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Last updated 08-12-2017
Headline New Features December 2017: We’ve released an update to Xara Designer Pro X, available now. Owners of Designer Pro with an active Update Service can update for free, but note you will need to download the new version, there is no auto-update. You can uninstall your current version or run it alongside if you prefer, and it uses the same serial number. Scroll through this document to see a description of all the changes and new features, or click the links below as a short-cut to any topic of interest.


The latest Designer Pro X has a new ‘auto-fit’ capability that enables you to create flexible documents that adapt to almost any size change you or your customer might want. For example you can now easily change a design from A3 to A4, or A4 to US letter. It’s especially useful for social media, where you can adapt a design from (for example) Facebook into Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram by simply changing page types. The default position is for all items on a page to be automatically repositioned when you change the page size, but Designer actually offers a great deal of flexibility if you want to control how particular items in your design behave. We have created a separate document covering these advanced options here.

Text Improvements

List Styles

Text styles now support formatting of bulleted and numberd lists. To make a list style, first create a list and customise it using the List Properties dialog. Then place the text caret in the list, or select part of the list, and choose Create style … from the text styles dropdown list. Choose a name for your list style and click ok. List styles appear in the styles list marked with so you can distinguish them from paragraph and character styles. List item 1 level 1 List item 1 level 2 List item 1 level 2 List item 2 level 1 List item 3 level 1 List item 3 level 2 List styles include all the list settings you see in the List Properties dialog, from indents to bullet symbols and colors. Each level within a list can have different settings and these are also all recorded in the list style. The example above has only 2 levels of list, but you can have as many levels as you like. To update a list style, simply modify a list that uses the style and then use the Update option in the styles list, the same way you update ordinary paragraph styles. Graphical lists (where you can use any graphical object as the bullet or number) are not yet supported with list styles.
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Next paragraph style This is one of the settings for a text style. For paragraph styles it determines what style should be applied by default to a new paragraph created following the current paragraph. For example heading styles normally set the Next paragraph style to Normal text, because that’s usually what you want immediately following a heading. With a list style however, it’s more likely that you want another list item to be added when you hit return at the end of a list item. So for list styles the Next paragraph setting is only used when you end a list. End a list by hitting return once to add an empty list item, then hit return again. The new non-list paragraph will then use whatever Next paragraph style you chose for the list style.

Anchored objects and text flow

Anchored objects now have a new setting that determines what happens when they reach the bottom of the text area to which they are anchored. Usually it’s not desirable to have the object extending below the bottom of the text area, or even perhaps partially off the page. Instead it’s better to force the text to which the object is anchored to flow to the next page or column, taking the anchored object with it. Therefore this is now the default behavior for newly anchored objects. However it’s controlled with a new Affect text flow checkbox in the Repelling & Anchoring dialog, so you can turn this off if required. And it’s off for existing anchored objects, to avoid changing the way existing documents are formatted.

Embedded object nesting

Designer now has improved support for nesting of embedded objects in text. For example objects embedded into a text panel, that is itself embedded in the main text flow of a document, now work correctly.

Text Panel Alignment options

Text panels can now be top aligned, center aligned, or bottom aligned. Click the bottom left corner handle to cycle through the three alignment options for your panel. If you hold the mouse pointer over this handle, the tool-tip that appears shows you the current alignment setting for the panel.
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If the panel is full of text with no empty vertical space, then it will look the same no matter which of the three alignment options are selected. But the alignment setting also determines how the panel grows and shrinks, as text is added or deleted, so the setting is still relevant even for ‘full’ panels. Top aligned panels will always grow and shrink from the bottom, with the top edge staying fixed. Bottom aligned panels are the other way around - they grow upwards with the bottom edge fixed, so these are commonly used at the bottom of pages. And centred panels will grow and shrink equally at the top and bottom, so the centre of the panel is fixed. Text Panel size Text panels are now also better at remembering the vertical size you have given them. Drag the bottom centre or top centre handles to change the vertical panel height. If you ever add more text than can fit into the panel at that height, the panel will grow to accomodate the additional text. But if you later remove text, the panel will shrink back no further than the height you last set using the height adjustment handles. This helps to keep panel sizes consistent, which is useful where you have a panel occupying a defined space or aligned vertically with other panels or objects of the same height.

New Content

We’ve added a selection of new templates to the Online Content Catalog: 6 new text panels Many new social media templates for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Tumblr 3 new presentation themes (Business, Travel & Water) 2 completely new single page web themes (Simple & Cameras) A new business web theme (Auberge)

Other Improvements

PDF Import improvements Word import improvements Various other minor fixes and improvements