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Speed and instant changes
For the user that means that the redraw speed (how long it takes to draw the image when you create, move or resize an object) is one of the fastest you'll see.
Many graphics packages will keep you waiting a few seconds while objects are drawn on the screen. In a complex document that can mean you have wasted a significant amount of time which can be very frustrating. With Xara X, when you create an image it appears instantly on the screen.
Speed isn't just restricted to creating and moving objects though - any
time you manipulate an object by using one of the Direct Action Tools,
the Profile or Attributes dialogs, or the Colour Editor, any changes you
make also appear instantly. This means that when you move a slider it's
not the preview of the image that changes - it's the image itself, so you
can instantly see how the changes work in the context of the whole
Traditionally, to apply these effects you make your changes in a dialog box and they are transferred to the drawing. With Xara X's Direct Action Tools, you can apply all these effects on the object itself - without having to enter any numbers in a dialog box! And the changes take place instantly - it's as close to using your hands as you will get with a graphics package.
This is a BIG advantage, because it not only saves time, but also keeps the creative work and the image itself at the centre of your focus. It makes experimenting with effects and settings much easier too.
Direct Action Tools include the Bevel, Shadow, Transparency, Fill, Contour and Blend tools.
Drag and Drop
With gradients, you can drop colours along the gradient path and make
What that means is that when you are using the Brush Tool you can alter
the size and/or the transparency of the brush by applying pressure to the
Using the Zoom Tool you can zoom to the whole page, so you see the complete document, you can zoom to the drawing, which magnifies just the drawn image as opposed to the whole page, or you can select an object and then zoom to that selection. Another method is to zoom to a particular area by clicking and dragging the tool over the area.
The Xara X Zoom Tool is capable of zooming in to
27,000% - that's 72,000 dpi (dots per inch).
The Xara X Button and NavBar Tool allows you to create standalone buttons or fully functional navigation bars within minutes.
The tool works by taking your design for a button and creating as many
copies as you wish, either vertically or horizontally. Each button can
then be edited - by changing the colour, text, adding bevels, shadows and
so on. When making rollovers, you can edit each button and each of its
Now any image you make in Xara X can be exported in .swf format, which can then be imported into a Flash movie and animated. Because the graphic is in the Flash format, it remains scalable, so you can resize it and manipulate it within Flash without losing any quality.
Using Xara X to create images for use in Flash adds a new level to the
quality of animations you will be able to produce.
The Xara X Frame Gallery allows you to create animations one frame at a
time. It gives you complete control over every aspect of the animation
from pauses between frames to the transparency of objects. When
exporting, Xara X is able to fully optimise animated gifs so they have as
small a file size as possible, meaning you can create eye-catching
animations without hindering the performance of your site.
Xara X has a special option when exporting an image in a web format
(gif, jpeg or png) which saves some extra information used by Dreamweaver,
along with the graphic. Then, when you're making a web page in
Dreamweaver, you can insert the graphic as normal, but if you want to
edit it at any point, just click on the image and Xara X will
automatically load up with the graphic open.
However, often these large graphics contain areas of flat colour or little detail. To reduce the amount of data to download you can 'slice' the image into sections, which can be download separately. The advantage is that areas of flat colour/little detail can be saved at a lower quality (eg. as a 2-color GIF) than complex areas, which can be saved at a higher resolution. The 2-color GIF file takes less time to download, but it means you can still have high detail areas within your image.
Xara X not only slices and saves the images for you, it also writes all
the necessary HTML too, so you can just copy it into your web page.
Xara X allows you to assign a web address to any object in a document. You can then export the complete image along with the necessary HTML required to make the image map work.
When assigning a web address to an object you have the option to make
the hotspot fit the object exactly or roughly outline the area with a
rectangle which can produce much less code than a complex shape. You also
get the option to select where the link should point to - to a new
window, the current frame, the parent frame and so on.
One of the most typical uses for Linked Stretching is when making a button with text on it. It means that when you change the text, the button automatically stretches so the text fits on it perfectly.
This feature is particularly powerful when used in conjunction with the NavBar Tool. You can make one button with some text on, then produce a number of similar buttons to form a bar. The text on each button can then be edited and the individual buttons will stretch to accommodate the text.
When you purchase Xara X, you will be sent
a CD-ROM packed with extras.
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