Monday, 28 August 2017





Designer Pro X 365 is the equivalent of Adobe Photoshop, illustrator, InDesign and Dreamwaver all in one! It's been awhile since I've looked at Xara Designer Pro X. Here’s the last review to refresh your minds…
Let's check it out…

From previous reviews, I'm now very used to the Xara Designer Pro X interface; there are quite a few Adobe alternatives on the market that emulate the interfaces that we are so used to. Designer Pro X takes a slightly different approach (where the interface is concerned); that said, it doesn’t take long to become familiar with basics. As a result there’s no need to consult with the manual and/or tutorial materials (for the most part). Plus, I am used to Xara’s other software such as Web Designer Premium, Photo & Graphic Designer and Page & Layout Designer. In fact, the applications mentioned above are combined to form Designer Pro X.

Rest assured that there are great tutorial materials that can be easily accessed via the “Help” menu.

One thing is clear: Adobe’s domination of professional design software is pretty much over. Xara has created such a powerful DTP software that easily rivals what Adobe software can do - with the exception of creating Digital Documents enhanced with multimedia such as audio and video files. If you imported a video file into a document and output it to a PDF then the video is converted into a image file. However, you can export that same document to the HTML format e.g. a web page! So, there are ways to create Digital Documents… It would have been something if Designer Pro X 365 could have created an exe file from documents that would run in a similar way to PowerPoint. It can be done! Better still, why not create executables that can run on iOS and Android devices?

The massive Design Gallery that used to come with previous versions of Designer Pro X is now an online catalogue. This is such a good idea! This means that there’s more space on your hard drive for storage. You have access to to a wide range of templates for websites, presentations, business printed materials such as business cards, letter heads, etc, and clipart for free! The range is staggering! There are beautiful designs that await modifying! Designer Pro X is very easy to get to grips with; the templates serve as great lessons in design.

If you are creating websites you have a selection of scrolling effects and animation to enhance the site pages. This reminds me of Dynamic HTML when Dreamweaver was first introduced; the results are stunning. It is now possible to have slides that span the screen. What I would have appreciated in the area of web design is the ability to add small videos as backgrounds. That would have been the triple chocolate icing on that cake!

I am going to cover the Xara Web Designer Premium separately.

Photo & Graphic Design
There are some new blend, saturation and filter effects. The Magnetic Lasso has been enhanced for accuracy to make cutting out an object from the background even easier than before.

As you may know, Adobe does not sell its applications as a downloadable that you own outright. Adobe has a monthly rental system going on… Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Adobe Premiere Pro, InDesign and Experience Design (Beta) for a whopping £50 per month!

Premiere Pro aside, that’s £600 per year and you don’t own any of it! Whereas you will pay only £199 for the equivalent with Xara Designer Pro X. Just add £55 and you have MAGIX Movie Edit Pro Premium. That’s £254 in total! MAGIX is an affiliate of Xara.

You will most likely find that Xara Designer Pro X is perfect for this Digital Era; it’s about a good website, downloadable PDF files, video and Social Media these days and Designer Pro X does it all - barring the video side of things in terms of content creation. Naturally, you are able to import video and audio files into web pages created in Designer Pro X. Again, what would be a boon to Designer Pro X is a multimedia component to the suite.


Above: What you are looking at is an A5 flyer that took seconds to create. Sure, it's not the best flyer you have ever seen, but I put this together so very quickly. To start with I created an A5 document, from there I looked on the built-in Online Catalogue for some Stock Photos (as found above when searching for "electronic music"), I made the arrangements of the photos as you can see, and I drew a line and coloured it red.

At this point, Designer Pro X does not know that it's a document meant for print; I could export this page to HTML (web page). I was able to preview the page within the web browser element of the program.

I then exported to the TIFF format - a very popular format with professional printing bureaus. Oh, you should also know that JPEG files are very commonly used these days... From there, I bumped up the DPI (dots per inch) value from 96 dpi to 300 dpi, which is the standard for professional printing. The CYMK colour value was present as default, and the TIFF export was complete. Easy! Another popular format for professional print shops is the mighty versatile PDF format.

Note: I almost forgot to mention that you can set up a standard 3 mm bleed so that images bleed off the page thus when the flyer is cut into A5 from a larger sheet there are no unwanted white spaces. The flyer is printed and finished cleanly. Gone are the days when you had to purchase a highly expensive DTP program just for simple print jobs. Or worse still, resort to using a pirate software. 

Xara Designer Pro X is a cost-effective way to start a design production house from your CD artwork (if you happen to make Electronic music and printing up your own CDRs), online shop (forget bloody iTunes), flyers for your gigs, t-shirt designs, and so on. With the money saved you can purchase any one of Xara/MAGIX video editing products and you will have the whole suite! Perhaps future generations of Designer Pro X will have a video editor as part of the suite. This is the Web Video Age.

Xara Designer Pro 365 scores a well deserved Electrochemy Platinum! 

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