November 2017: We’ve released a new version of Xara Web Designer Premium, available now. Owners of
Web Designer with an active Update Service can update for free, but note you will need to download a new
version, there is no auto-update.
Scroll through this document to see a description of the new features, or click the links below as a short-cut
to any topic of interest.
Last updated 15 - Nov - 2017
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
Spell Checker language property
Designer now has a new “language” document property. This determines what language new text added to
the document will be set to, for the purposes of spell checking, instead of assuming the document
language should be the same as the language your device is set to. This new property can be seen and
modified with the new Document language option in the Spell Checker menu in the Text Tool. You can
still set any text in your document to any language, regardless of what the “Document language” property
is set to, so you can still have a mixture of languages in your documents when required.
If you change the current document language, you are asked whether all existing text in the document
should also be set to the chosen language, or left unchanged.
When you open an older document, the document language is automatically set according to the language
on the Normal text style in that document. Newly created documents have their document language set to
match the language setting of the current device, as with previous versions of Designer.
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
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 centered panels will grow and shrink equally at the top and bottom, so the center 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 accommodate 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.
allows you to enter new words. Use the tilde “~” character in a word to specify the hyphenation point(s) for
that word. Or if you want to prevent a word from being hyphenated at all, enter the word without any tilde
“~” characters in it.
Personal hyphenation lists
Each time you add a word to the hyphenation list for a document, that word is also added to a personal
hyphenation list stored on your computer. Similarly, removing a word also removes the word from your
This list is automatically applied to all new blank documents you create (File->New), so you don’t need to
keep adding the same words to all your documents. However when you open an existing document, your
personal hyphenation list is NOT automatically applied to it, because that could change the way the
document appears. It would mean that two people opening the same document, could potentially see
different results, because of their different personal hyphenation lists. So instead applying your personal
list to a document has to be done explicitly - simply press the “Import my list” button on the Document
hyphenation list dialog.
Hyphenation in websites
You can use hyphenation in your websites, but since Designer controls the exact length of each line of text
in the website HTML (so that you get an accurate representation of your page in all browsers), words that
are hyphenated at the ends of lines are broken into two parts. This means search engines won’t index your
site on these broken words.
Multi-weight font improvements
We’ve made some significant changes to the way that Designer handles multi-weight fonts. Prior to this
update if a font was updated so that its multiple weights were presented in a different structure, this could
cause Designer to show missing font warnings for documents that had been created using the previous
version of the font. Now any such changes to a font should be transparent, so you can update to a newer
version of the font without encountering any problems with existing documents that use that font.
This update also has improved handling of the Bold button with multi-weight fonts. Prior to this update,
Designer would not allow bold to be turned on if the selected text used anything but the regular variant of
a font. Now it will work with any variant, automatically choosing the most appropriate heavier weight
variant of the same font. For example if you have some Open Sans Light text selected and you press the
Bold button, the text will appear as Open Sans Regular.
SmartShapes and Symbols
Great for flowcharts, diagrams, exploded views, etc. The Flowlines behave just like Arrows, in that you can
change the heads and tails, apply rotation, thickness and so on - as well as having 90° segments which you
can drag to reposition. Find them in the Arrows folder - Insert > Shape > Arrows…
Bar & Column chart label and value text (Premium only)
Now when you change the appearance of a chart label, such as changing the font, font size or color, that
change is immediately replicated across the other labels for each bar. However this only happens if those
other labels have the same text style applied (usually “Bar chart labels”). So if you want one of the labels to
be different, perhaps to highlight one of the bars, simply give it a different style or use the No style option
in the styles menu to remove the style. The same happens with the value text.
The handy Timeline SmartShapes are already included in Web Designer Premium, and have now been
added to Web Designer.
The Timeline SmartShape consists of a line with an object (or group of objects) repeated along its length
with regular spacing. You can increase or reduce the number of objects on the line, adjust their spacing,
size, vertical alignment, etc. using the SmartShape’s handles.
To insert a Timeline, use Insert > From Content Catalog > Components > Print & Web Components >
We’ve added a selection of new templates to the Content Catalog:
6 new text panels
Many new social media templates for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and
3 new presentation themes (Business, Travel & Water)
All the single page website themes have been added to Web Designer, and 2 completely new
single page themes have been added to Web Designer Premium (Simple & Cameras)
A new business web theme (Auberge)
List editing improvements.
PDF Import improvements.
Word import improvements.
Various other minor fixes and improvements.