Scroll through this document to see a description of all the great new features released in the latest version of Xara Designer Pro+ (available standalone or included in Xara Cloud+, our great value bundle of Xara Cloud and Designer Pro+).If you have an active subscription to Xara Designer Pro+ or Xara Cloud+ then these updates are free and they will be downloaded automatically.
Web documents published in Designer Pro+ (such as presentations or SuperSites) now have the same flexible User Interface as Xara Cloud ‘Share To Web’ documents. There are some new easy to use page and zoom controls at the bottom of the page, and the option for viewers to download the document as a PDF or set it to full screen view at the top.New options for presentations and SuperSitesIn Designer Pro+ you can decide whether or not to include the downloadable PDF of your document - see the new Include a PDF download option in the Utilities > Web Properties > Export dialog. When included the PDF is generated with default High Quality settings.
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The new user interface appears for all types of documents from presentations to print (SuperSites), but websites continue to export as before. When the PDF option is on, the UI includes a large top bar that has a Powered by Xara logo in the top left corner. If you wish to disable this logo or the PDF download options, you can do so by unchecking the options in the Export dialog.
Tool Switch on SmartShape insertion
In previous versions we select the QuickShape tool whenever a SmartShape is inserted into a document, so that the object’s smart handles are visible. However since we now have the option to show smart handles in the Selector Tool we now select this tool instead when smart handles are on (as they are by default).
Don’t resize SVGs on import
Imported SVG graphics are no longer scaled, they are imported at the size defined by the SVG, with the exception of images from Pixabay (because their sizes are wide ranging and unpredictable).
Other Fixes & Minor Improvements
•Fixed an issue which caused the color editor dialog to lose dropdown menu after changing height•Fixed an issue which caused the Get Color from Photo tool to be disabled whilst photo is selected•Fixed invalid embedded repelling objects when importing Word documents•Fixed an issue which caused certain .docx files to crash Designer Pro+•Fixed an issue where 1bpp images were being corrupted on export to PDF•Fixed an issue which caused text formatting to enter an infinite loop•Fixed an error which caused Designer Pro+ to not shut down cleanly•Fixed an error when pasting the contents of another file with a locked MouseOff layer
Version 20.1 (25-Jun 2020)
High DPI Display Support
•Designer Pro+ now makes best use of the screen resolution whatever the Windows scale factor is set to.•On high-resolution screens, like 4K Monitors and devices like Surface Pro tablets, document display is sharper.•Even on lower resolution screens, you can now use the Windows display settings to make the controls bigger, while the document display still uses the screen’s full resolution.
Export Options for SuperSites
The Page Thumbnails & PDF Download checkbox on the Utilities > Web Export Options dialog now optionally turns on & off the new navigation options introduced for web documents such as presentations and Supersites in v20.0 (see the 20.0 section for full details). These include:•Full screen button
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•A downloadable PDF of the whole document/site•A pop-up page thumbnail bar•Additional navigation buttonsIf the option is off, sites and documents export to the web in the same way as earlier versions of Designer. In all cases websites set to export as Conventional Website in the Utilities > Web Export Options dialog will work as before with no additional navigation UI added.
Users are no longer prompted about settings when starting an updated version of Designer. Designer will use the user’s current settings. In case users do need to reset all settings back to their default values, a new Default Settings option has been added to Utilities > Options > Tune-ups.
Other Fixes & Minor Improvements
•Fixed an issue which prevented a correct export of alt rainbow fills to web•Fixed an issue which caused selecting text on new web UI moved to previous page•Fixed an issue which prevented RAW file import•Fixed an issue which caused errors when updating Table Of Contents•Fixed an issue which caused links not working in web export with some Panel components
Version 20.2 (04-Aug 2020)
Tables - tab key support
You can now press the tab key to move from one table cell to the next, or Shift+Tab to move backwards. If you press tab with the text caret in the last cell of the table, a new row is added.
Tab setting controls for Table Of Contents
When a Table Of Contents (TOC) includes page numbers, you can now control how the tab space between the heading and the page number is displayed. You can choose what character should be used to fill the space (most commonly a “.” character, which is the default setting) and also the spacing of those characters in the tab space.
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Simple TOC with levels 2 & 3 tab spaces filled with “.”To insert a new TOC, place the text caret and choose Insert > Table Of Contents. Or to update an existing TOC, right-click in it and choose Table Of Contents > Properties, from the context menu. The Table Of Contents dialog appears. Table Of Contents DialogThe Include page numbers option has been moved into a new Page Numbers section of the dialog. With this option on, the other controls in that section become enabled, allowing you to choose the character that should be used to fill the tab space before the page number, and the spacing of those characters. A spacing value between 0 and 10 is normally suitable, but you can set higher values if you want much larger spacing. You can set different character and spacing values for each of the first 3 levels (Heading 1 to Heading 3). Levels 4 and above, if included in the TOC, will use the same settings as those set for Level 3. If you don’t want any character to fill the tab space, simply clear the tab character field.
Custom Spacing - Advanced
Spacing works by adjusting the tracking setting on the tab characters within the TOC. The dialog above allows you to set any value in em/10 units. If you need finer control over the spacing, you can use the
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Tracking control on the Text Tool InfoBar to set any tracking value you like directly on the TOC, instead of using the dialog. Select the first tab character on the first line of the TOC to set the spacing for the first level in your table. Set the tracking value you want on the tab, then right-click Table Of Contents > Update. All first level lines of the TOC are updated to use the spacing/tracking that you set on the first line. Similarly you can set the spacing for levels 2 and above by selecting the tab in the first line of each level that appears in the table and adjusting the tracking, then doing an Update. The dialog only allows you to set the tab space character for the first 3 levels. But you can use the same approach described above to overcome this, if you have a TOC with 4 or more levels. Select the tab of the first Level 4 line, right-click, Tab stop properties…. Choose the character you want to use. Then update the TOC as described above to update all Level 4 lines in the table.
Paste format/attributes operation no longer pastes links.
•Upgrade button resolution fixed.•Table row/column selection fixed.•Bitmap tracer truncated text fixed.•PDF import very slow due to text used as clipping path. Fixed.•Dialog layout improvements for HiDPI.•Bitmap tracer dialog cropped label. Fixed.•Rotate/scale inside handle missing on upright photos. Fixed.•Popup photo doesn’t work due to Quickshape with bitmap fill. Fixed.•CMYK color editor fields could be mis-aligned. Fixed.•Text Style change on pie chart not handled correctly. Fixed. •Pro+ window does not restore maximized on 4k screen. Fixed.
Version 20.3 (07 Sep 2020)
New SmartShape Handles
The handles on SmartShapes (tables, charts, shapes, text panels, etc.) have been improved, made more consistent and now match the handles used in Xara Cloud. Note functionality hasn’t changed.
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Example SmartShapes with new handles
New Selector Tool Handles
The selection handles shown when in the Selector Tool have also been updated. These are shown on all types of object that don’t have their own smart handles, and on all multi-selections as in the example below. Multi-selection with new Selector Tool handles
These are new components that automatically size and position themselves at the bottom of the page on insertion. They are also made repeating on insertion, so that they appear on every page of your design.Example Footer design
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Each footer typically has a logo, page number and a line of text. To insert a footer use Insert > Footer …, which opens the Content Catalog onto the selection of footer components. If you insert a new footer when there is already a footer in the design, the new footer replaces the old one and where possible the content of the old footer is maintained in the new footer.
Image Import Resolution
In earlier versions of Designer large images imported into web documents were always automatically reduced in size to Full HD resolution. Designer now prompts about this so the user can choose to import either the original image or a reduced image, as when importing into print documents.
Google Fonts Update
40 new fonts added:Alata, Alatsi, Baskervville, Bebas Neue, Bellota, Bellota Text, Caladea, Calistoga, Comic Neue, Courier Prime, DM Mono, Epilogue, Gelasio, Girassol, Gotu, Grenze Gotisch, Gupter, Ibarra Real Nova, Inria Sans, Inria Serif, Inter, Jomolhari, Jost, Kulim Park, Manrope, MuseoModerno, Odibee Sans, Oxanium, Public Sans, Recursive, Red Rose, Rowdies, Sen, Solway, Sora, Spartan, Sulphur Point, Tomorrow, Varta, Viaoda Libre
•SVG import: Remove empty groups.•Name Gallery HiDPI fix•Bleed margin fix for print pages when exporting to PDF
Version 20.4 (07 Oct 2020)
Improved Rotation Center Handling
By default when you rotate an object, the origin of the rotation is the object’s center point. But you can move this origin to rotate any objects around a common origin point. First turn on visibility of the rotate center by pressing the toggle button on the Selector Tool InfoBar.
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Rectangle selection with rotation center visibleNow you can drag on the center point handle to move it anywhere on the page. For example if you move it to the center of the page, then when you rotate the rectangle or any other objects, they will all rotate around the center of the page. Unlike in earlier versions of Designer, the visibility and position of the center handle is now maintained until you press the button again to turn visibility off. You can change selection, switch to and from other tools and even switch to different pages and the rotation handle keeps its position. To revert to normal, where objects rotate around their own centers, just turn visibility off again.
Selection box offsets on small objects
When you are zoomed out in Selector Tool, or have very small objects in your design, the selected object may be very small on screen so there is very little space for Designer to show the selection box with its handles. So now in such cases you will notice that Designer shows a larger selection box around the object, so it’s easier to work on it without having to zoom in.
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New QuickShape handles
QuickShape Tool selection handles have been updated to match the new Selector Tool handle style.QuickShape editing handles
PDF Import Improvements
Many fixes and improvements to import of PDF documents, including:•Wrong fill colors on some shapes. Fixed.•CMYK image imported inverted. Fixed.•Links to next/previous page not imported. Fixed. Also some improvements to the export of imported PDF documents to web:•Wrong font weights on some text in web export. Fixed.•Narrow lines invisible in web export. Fixed. •Dropped capitals wrong positioned. Fixed. •Some embedded fonts failed to be exported to web. Fixed.•Text with outlines now export to web correctly. •Image resolution now better in web export.
•Spurious internal error when inserting footer components •Selection indicator blobs lost. Fixed. •Serious error exporting document to PSD. Fixed. •Small Caps corruption during edit inside. Fixed. •Pasteboard range limit removed so objects dropped a long way from the page don’t jump from the drop position. •Chevron SmartShapes now support click on + handle to add, as well as drag.
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Version 20.5 (11 Nov 2020)
The Shape Tool now has improved selection handles, similar to those recently added to the Selectorand QuickShape Tools. New Shape Tool handlesAlso the QuickShape Tool now shows a reduced number of handles, but retains all the same capabilities. Previously some handles were duplicated around each vertex of a shape, each performing the same function.
Web Export Settings
The old Web Export Options dialog has now been replaced by a new Export tab in the Utilities > Web Properties dialog. This brings these options, which control how your document or website appears when published to the web, together with other web settings, all in the same dialog.
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New Export tab of Web PropertiesThe Transition Effect and Direction have been separated into two controls, instead of a single combined control.Also you now have more control over what features are enabled in your web document or website, in the Viewer Options section at the bottom of the dialog, as follows:
This option allows you choose whether or not you want the page navigation panel along the bottom of the browser window, that allows a viewer to navigate directly to any page by clicking on a page preview.
If this option is checked, a Download button is added to the top right of the browser window, that allows the viewer to download your document as a PDF file, for printing or offline viewing. When this option is on, the PDF file is generated and published for you automatically along with the web view.
This option determines whether or not the Xara logo is shown in the top left corner of the browser window.
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Note that whenever the PDF download option or the Xara logo option are on, a bar is added across the top of the browser window that also includes a Full Screen button. But if neither of these options are on, the bar is not present and so neither is the Full Screen button. Presentation document with all 3 options enabled
Footers were introduced in Designer Pro+ 20.3. Headers work in exactly the same way, except they position themselves at the top of the page instead of the bottom. To view and use the available designs use Insert > Header ….Example Header design
Other Improvements & Fixes
•The Web Preview operations now open your document/website directly in your default web browser, instead of in an internal preview window.•PDF Import: Improved handling of alpha-channel images.•PDF Import: Reduce/combine subset fonts where possible.•PDF Import: Character appears as a hyphen. Fixed. •Word Export: Borders missing from table exported to Word. Fixed. •Corner-styled rectangle shape doesn’t report correct line width setting. Fixed.
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Version 20.6 (02 Dec 2020)
This update includes multiple PDF import fixes and accuracy improvements, plus the following changes to font handling when editing imported PDFs:
Most PDF files include a definition of all the fonts that are used by the text in the PDF, so they can be displayed accurately by any PDF Viewer. So when opening a PDF, Designer Pro+ is able to import these fonts too. However in previous versions these fonts would not always be used - Designer Pro+ would often use a similarly named locally installed font instead. This meant that the appearance of text could vary, depending on what locally installed fonts were available on the device. This resulted in an inconsistent PDF editing experience. Now Designer Pro+ will always use the fonts from the PDF (if they are included), so all text should always appear exactly as the document author intended, on any device. They all have a PDF- prefix on their names, so you can easily distinguish them from your locally installed fonts.
One problem with the PDF fonts is that they usually only include characters that are used in the text of the PDF. That helps keep PDF file sizes small. So if you type a character that was not in the original document, it can’t be displayed correctly. In earlier versions, Designer Pro+ would use a different font for such missing characters, so they would usually not match the rest of the text. And this could easily go unnoticed initially. So now Designer Pro+ will prompt you if you ever enter a character that is not available in the PDF font that is being used. It offers you the chance to replace the font with a local installed font, throughout the entire document. Alternatively you can choose to ignore the problem and continue using the PDF font. Then you will not be warned again about missing characters for that particular font, in the current editing session. This improvement means you can confidently edit text using the original font, without having to visually check the text for consistency. If ever you type a missing character, you’ll be alerted and you can then decide either to switch to a different font, or avoid using the missing character(s).
•Published documents and websites that are set to use page transitions (Utilities > Web Properties > Export) no longer show the keyboard shortcut pop-up.•Opening files with drag and drop didn’t work in some circumstances. Now fixed.•Insert > Table now opens the correct folder again in the Content Catalog.
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Version 20.7 (16 Dec 2020)
CMYK Color Profile
In this release we’ve improved the display of CMYK colors on screen, and also in all export formats that require conversion of CMYK colors to RGB. These color conversions now use a standard Color Profile. As yet there are no user controls for changing the Color Profile used, or for using a custom profile, but these further improvements will be coming in another update soon!
Other Fixes & Improvements
•More kerning improvements for PDF import.•‘Scale to fit’ Web Properties > Export settings would revert. Fixed.•‘Scale to fit width’ Web Properties > Export setting now works also when Viewer options are on.•Word import text positioning problem fixed.•Help updates.
Version 20.8 (1 Feb 2021)
CMYK Color Profile Control
The Color Profile used to display CMYK colors on screen and on export can now be controlled for each document, via the View tab of the Options dialog.
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In the Color section of the dialog you can select from the set of standard profiles included with Designer Pro+, or you can use the Browse… button to select a custom profile. Custom profiles are saved with the document automatically. The set of Color Profiles included in Designer Pro+ has also been updated. The selected profile is used in exported PDF/X files by default, or you can change this in the PDF Exportdialog, as before, if you wish to use a different profile.
PDF Filename in Web exports
The PDF file that can optionally be included when a document is exported to web, is now named according to the filename of the current document. So for example if the current document is ReleaseNotes.xar, the PDF file will be ReleaseNotes.pdf.
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Selector Tool Handle Visibility
Selector Tool handles remain visible even on small objects on screen. Previously some handles were not shown at small on-screen sizes.
PDF Import Improvements & Fixes
•Serious errors importing some PDF files. Fixed.•Occasional text lines wrapping too early. Fixed.•Very slow PDF opening due to excessive rectangle conversions. Fixed.
Other Improvements & Fixes
•Some problems with text links in some Text Panel components. Fixed.•Rectangles set to export to HTML full width with tiling, were not exporting correctly. Fixed.•Occasional problems after copy/paste of repeating and non-repeating objects together. Fixed.•Document failed to open due to SmartShape. Fixed.•Word (docx) export. Table did not export correctly. Fixed.•Word (docx) import: Tab positions imported incorrectly. Fixed.•Line Gallery controls disabled until folder is selected. Fixed.•PDF Export: Serious error exporting with embedded CMYK profile. Fixed.
Version 21.0 (10 Mar 2021)
Smart Duplication allows you to quickly duplicate an object multiple times horizontally or vertically, with the copies equally spaced. With all the objects selected you can then also adjust that spacing.Turn on Smart Duplication mode by pressing the new button on the Selector Tool InfoBar. With this option on, you’ll see that most objects havehandles around them. Selected object with Smart Duplicate handles on
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Drag the right handle rightwards to duplicate objects to the right, drag the lower handle down to duplicate downwards, etc.Object duplicated 3 times, equally spacedYou can then adjust the spacing by dragging the spacing handle shown near the top right corner of the selection. If you want to keep the selected objects centered, Hold the Shift key down while dragging. You can also use this feature to quickly adjust the spacing of any set of selected objects, horizontally or vertically. Just select them all and drag on the spacing handle, to equally space the objects.
•The Selector Tool InfoBar used to have a button for toggling between SmartShape and transform modes, which only really affected SmartShapes. Now these two modes have been combined, so the toggle button has been removed. •Clearing the selection now once again turns off rotate handle mode, if it is on. This is in response to user feedback on Designer Pro+ 20.8, where rotate mode would stay on until explicitly turned off.•Non-working handles displayed on objects selected inside a SmartShape. Fixed. •Serious error pressing rotate mode button with no documents open. Fixed.
PDF Editing Improvements
•Further improvements to text import accuracy, and a reduced number of kern characters in the text, which improves text editability. •Tracking reconstruction.•Improved handling of fonts with symbols in their names. •Performance improvements, so some large PDFs will open more quickly.
Other Improvements & Fixes
•Google Fonts update: 44 new fonts added.List of fonts: Akaya Kanadaka, Akaya Telivigala, Andik, New Basic, Ballet Benne, Big Shoulders Inline Display, Big Shoulders Inline Text, Big Shoulders Stencil Display, Big Shoulders Stencil Text, Bodoni Moda, Brygada 1918, Castoro, Commissioner, DotGothic16, Fraunces, Goldman, Grandstander,
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Hachi Maru Pop, Imbue, JetBrains Mono, Kufam, Kumbh Sans, Langar, Libre Barcode EAN13 Text, Nerko One, Newsreader, Oi, Piazzolla, Potta One, Reggae One, RocknRoll One, Sansita Swashed, Shippori Mincho, Shippori Mincho B1, Space Grotesk, Stick, Syne, Syne Mono, Syne Tactile, Texturina, Trispace, Truculenta, Xanh Mono, Yusei Magic•File > Save Template … no longer saves files to the installation folder, which was problematic on some systems.•Widget problem caused document to fail to export to web. Fixed.•PowerPoint import fixes. •Help link added to help users who have problems unlocking their Designer Pro+ after installation.•User’s repeatedly asked to connect to Xara Cloud on startup, following an abnormal closure of the application. Fixed.
Version 21.1 (22 Apr 2021)
WebP Image Export
WebP is a new image format that is an alternative to the well established JPEG and PNG. It uses new compression technology that allows image files to be smaller than JPEG or PNG image files of similar quality. Therefore it’s particularly suitable for use with images in websites and web documents, which will open faster if viewed in a web browser that supports WebP images, which most modern browsers now do.
Exporting Individual Images
WebP has been added to the extensive list of file formats that Designer Pro+ can export. Select the object or image that you want to export and choose File > Export WebP … . This option is also available on the right-click context menu. Choose a filename and folder location and click the Export button to export with default/previous settings, or click the Settings button to open the settings dialog.
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WebP Export SettingsHere you can choose whether to export the current selected object(s), the current page contents, or the whole of the current page including the page background. You can also choose the size of the image you want to export, by entering the required dimensions in pixels, or choosing the resolution required (DPI field). Transparent backgroundIf you select the Transparent option the image will be exported with a transparent background, so that it can be placed on any background. With this option off, whatever background you see behind the selected object(s) will be included in the exported image. Normally if you are exporting individual objects it’s best to select the transparent option, but if you want an image of a whole page including the page background, turn transparency off. EncodingWebP files can be either lossy or lossless. With a lossy file, some image detail is lost in order to achieve a smaller WebP file size. With a lossless export, full image detail is retained. So for the same image, a lossless WebP file will typically be larger than the equivalent lossy file.
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For the best balance of file size versus image quality, it’s generally best to export photos as lossy and graphics as lossless. QualityWith the lossy (best for photos) option selected, the quality controls are enabled so that you can control the balance between image quality and file size. The file size that will result from the current selected settings is displayed at the bottom of the dialog.
WebP Images in Websites
You can choose to have all the images in your website or document automatically exported as WebP, so that images will appear faster when your website/document is viewed in a browser that supports WebP. Simply turn on the new Include WebP images option, which is at the bottom of the Website tab of the Utilities > Web Properties dialog.
While most modern web browsers now support WebP files, some still do not, so it’s not yet advisable to provide images only in WebP form. So with the WebP option on, Designer Pro+ will automatically encode all your images in WebP AND also in either JPEG or PNG form, to maximize browser and device compatibility. And it will make sure browsers that do support WebP will only download and display the WebP files, realizing the benefits of a faster web browsing experience with WebP. While older browsers and others that don’t support WebP will download only the JPEG or PNG files instead. This does mean that previewing and publishing your website/document will take a little longer with the WebP option enabled, because of the additional image encoding that has to occur. If this delay is significant for your document, it’s best to turn off the WebP option while you work on your design, so that preview is faster, and then turn it on again just before publishing.
•Further general text positioning accuracy improvements.•Ligature auto-kerning fix.•Slow import of PDFs with very large numbers of colors. Fixed.
•Improvements relating to export of imported PDF documents to Word (for PDF to Word conversion). •Auto-kerning now applied to exported text, for improved position accuracy.•Other text positioning accuracy improvements.•Bold set incorrectly on text using embedded font. Fixed.•Shape on top of text prevents text selection in Word. Fixed.
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Other fixes & improvements
•Some stock image searches returned fewer results than expected. Fixed.•Detaching inverted Opacity Mask did not redraw correctly. Fixed.•Serious error on import of Word doc. Fixed.
Version 21.1.1 (29 Apr 2021)
Bug Fixes and Improvements
•Fixed an error when saving a template•Fixed an image quality issue when exporting to WebP at 100% quality•Fixed an issue that caused background images to not display properly in IE•Fixed an issue that caused error 84.k.cx.mp when exporting or previewing•PDF import improvements•Fixed an issue that caused PNG transparency to not be maintained when opening directly and saving•Improved PDF to Word export
Version 21.2 (18 May 2021)
WebP Image Import
Designer Pro+ can now import WebP images as well as export them. As with other image file types, you can simply drag and drop a WebP image file onto your document from Explorer, or use File > Import to browse for your WebP file.
New Timelines & Smart Diagrams
These are in the following folders of the Online Content Catalog:Components > Print & Web Components > TimelinesComponents > Print & Web Components > DiagramsThese components have internal elements that can be easily re-arranged, duplicated or deleted, without spoiling the designs. For example in this Pillar Diagram below, you can easily choose how many pillars you want.
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3 Pillar Diagram …… 4th Pillar added
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Each pillar has a set of 3 handles on it:•Click the handle to delete a pillar•Click the handle to add/duplicate a pillar•Drag on the handle to change the order of the pillars.There is also a single spacing handle that you can drag to adjust the spacing between the pillars. As you change the number of pillars, Designer Pro+ tries to maintain the current width of the component as much as it can. But if you add more than can be fitted in the current width, the component will get wider. And, as with all components, you can drag the width and height handles on the outside of the component to adjust the size. Or use a corner resize handle to scale the whole component up or down, but note that this will change the text sizes too.The same principle applies to the other Timeline and Diagram designs in the Content Catalog. They each have similar elements inside them, as indicated by the same set of 3 handles. So for example the Timeline shown below lets you choose how many labeled circles you would like along the arrow. Timeline with 4 bullet pointsSome of the components have parts stacked vertically instead of horizontally, but the same principle applies in the vertical direction.
Word Import/Export Improvements
•Improved handling of Word’s ‘At least’ line spacing option on import.•Locked background shape movable in Word after export. Fixed.•Other Word export fixes.
Other Bug Fixes and Improvements
•PDF file fails to open. Fixed.•Rounding handle on Oval shape gives error. Fixed.•Problems with Repeating objects using text inside shapes. Fixed.
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•Error on web export due to large WebP file. Fixed.•WebP export affected by JPEG export retina setting. Fixed.•Shadows exported to SVG correctly.•Serious error on zoom due to brush strokes. Fixed.•Editing of photo with transparency lost the transparency. Fixed.
Version 21.3 (28 May 2021)
Template Locking for Xara Cloud
Designer Pro+ already had support for completely locking an object, so that clicking or dragging on the object will do nothing. This is very useful in Designer Pro+ and in Xara Cloud, for objects in the background, behind text for example. It prevents users accidentally moving or selecting the object, when they intended to work on objects on top. It can also be used by template designers to discourage users of a template from making unnecessary design changes - for example locking a company logo in place, so users can’t move or change it. However template designers need more flexibility, so they can lock different aspects of an object in their design, while still allowing some customization of that object by users of the template.
New Lock types to restrict Xara Cloud editing
To achieve this flexibility we have introduced 2 new types of locking to Designer Pro+ and Xara Cloud. Designer Pro+ is often used for creating and editing templates that are deployed with Xara Cloud, so these two new types of lock can be applied using Designer Pro+, but the locking is only enforced in Xara Cloud. In Designer Pro+ the objects can still be edited without restriction. Lock Size & PositionThis lock prevents an object from being moved or resized in Xara Cloud. So when such an object is selected, the user won’t see any handles for changing the object size. But users can still edit the content of the object. For example if a photo is locked in this way, a user can still change the photo image, using Replace Photo, as normal. But they can’t move the photo, resize it, or change its shape. The same principle applies to other types of object with this lock - that is, they allow content editing, while maintaining the object’s size and position in the document.
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Photo selected with Lock Size & PositionLock Aspect RatioThis lock prevents users from changing the aspect ratio of an object in Xara Cloud, for example by stretching it wider or taller. Such objects can still be moved and also resized by dragging a corner resize handle, but no handles are shown for changing the width or height of the object. Content can still be edited, as with the Size & Position lock. Photo selected with Lock Aspect Ratio
The new Locking dialog is opened with Utilities > Locking …
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Locking The Lock All option is the original Designer Pro+ locking whereby the locked object can’t even be selected. With this lock the object can only be unlocked using the Page & Layer gallery, as in previous versions of Designer Pro. The Only Admins can unlock in Xara Cloud option prevents ordinary Xara Cloud users from overriding a lock on an object. So this option allows template designers to determine whether a lock is just advisory (users of the template can choose to turn it off), or compulsory. However this restriction does not apply to Administrators of the Team in Xara Cloud.
Object Right-click Menu
You can also view and change lock settings using the right-click context menu on any object. There is a Lock sub-menu, that gives quick access to all the same settings available in the Locking dialog described above. There’s also an option to open the Locking dialog itself from this menu.
•Word Export: Some CMYK bitmaps appear as empty rectangles. Fixed.•Word Export: Some images appearing inverted. Fixed.•Blank line added unnecessarily when pasting objects embedded into empty text area. Fixed.
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Version 21.4 (24 Jun 2021)
Open Graph gives you control over how your website is presented when you post a link to it on social media. You can set image, title and description, which stops the social media site making a best guess on your behalf. For example if you paste www.xara.com into a Social Media app, the app will show the graphic below, which is published as part of the Xara website.Now you can easily create and include a similar graphic with your website and web documents.Setting the title and description gives you the opportunity to improve your page rank by including your top keywords.
Open Graph Dialog
The Utilities > Web Properties dialog has a new Open Graph tab.
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Open Graph DialogEnable Open Graph for your website or document by selecting the Enable checkbox at the top. Then you can enter the Title and Description you’d like to appear as part of your site’s preview. If you already added Title and Description in the Website tab of this dialog, the same text will appear here by default, but you
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can change it if you like. Below the Title and Description you can see the current Open Graph image that is set for the current document. By default you will see a relatively simple graphic with a logo in the center. There are a selection of other Open Graph image designs to choose from in the Content Catalog - just click the Catalog… button below the preview image to browse and select one. Or, if you already have a suitable image you’d like to use instead, just click the Import… button to import it. Where a design includes a logo, if the document you are editing already includes a suitable logo, it should be used in the preview image by default. If not, or you want to change the logo, you need to edit the image design. Editing the Open Graph preview imageClick the Edit… button and a new document tab will open containing just the Open Graph preview image design for the current document. Here you can edit the graphic just as you would edit any other content within Designer Pro+•Select the Text Tool to edit the text•Right-click on a logo and choose Replace… to replace a logo•Right-click on an image or photo and choose Replace photo… to replace You can change the dimensions of the design if you want, but the default size is recommended for best results on most Social Media platforms. When you’ve finished editing, you can Ctrl+S to Save and return to your main document, or click the Save button in the Open Graph dialog, or just close the tab.
Finishing & Publishing
Press OK or Apply in the Open Graph dialog when you have finished setting it up. Now just publish your website or document as normal and then try pasting a link to it into a Social Media platform to see your preview appear.
Shape Editing Improvements
When the end point of an open bezier curve is selected in the Shape Tool the InfoBar now shows the angle of the tangent and allows the user to edit it numerically. This helps when aligning the curve with other rotated objects in a drawing.The open end points of bezier curves now project tangential angled constraints for the Smart Snapping system to use. When dragging other objects in the Selector tool, press “A” to turn on Angle snapping, and when any snap point gets close to the tangent the point will be snapped to the tangent with indication. This helps when aligning objects to the angle from the end of the curve.
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Numerical control of the angle of the tangent and improved snapping
Other Fixes & Improvements
•Advanced locking fixes.•PDF Import: Single page PDFs imported into an existing document now correctly import as a new page.•Word Export: Some images appeared inverted. Fixed.•Web Export: JQuery update to latest version.•PowerPoint Import: PP file caused serious error in Pro+. Fixed.•PowerPoint Import: Table positioned wrongly. Fixed.•Selector Tool: Selection handles sometimes not cleared completely on selection change. Fixed.•Selector Tool: Improved performance selecting very large groups.•Text: Inserting rule-off in a list now ends the list.
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Version 21.5 (3 Aug 2021)
Use Photo Filename
Many customers have asked why the photos in their published website don’t use the original filenames of the photos that they imported, so that Search Engines can find and index those names. That’s because it’s not always helpful to expose those names in your public website - some filenames may be inappropriate and others may having nothing at all to do with subject of the site and so could be worse for SEO rather than better. Also of course most photos from digital cameras have meaningless names anyway.Therefore users can control what names are used for image files in the published website or web document. The Utilities > Web Properties > Image tab lets you set any name for the selected photo and that name will then be used for the photo’s filename. And since sometimes the photo’s original filename is useful there is now an additional Use photo filename button that will instantly fill that name field for you with the selected photo’s original filename (if it has one). Only use this if the photo filename is meaningful and relevant to the content of your site.
A canonical tag is a way of telling search engines which specific URL to treat as the master copy of a page, thereby preventing SEO problems caused by identical or "duplicate" content appearing on multiple URLs.Publishing a web page to your domain might mean the same page is served when visiting the web page address with or without the www prefix and on both HTTP and HTTPS protocols. This can appear as duplicate content to search engines. Applying a canonical link will suggest which URL to show in search results and allow search engines to count links pointing at different versions as links to the canonical version. A <link rel=canonical> is now automatically applied to the <head> of your web page when you publish to Xara Hosting / MAGIX Online World. If you are publishing to Other Web Host, enter the URL you want set as canonical in the Website URL field.links with target="_blank"A link that is set to open in a New window or tab (_blank) will now automatically have the ‘noopener’ and ‘noreferrer’ attributes applied. This is a security improvement to prevent the targeted page from gaining access to the referring page.
•Alt text added to web document viewer buttons•Videos mis-positioned on popup layer. Fixed.
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Show Printer Colors
The Show Printer Colors option in Window > Show Printer Colors has been replaced with Show Profiled Colors. As the name suggests, in this mode all HSV and RGB colors in your document are processed using the current document’s selected color profile, in the same way as when your document is exported to PDF/X for printing purposes using the same profile. So in this mode the on-screen appearance of these colors should now more closely match how the colors will appear in the PDF. And the colors seen on screen will vary, depending on the color profile used (as set in Utilities > Options > View). Note that this mode does not change the on-screen appearance of any CMYK colors in your document, as these are always displayed by applying the same document color profile.
•Google fonts update: Another 21 new fonts added.•When pages in a flowing document are re-ordered, page breaks are now added to prevent text moving between pages, which can be confusing.•Spell checker: Each SmartField is now treated as a separate word.•An unexpected font size change after outdenting of a sub-list has been fixed.
•PowerPoint import: Some sub-headings appear too bold. Fixed.•PDF to Word: Misplaced text. Fixed.•AI file from stock illustrations in Content Catalog failed to import. Fixed.•Word import fixes.•PDF import fixes.
•Dialog width/height text pixelated while editing Open Graph graphic. Fixed.•Button palette not displayed correctly on some screens. Fixed.•Trapezoid shape issue. Fixed.
Version 21.6 (6 Dec 2021)
Web Export Improvements
Shapes as SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)
Modern web browsers have great SVG support, which means we can now export many more types of graphical object to web using SVG, instead of having to make separate bitmap image files for each one. As a result your website and web documents load faster - with all the usability and SEO benefits that brings - because there are fewer bitmap images to download. What’s more, your content also looks sharper as SVG.
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All you need to do is turn on the new Shapes as SVG option at the bottom of the Utilities > Web Properties > Website tab. Then Xara will automatically use SVG for as many objects as it can when exporting your document for the web. Flat fills, linear graduated fills and circular graduated fills, all now export as SVG. Which means it’s now possible to build graphically rich web documents and websites that have no images to download at all!
Designer Pro+ help is now online. The various Help buttons throughout the application now open your default web browser onto the online help system, where you can browse and search the help, just as you could with the locally installed help in earlier versions. Having the help online allows Xara to update it more frequently without having to release application updates, and to integrate it with the online knowledgebase articles.
Live Copy Improvements
Live Copies allow you to create multiple copies of any image that can be updated simultaneously with a single edit (similar to Repeating Objects, but more flexible since you can have multiple Live Copies on a single page and they don’t have to be in the same position). It’s a valuable time-saving feature for illustration and document creation.We’ve made various improvements, which will make working with Live Copies easier and more flexible:•Deleting/cutting a Live Copy no longer prompts you to confirm that all instances of the Live Copyshould be deleted, as this is rarely needed.•Double-clicking on a Live Copy will now always initiate an ‘edit inside’ on the Live Copy. Previously this worked for multi-object Live Copies, but not for single object Live Copies. •Now when you edit a Live Copy the ‘edit inside’ view shows the design with its original size and orientation, even if the Live Copy has been rotated/scaled. This generally makes editing easier.•You can now easily partition a set of Live Copies into two separate sets. In the following example there are 6 instances of the same Live Copy design. Editing any one of them will also change all the others, because they are all part of the same Live Copy set. 1 Live Copy SetBut what if you want to make the last 3 look different to the first 3?Now you can simply select the last 3 objects and choose the Live Copy > Make Unique LiveCopies
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option on the right-click context menu. Now you have 2 separate sets of Live Copies, so you can edit one of the last 3 objects to make them different. 2 Live Copy Sets
Multi-line SmartField Values
SmartFieldsare another great time-saving feature of Xara Designer Pro+, offering an efficient way to deal with commonly used text phrases that you want to insert in multiple places in text.In this update we’ve added the ability to have multi-line SmartFields. Open the SmartFields dialog (Utilities > SmartFields…), select a SmartFieldin the list and press the new Edit button, to bring up the multi-line text editor. SmartFields can now be multi-line- postal address is a typical example
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Where a value has more than one line, only the first line is displayed in the dialog and a … symbol in the right column indicates that the SmartField has more than one line. You can also click in the right side column to bring up the multi-line editor and see the full multi-line text. Note you can still edit single line values directly in the dialog.
Other Improvements & Fixes
•Improved AI import, including support for more recent AI versions.•Wrong font sometimes applied to text in PDF export. Fixed.•PDF form field import/export fixes.•Spelling dictionaries updated.•Web publishing (sFTP). Compatibility problems with some external hosting services solved.•SVG file with linear gradient failed to import. Fixed.•Overlapping text in exported SVG. Fixed.•Error sometimes shown moving mouse pointer over text inside shape. Fixed.•Clipped Opacity Mask Group incorrectly rendered after move. Fixed.•Dead accent key handling fixed, when working on text inside smart components.•Canonical links in conventional websites now reference the correct page filename.•rel=”noopener” can now be stripped from a web link with a blank target by applying the name “opener”.•WebP web export option could sometimes be auto enabled when saving a template after applying a page background. Fixed.
Version 21.7 (17 Feb 2022)
Web Export Improvements
More use of SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) for Faster Sites
Following on from the previous 21.6 release, this update brings even more use of SVG into Xara web exports, further improving the speed with which your websites and web documents load - with all the SEO benefits that brings - as well as the sharpness of your content. Given the importance of page loading time to page rank, this is a valuable improvement for your SEO efforts. Just make sure you have the Shapes as SVG option turned on at the bottom of the Utilities > Web Properties > Website tab. Then Xara will use SVG for as many objects as it can, when exporting your document for the web. New documents you create will now have this option on by default.Wall Shadows as SVGWall Shadows created with the Shadow Tool will now export as SVG instead of as images. Wall shadow is by far the most commonly used type of shadow. Floor shadows and Glow shadows will continue to export as images, due to a lack of direct support for these shadow types in SVG.
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Elliptical Fills as SVGElliptical fills are now also exported as SVG, in addition to Flat, Linear and Circular fills which were already supported.Mix & Multiply Transparency as SVGObjects with Mix or Multiply transparency are now also exported as SVG.Export group as single imageSometimes you may want to force a group of objects to export as a single image, even when you have the Shapes as SVG option on. There has always been an option for this, but the UI for this is now clearer and simpler, at the bottom of the Utilities > Web Properties > Image tab.New groups export as SVGWith this update, new groups you create (Arrange > Group) when Shapes as SVG is on, will export as SVG unless you deliberately turn on the above Export group as single image option for the group.And the same applies to groups created by importing graphics from SVG or PDF files - these groups will also now export as SVG by default. This means most of the Illustrations in the Content Catalog (Insert > From Content Catalog, Stock Illustrations), will also export to web as SVG, with all the benefits that brings.
Improved performance of websites across mobile and desktop devices
In addition to the SVG changes, we’ve made other refinements that will help improve page load speeds for the benefit of your SEO:•Several JS files are no longer exported when not required.•Optimized CSS by removing deprecated fall-backs.•Reduced render blocking scripts.•Up to 15% improvement in performance for mobile devices in our own tests.
A nice improvement for vector illustration has been made to the Shape Tool, with the introduction of an easy way to maintain the angle of the bezier curve when you drag its handles to change its length.Now when dragging a point or curve handle you can hold down Alt to constrain the movement of the handle relative to its original angle with nearby points.
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It works for both curve handles:(the Shift key can also be used to balance the control handles around the selected smooth point)and point handles in shapes with straight lines:(In this case the Shift key chooses which of the two possible angles connected to the selected point should be used to constrain the angle of the dragged handle. See the Online Help for more details.)
Other Improvements & Fixes
•TIFF import: Support for zip compression added•Serious error importing an AI file with missing data. Fixed.•Opacity mask group on Live Copy rendered wrongly after Live Copy edit. Fixed.•Resize of photo filled shape changed shape to rectangle. Fixed.•Serious error on starting text edit due to mis-handled font. Fixed.•Serious error with repeating objects on guides layer. Fixed.•PDF Import: Reconstruction of shape outline and shape fill into single shape.•Default photo optimization resolution increased to 300dpi for print documents.
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Version 21.8 (9 March 2022)
Automatic self-hosting of Google Fonts
Google Fonts are immensely popular with web designers, providing a huge library of quality fonts with good cross browser support, which is why we provide seamless support in Xara Designer Pro. However a recent court decision in Germany has cast doubt on whether calling fonts from Google is compatible with GDPR (because it passes the IP address to Google). Xara has reacted quickly with this new release of Designer Pro+, which offers instant compliance by automatically publishing any Google Fonts to your web space, and no longer referencing Google. All you need to do is republish your website.Xara’s automatic self-hosting makes an otherwise complex workflow simple, but there could be performance and SEO benefits too. In the past, it was considered better to link to Google Fonts and not self-host fonts because of browser limitations. But with modern browsers, that is changing. Now self-hosting fonts can improve page speed and Web Vitals score, with all the SEO and page rank benefits that implies.
Font Menu Improvements
•The font menu used to automatically scroll to the current font when opened. This meant that the most useful part of the font menu, the top section that shows the fonts used in the current document, was often out of view. So now the menu always opens with the top of the font menu visible. •Some font type icons missing in the menu, on HiDPI displays. Fixed.
Version 21.9 (April 2022)
Web Windows to Edge
There are several functions in Designer Pro+ that bring up a web browser window inside the application, to display content, including:
The Widget editor
Used when inserting/editing most of the widgets available in the Online Content Catalog.
Google Font Finder
Launched when you click Add in the Google Fonts section of Fonts menu.
Launched when you click Insert > Symbol
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Erase Tool Guide window
Until now these have relied on using a variant of Internet Explorer. But since Internet Explorer is coming to the end of its life and support for it on the web is declining, it’s time to upgrade these windows. The Widget Editor in particular was becoming a problem, as external widget provider websites have been dropping support for Internet Explorer. So with this update, all the above web windows are now using the latest Microsoft Edge technology instead.
Numbered Lists - show all level numbers
Normally when using Numbered Lists, only one number is shown at the start of each list point, as in the left example below. But now there is also the option to show parent numbers too, as shown in the example on the right:This new option is available in the List Properties dialog. To show the dialog, place the text caret in a list, right-click and choose List properties … in the context menu.
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Insert Page Count
It’s long been possible to show a page number on every page (use Insert > Page number and Arrange > Repeat on all pages). Now you can also show the total page count with the page number (for example on this page, Page 43 of 44), using Insert > Page count.Note that this option only works for inserting at the text caret, so go into the Text Tool and place the text caret in text before inserting.
Change font size and Auto-fit
Auto-fit is a feature on a text area, whereby the font size of the text is set automatically by Designer Pro+, so that the text fills the text area container exactly. See the vertical text alignment option on the Text Tool InfoBar . This works even when you have a mix of different text sizes - the relative size differences are maintained. However if all the text is the same size, and you don’t realize that auto-fit option is on, it can be confusing. Attempting to change the font size manually will do nothing, because the font size is set automatically. It’s an easy mistake to make if you’re editing a template and don’t realize that auto-fit is on.So now if you attempt to change the font size on all the text in a text box with auto-fit on, auto-fit is turned off automatically, so that the text size change will just work. The same happens with the related Shrink text on overflow option. Other text handling fixes•Serious error merging in List Styles on paste/import. Fixed.•CID font Noto Sans causes serious error. Fixed.
Web export improvements for mobile
We’ve made some changes to the way exported documents/websites work on mobile and touch devices, to improve the user experience:•A swipe will no longer change page if there is an active text selection (if the user is trying to select text on a touch device, by dragging on the selection markers on the text, it shouldn’t navigate to the next/previous page if the user misses the selection markers with their drag).•A vertical swipe will no longer change pages on pages with vertical scrolling (on long pages that won’t all fit on the screen, the user needs to scroll by swiping up/down. Therefore this shouldn’t navigate to the previous/next page, only horizontal swipes should). •Improved page animations on pages with vertical scrolling. Other web export fixes:•Some characters missing from web export due to self-hosting of Google Fonts. Fixed. •Can’t interact with a form that has reveal animation applied. Fixed.
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Other Import/Export Improvements
•Wrong miter on imported SVG. Fixed.•WebP export fails after exporting a low bpp PNG. Fixed.
Version 22.0 (July 2022)
A New Subscription Option From Xara
We’re happy to introduce a brand new stand-alone option for Xara Designer Pro+. Our Cloud Pro+ bundle with Xara Cloud is still available if you want to use these 2 great products together (for example if you are collaborating with a team on your documents, or need to access your documents remotely) but now you also have the option of subscribing to Designer Pro+ alone.Tip: Both these options offer all the advantages of a subscription model, namely frequent delivery of new features and content, as they are developed by Xara, and the fastest possible response to new compatibility issues and bug reports. You can always be sure you’ll have the latest version. What’s more the + options come with direct support from Xara, via chat.
New Look User Interface
Xara Designer Pro+ has a new, clean, modern appearance. Key highlights:•The new darker background puts more focus on your design, with less user interface distractions•There are new, clearer icon designs throughout.•All icons and mouse pointers are now High DPI, so they look sharp and clear on high resolution displays•And other minor tweaks and improvements - for example in the Page & Layer Gallery, the Page names are now separated from the page thumbnails, so both are clearly visible.
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Other Improvements & Fixes
Text•External text pasted into list not added as list items. Fixed.•Serious error in flowing document as anchored object flows up.
Web Export - Buttons
All buttons under Components > Buttons in the Online Content Catalog have been updated. These are now SmartShape buttons. The entire button, including mouse-over state, reside on a single layer instead of parts of the button being on the MouseOver layer as with previous buttons. This makes it easier to use buttons in multi-layer designs. It’s also easier to change their widths and to resize them.
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Other Web Export
•Repeating photo failed to ‘stick at top’. Fixed.•Some non-JPEG images get exported as JPEG in web export. Fixed.•Web export hung exporting specific document with repeating group. Fixed.•Links applied to list paragraphs should not include the list bullet/number.•Error using popup photo feature with photo gallery widgets.•Image Alt-text missing in web export of document.
•Word document caused serious error on import. Fixed.•EPS import fix.
•Templates updated with latest widgets.•Company and licensee information now shown correctly in Help > About. •Opening color editor onto page color initially shows ‘no color’. Fixed.•Applying color to a page no longer turns on page shadow automatically. Page shadow can still be turned on/off in File > Page Options … .•FX Painter Tool profile adjustment not working. Fixed.
Version 22.1 (5 Sept 2022)
Tables are often a key part of any business document, which is why we’ve been working on a new, very flexible and powerful Table Tool, to replace the old Smart Table SmartShapes. You will find the new tool at the bottom of the main Toolbar on the left .The Table Tool InfoBar is where you can change the settings for a selected table or selected cells in a table.
Table background color
Cell horizontal justification
Cell vertical justification
Cell background color
Merge and split cells
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In the Table Tool, click the first button on the InfoBar to quickly create a new table . Or you can click-drag on the page, to drag out a new table with the number of rows and columns you want. There’s also a great range of professionally designed tables in the Online Content Catalog (Insert > Table > Tables …), all the existing table designs have been updated and we’ve added 20 completely new designs.Some of the table designs in the Online Content Catalog
In the Selector Tool, single-click to select the table, then simply drag the table width/height handles to change the width/height of the whole table. Or you can set the width and height in the InfoBar, as you would with any other object.
Changing Rows & Columns
When you have a table selected in the Table Tool, move the mouse pointer over the hotspots as shown below.
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Using these controls you can quickly add rows and columns, change row and column sizes, select and delete rows and columns, all directly on the table without using the InfoBar. Use Ctrl+click or Shift+click on the row and column headers to select multiple rows/columns. Backspace will also delete a selected row or column (whereas Delete will delete the contents).You can set the selected row heights and column widths on the InfoBar numerically, which makes it easy to give multiple rows or columns the exact same sizes.
Selecting cells you want to change is easy. First click to select the whole table, then in the Table Tool you can click on individual cells to select them. Or click-drag to select a rectangular range of cells. You can also Ctrl+click on a cell to add it to the current selection, or Shift+click to extend the current cell selection range. You can also select multiple cells while in the Text Tool, by simply click-dragging.
Once you have selected the cell(s) a simple Delete will delete the contents. The usual copy and paste commands will work, Ctrl C and Ctrl V. Font, font size and color can be changed like regular text.
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Cell Background Color
By default cell background color is white. To change this, select the cell or cells you want to change, and click the new color you want in the Cell color background dropdown on the right side of the InfoBar, which includes all the theme colors in the current document. If you select the Edit option in that dropdown, you can open the color editor to create a custom color. Alternatively you can right click any color on the color line and select Set Table Cell Background.Note there is also a table background color behind the cells, which you will see if you open up spacing between the cells; see Table Spacing below.
You can choose between left, right and center justified text using the buttons on the InfoBar.Use the vertical alignment dropdown to choose between top, center or bottom aligned text in the cell.
Click the Borders button on the right end of the InfoBar to open the Borders dialog.Borders DialogFirst select the cell(s) you want to change as this dialog always works on the selected cells only. In the top Border Filter section of the dialog you first choose which borders you want to change. For example if you want to change only the right side of the whole cell selection, select the filter. Then as you change the border style, width and color in the lower half of the dialog, only that right side border will change. If you want to change all borders of every individual cell in the selection, choose the filter, then again choose
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the border settings you want.If you have a lot of different border colors, styles and widths in your table, you may have to perform several border changing operations on different cell selections with different Border Filters, but every possible combination of borders on a table is possible!
Cell padding is the space you see between the text in a cell and the borders of that cell. In most cases it’s desirable to have some non-zero padding applied, so text doesn’t appear too close to the cell borders.
The table spacing setting lets you add space between all the cells of the table. Most tables tend to have zero spacing, meaning that cell borders overlap with no space between one cell and the next. The color you see in the spaces between cells, blue in the example above, is the Table Background Color, which you can also set using the Table Background Color dropdown towards the left of the InfoBar, or with a right click on a color in the color line > Set Table Background.
Merging & Splitting Cells
Select multiple cells and click the Merge button on the InfoBar, to merge them into a single cell. For example you can easily add a header row to a table by selecting all the cells in the first row and merging them into a single cell. To unmerge/split cells again, select them and click the Split button.
Useful Table Shortcuts
•Double click on a cell in the Table Tool, to jump to the Text Tool and start adding/editing text in the cell. •When you’ve finished typing in one cell, press Tab to jump to the next cell, or Shift+Tab to move to
Table text with no padding
Table text with 4pt padding
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the previous cell. When you are in the last cell of a table, pressing Tab again will automatically add a new row so you can keep extending the table. •Clear the contents of all selected cells by hitting the Delete key. Delete will also clear the contents of a selected row(s)/column(s), whereas Backspace will delete the row(s)/ column(s).•If you are in the Table Tool with a cell selected and you press the Return key, Xara will switch to the Text Tool and place the caret at the end of the text.•You can set cell background colors and table background colors using the color line, as well as on the InfoBar. Select the cells, right-click on the color line and choose from the menu.•You can drag and drop embedded objects between cells.
Other Fixes & Improvements
•Pasting list items from external source into list, did not add list items. Fixed.•Docx file caused serious error opening in Designer Pro+. Fixed.•Inserting components via the Insert menu will always brand the components with the current document styles and colors, without asking the user as previously.•Missing handles in Mold Tool. Fixed.•Scrollbar thumbs now more visible against scrollbar backgrounds.•Installation problems for some users caused by missing MS VCRUNTIME DLL. Fixed.•Can’t scroll to all pages in Page & Layer Gallery due to new page name position. Fixed.
New Web Themes (22 Sept 2022)
We’ve added a set of 20 new website templates to the collection - from cars and spas to food blogs and weddings. You can find them in the Online Content Catalog in the What’s New folder or in a new Websites > Creative Websites folder. All include mobile variants.
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Version 22.1.1 (27 Sept 2022)
New Table Tool Fixes & Improvements
•Cell selection behavior with merged cells improved. •Undo fails after resizing table column while a cell is selected. Fixed.•Error when pasting a larger table into a smaller table. Fixed.•Error after closing document with table cell selected. Fixed.•Difficult to change cell background color. Fixed.•Status line text misleading for column grid position drags. Fixed.•Applying borders to merged cells doesn’t work as expected. Fixed.•Unselected table backgrounds still appearing when in Solo mode (Page & Layer Gallery). Fixed.•Serious error resizing column with merged cells. Fixed.
Photo Color Selection Tool Fix
•Photo color selection tool not working as expected. Fixed.
Version 22.2 (05 Oct 2022)
Re-order rows & columns
You can now re-order rows and columns using drag and drop. To move a single row, simply click+drag on the row header. As you drag up/down, a thick blue line shows you where the row will be moved to. To move multiple rows at once, first select the rows (use Ctrl+click and Shift+click to add rows to the selection) then drag on one of the row headers. Similarly you can move columns left/right using the column headers.
Convert old tables to new
The old Smart tables will continue working as before, but will not be improved in future. But now with one click you can convert these to new tables, so that you can edit them with the new Table Tool.
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Whenever you click on an old table, you’ll be asked if you would like it to be converted. You should see that the converted table look almost exactly the same as the old table, although you may see some small differences. The prompt will allow you to refuse the conversion and to turn off future prompts, but we strongly recommend you convert all old tables to new tables when you next need to edit them. Old tables will continue to work for now but may not be supported in future.
Other table improvements/fixes
•Some table context menu entries are inappropriate when merged cells are selected. Fixed.•Minimum cell size reduced to 1mm.•Problem copying and pasting cells containing embedded objects. Fixed•Changing page height interactively is slow/difficult in documents with tables. Fixed.
The following changes have been made to selection handling in response to user feedback and to make selection more consistent across different object types.
Selector Tool transform handles are now offset by a small distance so that they don’t obscure any part of the selected object, or get in the way of any other handles on the object. The offset remains constant for all zoom levels and does not affect object snapping.In addition to the lollipop rotation handle, there are hidden rotate ‘hotspots’ just inside the 4 corner resizing handles (in the offset gap).
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Rotate and Skew mode
If you click a second time on an object that is already selected, the selection handles change to show rotation and skew handles. Each time you click, the handles toggle between the two modes. You can also change this mode using the handle on the Selector Tool InfoBar. The skew operation used to rely entirely on dragging hidden handles near the stretch handles or on the InfoBar field, which only skews in one axis. It was too easy to drag the hidden skew handles by accident without realizing it, resulting in unwanted skew effects in a document. So the hidden skew handles have been removed completely and skewing by dragging is now only available in Rotate & Skew mode, using the new visible handles.
SmartShapes & Photos
The Selector Tool only shows SmartShape handles that don’t interfere with the (now offset) transformation handles. This means that the Selector Tool handles now always work consistently, whatever is selected.
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The most significant result of this change is that photos can now be scaled and stretched by any of the selection handles. Switch to the Quickshape Tool tool to see all the handles of a SmartShape and to the Photo Tool to see all photo related handles. Double-clicking on a SmartShape now switches to the Quickshape Tool where all its handles are always available, just as double-clicking a photo switches to the Photo Tool. Note the two different effects of dragging photo stretch handles:•In the Selector Tool stretching keeps the center of a photo in the center of the object and only scales the photo if it needs to make it fit the new shape. This is the least intrusive way to stretch a photo without distorting it and is appropriate when the photo is being stretched along with other objects. •In the Photo Tool stretching the photo shape keeps the photo position fixed and only moves it, or starts to scale it, if required to fill the shape. This is most appropriate when editing a photo on its own.
Stretching & Squashing
Wherever possible, stretching objects will stretch their outer shape and automatically reformat the contents to fit in the stretched shape, without distorting. For example when stretching a rectangular object that has rounded corners, the corners won’t distort, they’ll remain circular. This is called Smart Transformation and it prevents the introduction of unwanted or accidental distortion into documents.However, sometimes you may want to deliberately stretch both an object and its contents (e.g. to stretch/distort a photo or some text).It is now possible to stretch any object, including Text and Photos, by holding down the Alt key to disable
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Smart Transformation when dragging the Selector Tool’s stretch handles.
Other Selector Tool fixes/improvements
•The Selector Tool now shows the full width of a text column, instead of just the width of text in the column. This makes text columns consistent with text areas/boxes.•Serious error dragging Smart Duplicate handle on objects with Push applied. Fixed.
Repeating Objects are used where you want the same object to appear on multiple pages of a document, in the same position on each page. They are most commonly used for page headers and page footers. Until now the only way to make an object repeating was to use the Arrange > Repeat on all pages operation. This makes a copy of the object on every single page of the document. This is great if you want the object on every page, but sometimes documents have more than one different page design
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and you may want one Repeating Object only on some of the pages and perhaps a different Repeating Object on other pages. Now there is a new operation Arrange > Make repeating, which simply makes the current selected object into a Repeating Object, without making any additional copies of it on other pages. Once you’ve done this, you can then copy and paste the Repeating Object to whichever pages it’s needed on. Note that you can achieve this very quickly by first selecting the target pages in the Page & Layer Gallery (use Ctrl+clickand Shift+click to select multiple pages in the gallery), then paste, and the object will be pasted onto all the pages you selected.
The distribute options on the Align Toolbar (Window > Bars > Align) have been changed from Distribute centers, to Distribute equally spaced, which is more commonly used because it works well with objects of different sizes. The Arrange > Alignment dialog still includes the center distribution options.
Other fixes & improvements
•Inconsistent font sizes when pasting same sized text into ‘Shrink on overflow’ text boxes. Fixed.•Icon line widths wrong when replaced with SVG. Fixed.•Serious error opening Document info with specific document. Fixed.•Help users recover from unusual installation, update and activation errors.•Check and (when necessary) fix the Windows Explorer ‘thumbnail view’, automatically during program startup.•When replacing a color in an object, Xara will no longer preserve shading if there is only one shade of the color used. The user’s chosen color is applied directly instead.