Aiming to achieve faster performance with no program switching, lower memory and computing requirements, Xara Designer Pro X11 aims to be a one-stop-shop for creatives,.
The design software offers vector illustration, photo editing, page layout and website design for £183 (plus VAT) with upgrades from £54 (inc VAT). It runs on Windows Vista 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10, requiring a minimum 500MB of RAM and 300MB of hard disk space.
The latest release features new vector-based Art Brushes, offering real time painting of complex vector or bitmap brush designs along an editable freehand vector path. A range of realistic textured brushes is included.
In addition there are vector shape processing plug-ins to manipulate vector shapes and lines (with a third party API to be published later). The Transparency Tool introduces five new W3C standard, web-safe and PDF-safe blend modes. New plug-ins include a Spiral SmartShape tool.
For Web design, there’s a new one-click placement to stick objects to any given place in the browser window while the content scrolls under. This is very useful for ‘sticky’ social icons or a permanent navigation bar across the top of the screen.
Website designs with no obvious page boundary can be created in Xara Designer Pro, by stretching rectangle backgrounds and photos to fill the browser width.
HTML5 animation features allow objects to animate (in a variety of styles) on mouse-over, click and even when an object first comes into view.
Xara Designer Pro X11 can publish to any web hosting provider (which now includes FTP and SFPT options). Xara also provides 2GBytes of free web-hosting space, which also enables password protection for web pages.
It also has the ability to sync files via Dropbox and Google Drive (OneDrive coming soon). So if a user has the same file open on multiple computers (or shared with other users), saved edits will be automatically updated on the other computers with that file open.
There are new and improved text features including advanced hyphenation controls, to give higher quality text layout; new auto-correct options for faster text creation; text background colour controls and document-wide font search & replace.
The new text wrap options for inline graphics and automatic scaling of inline graphics make it easy to do major site-wide column width changes which is useful for multi-column work or mobile-friendly responsive website design.
Xara Online Designer
Xara is developing a new, ultra-high performance (60fps scroll and zoom) online editor. Included in Xara Designer Pro X11 is a beta release that is limited to text and photo replacement.
The company said it provides an easy way to view, edit and update the content of Xara documents and websites using a web browser on any computer or tablet, with an accurate WYSIWYG editing interface with a hi-fidelity page representation, including accurate fonts and page layout.