from print composer. Where this solution works, differences between PDF's that load as expected in CorelDraw X7 and those that do not typically consist of small (a few hundred kilobyte) differences in file size.

"Export as Image" results work as expected.

Looking for some help to figure out what is causing this problem in order to allow for map production workflow where layers are preserved in CorelDraw.

  • try saving in an older version of pdf. coreldraw.com/en/pages/items/1500732.html
    – Mapperz
    Jan 26, 2018 at 3:26
  • Hello, thanks for the suggestion, but no joy. I am able to save back to PDF versions 1.4 through 1.8 (using Acrobat Pro and Photoshop CS6) with the same result. I am suspicious of the difference in file size between PDF exports from composer from V2.18.16 and V2.14.11, where the same map export is, for example, 3,415 KB and 6,434 KB, respectively. Am I barking up the wrong tree?
    – Adam
    Feb 5, 2018 at 17:50
  • My workflow is QGIS > export SVG (Adobe Illustrator for layers) save as editable PDF then open in PhotoShop.
    – Mapperz
    Feb 5, 2018 at 17:54
  • Hello, thanks again! Working with CorelDraw X7 is a requirement of the company I work for. The workflow you suggested does result in a usable raster background, but introduces some new issues with the frames I'm using. Still, with some modifications, this is the only solution for the problem I'm having that does not require reverting to an earlier version of QGIS for each composer export. I was hoping this issue would be addressed with a QGIS update, but this problem has persisted since V.2.15.
    – Adam
    Feb 5, 2018 at 18:50
  • 18 days until QGIS 3.0...qgis.org/en/site/getinvolved/development/roadmap.html there is some big changes coming that will help.
    – Mapperz
    Feb 5, 2018 at 18:53

1 Answer 1


I just found a work around for CorelX7 and QGIS 3.4. Open the QGIS PDF output with PDF24 creator and safe it with best quality. This output opens correctlty in Corel.

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