Xara Photo & Graphic Designer
Xara Xtreme for Linux running on Ubuntu
|Developer(s)||Xara Group Ltd|
|Initial release||1995 (Windows)|
|Stable release||v9 (Xara Photo & Graphic Designer/Xara Designer Pro) / May 21, 2013|
|Operating system||Windows, Linux|
|Type||Vector graphics editor|
|License||Proprietary, GPL (Linux version)|
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer is an image editing program incorporating photo editing and vector illustration tools created by the British software company Xara, which was acquired by German company MAGIX AG in 2007, and now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary. The Windows version was previously sold under the names Xara Studio, Xara X and Xara Xtreme, and traces its origin in the late 1980s to a title called ArtWorks for the RISC-OS based Acorn Archimedes. There is a pro version called Xara Designer Pro (formerly Xara Xtreme Pro).
The current commercial version of Xara Photo & Graphic Designer runs only on Windows. Versions up to 4.x can be run on Linux using Wine.
- The predecessor of Xara Photo & Graphic Designer, called ArtWorks, was developed on the Acorn Archimedes and Risc PC 32-bit RISC computers running RISC OS by Computer Concepts Ltd in the late 1980s. Artworks for RISC OS is now controlled and actively developed by Martin Wuerthner of MW Software.
- The first version developed for Microsoft Windows was initially called Xara Studio, but before wide-scale public availability it was licensed to Corel Corporation, and from 1995 to 2000 was released as CorelXARA. Corel ceded the licensing rights back to Xara in 2000.
- The first version under the name Xara X was released in 2000 directly by its original owner.
- In 2004, the next version, Xara X¹, was released.
- Xara Xtreme was released in 2005.
- In October 2005, The Xara Group, Ltd. announced  plans to open the source of Xara Xtreme under the GPL and to seek community help in porting it over to Linux and Mac OS X.
- In November 2006, an enhanced version of Xara Xtreme, Xara Xtreme PRO, was released.
- In May 2007, Xara Xtreme 3.2 and Xtreme Pro 3.2 were released. 3.2 Pro included Xara3D and both versions offered more robust typography features.
- In April 2008, Xara Xtreme 4.0 was released. Major features include extended text-area handling, tighter integration of bitmap handling and HTML export.
- In June 2009, Xara Xtreme and Xara Xtreme Pro 5.1 were released. Features included more text-area enhancements, content-aware scaling of bitmap images, improved file import and export, Master page (repeated) objects, an Object Gallery (replacing the Layer Gallery), website creation tools, and multi-stage graduated transparency.
- In June 2010, Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 6 and Xara Designer Pro 6 were released. Xtreme was renamed to Photo & Graphic Designer and Xtreme Pro was renamed to Designer Pro.
- In May 2011, Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 7 and Xara Designer Pro 7 were released. Features included 'magic' photo erase, user interface improvements to docking galleries and snapping alignment and (in Pro) new web page and website design features.
- In May 2012, Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 2013 and Xara Designer Pro X (v8) were released.
- In May 2013, Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 9 was released.
- In July 2013, Xara Designer Pro X9 was released.  New or upgraded tools for photo healing, background erase and masking. Special effects plugins. Web authoring gets improved tools for background handling, embedding of fonts and handling of high-res images for high resolution displays on mobile units. Page layout tools now have support for Google fonts, automatic end-of-document page creation, multi-column text boxes, web documents and import of docx-files.
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer is notable for its usability and fast renderer. Xara Photo & Graphic Designer is also notable for being among the first vector graphics software products to provide a fully anti-aliased display, advanced gradient fill, and transparency tools, features now common to many vector graphics editors.
Among vector editors, Xara Photo & Graphic Designer is considered to be fairly easy to learn, with similarities to CorelDRAW and Inkscape in terms of interface. Alongside the vector illustration tools, Xara Photo & Graphic Designer also includes an integrated photo tool offering manual and automatic photo enhance, cropping, adjustment of brightness levels, red-eye fix, 'magic' erase, photo healing, color and background erase, panoramas and content aware resizing. Designer Pro includes a wider range of tools for other design tasks including the creation of web pages and websites, and text and page layout tools for DTP with the aim of providing a single solution for all graphic and web design tasks.
Versions for Microsoft Windows
|Xara X||commercial version||2000|
|Xara X¹||commercial version||2004|
|Xara Xtreme||commercial version with commercial plugins||2005|
|Xara Xtreme XS||a light version of Xara Xtreme without plugins and no bevel/shadow/outline tools, commercial version||2006|
|Xara Xtreme PRO||commercial version with enhanced functions||2006|
|Xara Xtreme and Xtreme PRO 3.2||improved typography (Pro includes Xara 3D6)||May 2007|
|Xara Xtreme and Xtreme PRO 4.0||April 2008|
|Xara Xtreme and Xtreme PRO 5.0||June 2009|
|Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 6 and Xara Designer Pro 6||GUI redesign and tool updates and enhancements||June 2010|
|Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 7 and Xara Designer Pro 7||May 2011|
|Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 2013 and Xara Designer Pro X (v8)||May 2012|
|Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 9||May 2013|
|Xara Designer Pro X9||Combines photo, graphics, page layout and web design||July 2013|
Versions for Linux
- Xara Xtreme for Linux (open source version)—released 2006
Open source development
Xara Xtreme for Linux (or Xara Xtreme Linux Edition) is the open source version of Xara Xtreme. Formerly, it was called Xara Xtreme LX or just Xara LX; the abbreviation LX stands for Linux. The "LX" name is retained in some places (for example, the executable is still called "xaralx").
The first version was released for Linux in October 2005, and Xara Group Ltd announced it will release the source code of the trimmed down version under a free software licence, the GPL, and seek community help in porting it over to Linux and Mac OS X using the wxWidgets toolkit.
At the opening of the Libre Graphics Meeting 2006 in Lyon, France, Xara released most of the source code of Xara Xtreme for Linux in an updated website with details on how to access the sources. According to the Xara Xtreme for Linux homepage, the released source code contains "the majority of the Xara Xtreme source code". Currently, the only part of Xara Xtreme for Linux that isn't under GPL is the CDraw rendering engine, that is only available in the form of static libraries for a few selected CPU architectures and at that only with support for the GCC C++ compiler, though reportedly Xara is working on preparing that code for publication as well.[n 1]
Xara has also granted write access to their subversion repository for some external developers. The website also carries stable and nightly Linux builds.
The 0.3 beta series for the first time allows use of the new *.xar file format for the open source version. Previous versions only supported opening and playing with bundled demo files. Version 0.5 was the first to also have functional save feature. The current beta version is 0.7.
A version for Mac OS X is not yet working but is under development, and there is a call for developers on the open source project web site.
The progress of the Linux version has stalled and the program's website has not been updated since August 2006. No commits to SVN source code repository has been happening for same period of time.
||This section's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (January 2009)|
- Xara Group Ltd did not intend to release the rendering engine, and never said that it would. Xara Group Ltd's CEO, Charles Moir, confirmed on 15 Feb 2007 on the Xara developer mailing list why CDraw source code wouldn't be released: "For a number of reasons, one significant reason being commercial risk outlined earlier" where "earlier" refers to discussion on said list. There has since been some (but yet incomplete) progress towards porting the application to use Cairo as the backend, to work around the problems of non-portability and the obvious GPL incompatibility with the binary-only static link-library CDraw. However that could lose the benefits brought by the CDraw engine, and programmers have so far not even taken up the opportunity to develop what is open source, namely the main program itself.
- Wuerthner, Martin. "ArtWorks Progress". MWSoftware.com. Martin Wuerthner. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
- Chastain, Sue. "Whatever Happened To ... Graphics Software". About.com. About.com. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
- Moir, Charles. "Xara Group History". xara.com. Xara Group Ltd. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
- "Xara News". xara.com. Xara Group Ltd. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
- "Xara Takes Xtreme Action". xara.com. Xara Group Ltd. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
- "Xara Release Xtreme Pro". xara.com. Xara Group Ltd. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
- "Xara Release Xtreme and Xtreme Pro 4". xara.com. Xara Group Ltd. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
- "Xara Release Xtreme and Xtreme Pro 5". xara.com. Xara Group Ltd. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
- "Two New Releases". Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 2013 & Designer Pro X". xara.com. Xara Group Ltd. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
- "Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 9". xara.com. Xara Group Ltd.
- "Xara Designer Pro X9". xara.com. Xara Group Ltd.
- Open Source Xara Xtreme - Performance
- "Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 2013 Review". PC Pro. Dennis Publishing Ltd. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
- Libre Graphics Meeting 2007 - Montréal, Québec, Canada
- tdw, tom (2008-12-17). "xarino - Project Hosting on Google Code". Retrieved 2011-03-11. "Project xarino created by tom.tdw An attempt to resurrect the seemingly dead xaralx project"
- "The XaraLX Development Group". Google Groups. Retrieved 2011-03-11. "A group of XaraLX enthusiasts who are coming together to hopefully renew the development of XaraLX, as a "paid for" software for the Linux platform."
- Top Ten Reviews comparison of drawing software
- PC World review of Xara Designer Pro 7
- PC World review of Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 7
- PC Pro review of Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 2013 (v8)
- PC Pro review of Xara Designer Pro X9
- History of Xara up until version 3.2 (2007)
- official website
- Xara Xtreme for Linux homepage of the open source version
- XaraXone.com: Xara Xtreme, Photo & Graphic Designer and Designer Pro tutorials
- TalkGraphics.com: Xara user forums