My Thoughts About Xara Designer Pro 10

August 30, 2014

Over the past few months, Xara has released updates to each of their products. If you have specific needs, they have a line of products to meet those needs. Each of them is listed below with a link if you’d like to download a free trial or purchase.

If you want all of the features of those products and more in a single product, then you’ll want to get Xara Designer Pro 10. Today I’m going to give you my thoughts on Xara Designer Pro 10, though you’ll note that some of these comments will also apply to the other products. If all you need is a subset of the features, such as Web design, then go for the product with just that subset.

For those who are already using Xara products, you’ll find the familiar Xara desktop. This should help you get started quickly. If you are new to Xara, it is an intuitive interface that shouldn’t take long to learn.

I love the integration of new content catalog as introduced in Web Designer 10. It provides a great array of new templates for whatever you need to design – print, web, vector, page layout, etc.

Xara Designer Pro 10 Content Catalog

The photo retouching gives sophisticated results with many creative controls to produce amazing images.

Vector tools are pretty simple with good fill options, resizing and duplication tasks as expected. I was able to draw pretty much everything I needed. The new snap features as you move objects around your designs make alignment very easy and intuitive.

Need to do page layout? Start with a template and off you go! The new page layout templates cover just about everything you need to put on paper or on a website.

Xara Designer Pro 10 Share OptionsThere were also some great surprises. The share option, shown at right is one of them. Select elements, choose your social media share, follow directions and instantly upload. For a business, with need for brand identification, this is an amazing feature. Granted, you can only upload to Facebook, Flickr and MAGIX, which is a very narrow field. Facebook, however, is the biggest player so to integrate quickly and easily is a big plus. In addition, you can keyword your uploads to increase SEO status—a business must.

I am a big fan of the snapping features which provide precision alignment of objects as you move them in relationship to each other. Makes page construction, aligning text with images and callouts very fast. Repeating items on pages was a real timesaver and I sometimes forget the power of this feature.

Previewing as a Web page is very handy, even if you are creating a document for print. Viewing work as a Web document is a great way to preview and see errors that you can miss viewing the standard composition screen.

It is rare to have a software package that can truly do it all. This one can. I give it a big thumbs up.  Xara Designer Pro 10 has a lot of high end features that were unexpected and useful. Speed not an problem, even when dealing with complex documents with many text and image variables.

Xara Designer Pro 10 is a great value for the price. It works for those who want to make great presentation, be it web, print or image, but not the time/desire/budget to master other high end graphic software. Either will take care of modest graphic needs with excellent results. You’ll find it will also teach you good basics in both vector and pixel design if/when you make a jump to any software package.

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