Monday, July 15, 2013

Xara Photo and Graphic Designer 9

I have been using Xara for almost two decades. Not only is it a great drawing tool, but I have also found it useful for general design work, photo editing and compositing. Xara has been able to replace several other tools in my arsenal.

The latest incarnation, Xara Photo and Graphic Designer 9, does not disappoint.  It provides even more powerful photo editing, vector drawing and compositing tools at a rock-bottom price.

New features include:

- A “photo healing”  tool that allows you to remove blemishes and other defects quickly and easily.

- A “background erase” tool that makes it easy to perform tasks that generally require expensive photo editing software.

- New masking tools for complex photo and vector editing tasks.

- A “shape painter” tool that allows to to draw shapes using vector art.

- Google Font support as well as support for multi-weight fonts, graphical bullets and numbers.

- Faster recoloring of grouped items.

- New photo FX plug ins for adding a creative touch.

In using version 9, I found that there are a number of new flyouts in the toolbar interface making it easy to find just the tool you need without any fuss.  There are also a number of new and updated templates that make it easy to get your project started.  I had a lot of fun playing with the new filters and the shape painter and I know that these features will be useful in future projects.

All in all, Xara Photo and Graphic Designer 9 is a strong offering that builds on the solid foundation of the Xara engine.  There is nothing like it for the price!