Xara Photo & Graphic Designer is MAGIX’s foray into the world of image editing software and winner of our TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award. For those of you who don’t know, MAGIX is a company that sells all sorts of quality creative design and multimedia software. This program has all of the same signs that it’s going to be another quality installment from their brand. The latest version offers some new and expanded capabilities that users will especially enjoy, including a new erase tool that makes it really easy to remove objects from photos. We mean any objects, and they are gone without a trace. You just have to draw around the object and then click on Magic Erase.
A new photo clipart category in the Designs Gallery will be a hit with many users, especially anyone that needs help designing packaging, posters or brochures. You will also be able to access some helpful page layout tools, namely one-click anchoring of objects and an easy text repel feature. You can also easily edit grouped objects and add objects to an existing group.
There are new page management features in the latest Xara Photo & Graphic Designer too. The new Page & Layer Gallery pages mode offers a list of page thumbnails for quick access.
A few new snapping features – non-axis-aligned snapping and "magic" magnetic object snapping – are also pretty cool. As you drag an object it snaps to points and lines of interest in the vicinity.
Other new design features include tabbed document windows, exportation of animation documents as AVI files, new paste functions and quick alignment of selected objects.
Web publishing features have been pumped up considerably in the latest version of Xara Photo & Graphic Designer. You can now make intelligent repeating headers, footers and watermarks because the program automatically updates all occurrences of a repeating object any time you edit it. Previewing your site in a variety of browsers is also very easy and the preview window now includes navigation buttons.
The price tag attached to Xara Photo & Graphic Designer is not too far off from the programs at the top of this category; however, the features associated with this program don’t match the impression that’s created by the high price tag. Don’t interpret that statement as any indication that the program is somehow inadequate. We would like to see the price dropped down to a level that’s equal to this program’s capabilities. People who have been in the industry for years are going to want to get a program like Xara Photo & Graphic Designer because it has enough features to keep them coming back for more. Members of this group are also well-known for putting the need for quality image editing software over worries about price.
The strange thing about the editing features in Xara Photo & Graphic Designer is that there are a lot of them that you aren’t going to see in other image editing software. Having unique editing features can be both a good and bad thing depending on whether you have the common features to go along with them. Luckily, the program has unique features that ease the strain of not having the tools people expect to see in image editing software. We would like to see this feature set expanded with new, unique features and ones we expect our image editing software to have. Now there's a clone tool that gives you the chance to copy parts of one photo or the same photo to assist in editing and erasing.
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer has a lot of good design features, but they have some unique ones in the place of features we would expect in our image editing software. Normally, this would be a good thing and a highlight of the software, but in this case, it only serves to detract from its value. We would like to see more design features in this program with names that we know right away. An image editing program needs to have the design features capable of getting the job done. Those just aren't present in this program. Applying attributes to objects or lines is easier than ever. Now you can apply the style of the last selected object to your new object rather than having to rely on what was last drawn.
There are new many more options for making objects transparent in Xara Photo & Graphic Designer. You can take advantage of the new straight line/arrowhead tool and the fact that all lines and shapes you draw appear on your canvas as you draw them. Sketch Mode allows you to draw lines without having to worry about them being automatically attached to your canvas.
It's hard to beat Xara Photo & Graphic Designer when it comes to ease of use. The program's interface is structured to make navigation easier and improve access to the tools you would need to get the job done. While other programs in this category have a way of crowding as many features as they possibly can into a single interface, this program goes for a more minimal approach. Don't think that means the program is any less functional. It still functions at a higher level than most programs in the industry, even though it has a streamlined interface. You're going to have a hard time finding photo editing software that's going to make your life as easy as this one does.
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer has a set of importing and exporting features that's hard to beat. The amount of export features usually outnumbers the import features by a considerable margin, but that's not the case with this program. You can import and export files using over 40 different audio and video file formats. While the other programs in the category are limiting your options in this area, Xara Photo & Graphic Designer seeks to expand their list. We have no doubt that it will continue to impress us for years to come.
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer is compatible with a number of different image file formats, but the actual amount fluctuates depending on what feature you’re using in the program. From what we could see, the range of compatible file formats was pretty impressive though; however, the program lays out all of the file types of file formats it supports that has the easiest for the user. Once this menu comes up, you're going to have no doubts as to what's the best option to progress with your audio.
You can contact MAGIX over the telephone or through a contact form that’s available on their website. If you’re unable to find your answers from one of these sources, you can consult their informative FAQs section. Even though there is a good assortment of help and support options, more information about this program is left out than we’re comfortable with.
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer is photo editing software that's on the fast track to becoming the undisputed best option in the industry. Whether it's powerful tools or easy to navigate interface, you're going to find something in this program that you will love. Any project you can imagine isn't beyond the capabilities of this program.
One-click anchoring makes layout a breeze.
Customer support could be better.
With improved page management and publishing features, this product is better than ever.