Xara today announced the new versions of their full featured, and eminently inexpensive photo editing and web design software, “Photo and Graphic Designer MX, and Designer Pro X (Version 8). (I’m not sure why there are two numbers for Designer Pro, both the Roman Numeral “X” and the Version number 8, but I assume it’s like Apple’s OSX where dot releases have been major upgrades. You can buy the Photo and Graphic Designer MX package for a mere $89, so if you are looking for a bargain and use photos and design a web site, this may be your ticket. Below is the press release, and you can see more about Xara’s products here.
New Xara Photo & Graphic Designer MX and Xara Designer Pro X (version 8)
Xara today announced the availability of their new version 8 Designer products – Xara Photo & Graphic Designer MX (v8) and Xara Designer Pro X (v8).
Both products are super-fast, easy-to-use single integrated programs that provide all the tools for a range of graphic design tasks that would normally require three or more separate ‘suite’ programs; iIllustration, photo editing, advanced page layout, web graphics and animations – and in the case of Designer Pro building complete websites and online presentations.
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer MX and Xara Designer Pro X are the world’s highest performing graphics software titles, with their speed enabling more complex and realistic graphics to be created more easily and in less time.
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer MX is ideal for any graphics enthusiast, small company or academic user that requires the best value general purpose photo and graphics design tool.
Xara Designer Pro X is the flagship of the Xara product line, the ultimate all-in-one creative tool.. As well as the website design features, it provides tools that might typically be required by professional designers such as PANTONE®, CMYK, color separations and PDF/X. It also supports multiple processors for even faster performance.
New features in Xara Photo & Graphic Designer MX and Xara Designer Pro X include:
Powerful Color Erase /Selection to enhance (change color, adjust brightness, blur, etc) or make parts of photos transparent based on the selected color.
Photo hue adjustment to change the color tint of any part of a photo.
An innovative new Shape Erase Tool that can perform both vector erasing or path adjustment, as well as ‘soft mask’ painting to perform detailed soft-edged erasing of vector, text and photo objects.
A new Text Styles feature that offers an efficient and powerful way of controlling the global appearance of text. Generates CSS compatible styles.
New Inline Graphics for embedding symbols and icons into text.
Many new Template Designs including a selection of modern new print templates, such as greeting cards, brochures, business cards, CD covers and certificates, plus many new categorised clipart designs.
Many other Photo Tool improvements and additions including the integrated Panorama stitching tool, a more efficient ‘Optimize all images’ function and ability to optimize images upon upload.
Media Exchange. All titles in the MAGIX/Xara range can share media files with each other and with some important third party services such as Flickr and Facebook.
In addition to the above features Xara Designer Pro X includes:
A Shape Builder Tool to ‘paint’ onto an existing shape to enlarge it, add new areas or adjust the shape or outline. This compliments the new Erase Tool to provide two basic new shape editing tools, that are entirely vector in nature (resolution independent, fully editable) that can edit vector outlines of shapes, or provide soft air-brush like painting and erasing.
Smart object positioning and page resizing which automatically adjusts the size of a web page and position of objects as you enter more text
Embedded fonts – website creators are no longer limited to a small list of websafe fonts, but can use just about any font (assuming the font allows website embedding).
MP3 player widget – just drop an MP3 audio file onto the page, and this will embed a fully cross-platform compatible audio player (including iOS for iPad and iPhone) into your website. This joins the existing MP4 player that does the same for MP4 video files.
Create numbered lists and graphical bullet points – using Xara’s vector graphics capabilities you can now design your own graphics for use in numbered and bulleted lists.
Managing Director, Charles Moir says “The Adobe approach of selling separate, expensive programs to perform the common creative editing operations is fundamentally wrong in our opinion. Modern documents (whether printed, PDF or web document) should not need separate tools to edit the text, the graphics or the photos. This is not just a costly process, in time and money, but totally inefficient. Xara’s approach offers not just dramatically better value, but we believe it makes the software considerably faster and easier to understand and learn“
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer MX 8 costs just $89
Xara Designer Pro X 8 costs just $299
Upgrades from v7 to Xara Photo & Graphic Designer MX 8 cost $45
Upgrades to Xara Designer Pro X 8 cost $99
It operates on Windows XP/Vista/7
Posted by Steve Weinrebe, ImagingRandR.com