Xara has released version 5 of its Xara Xtreme Pro illustration and design sofware, which it claims is the fastest graphics illustration program on the market.

New in Xara Xtreme PRo 5 are website design features aimed at designers who want to focus on design, not coding. The Xara ways that Xara Xtreme Pro is a supreme rapid website prototyping tool producing fully cross-browser, cross platform, standards compatible in (X)HTML.

New photo editing tools include Content Aware Photo Scaling, which allows images to be stretched without distorting key points of interest in the photo. This can be combined with the new photo masking tool you can additionally protect any part of your photo.

The upgrades gains the ability to anchor graphics (vector, or photo) to text so they flow with the text; and automatic font embedding -- enabling Xara documents to be distributed, viewed and printed WYSIWYG with any fonts. There's a a multi-language real-time check as you type spell checker; and an Object Gallery enabling easier identification of pages, layers and -- and their re-ordering and selection.

There's also improved file import/export -- including EPS, PDF import and export, camera RAW, and the creation of Flash files. The software ships with a new range of professionally-designed templates, ready for easy customization, including business media, flyers, brochures and now a wide range of website templates.

Xara Xtreme Pro 5 runs under Windows XP/Vista/7 and costs £173 plus VAT. A cut-down standard version is £60.