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Xara Xtreme Pro 5

Explore our review of Xara Xtreme Pro 5.


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Introduction
About Xara Xtreme Pro 5
Using Xara Xtreme Pro 5
Pricing and Support
Conclusion


Introduction

Graphic design programs range from those that work with line drawings to those that work with photographs and images. Some programs also do 3D and page layout, and it is not uncommon to find users spend thousands of dollars to buy programs in each of these categories. Yet, Xara Xtreme Pro 5, the new version of Xara's graphic program does all these tasks and more and costs a fraction of the amount. It's also way faster. So the question arises whether it's a capable product? Read on to learn more.

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About Xara Xtreme Pro 5

Xara Xtreme Pro 5 is from Xara, a company based in Gaddesden Place, UK. Other than Xara Xtreme Pro, the company has created other graphic software such as Xara web designer, Xara 3D screen maker, Xara 3D, etc. The company also offers a Xara Xtreme version that's a little less featured than the Pro version. You can learn more about their products and download the 30 days trial version of Xara Xtreme 5 Pro from their site.

Xara Xtreme Pro 5 is a combination of a vector drawing software and a photo editor. You get instant output as you draw or edit the artwork. Xara Xtreme 5 Pro supports a large range of file formats including:

  • Bitmap types: GIF, JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF, PSD, and RAW photos
  • Vector types: PDF, AI/EPS, and EMF/WMF
  • Text: RTF (Rich Text Format).
  • Animation: Xara Xtreme also creates Flash SWF animations.
  • Web: (X)HTML

Xara Xtreme (and Pro) projects are saved in the native XAR file format. You can view all the reviews of Xara graphics software on this site here.

My contact for this review was Nova Fisher. Thank you, Nova.

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Using Xara Xtreme Pro 5

Follow these steps to use Xara Xtreme 5 Pro:

  1. Go to your Windows Start menu and choose All Programs | Xara | Xara Xtreme Pro 5 (see Figure 1).
  2. Xara Start menu group
    Figure 1: Xara Start menu group
  3. This launches the Xara Xtreme Pro 5 interface as shown in Figure 2.
  4. Xara Xtreme Pro 5 interface
    Figure 2: Xara Xtreme Pro 5 interface
  5. From the File menu, choose the New option to open a sub-menu. Now choose from any pre-defined blank template document as shown in Figure 3.
  6. New document
    Figure 3: New document
  7. Alternatively, from the File menu you can choose the "New from Designs gallery" option. This opens a gallery window, as shown in Figure 4.
  8. Designs gallery
    Figure 4: Designs gallery
  9. The Designs gallery provides several media elements such as pictures, Flash animations, vector drawings, web templates, etc. to use as a starting point.
  10. For this walkthrough, I opened a new picture document from the Designs gallery (see Figure 5).
  11. New picture document
    Figure 5: New picture document
  12. The interface you see in Figure 5 is explained below:
  13. Control bar

  14. This contain buttons that can be used to operate Xtreme Pro. Icons available here can be used to access the Designs gallery, Object gallery, Zoom, etc. Control bar can be customized in several ways, such as re-ordering, creating, and hiding bar(s).
  15. Info bar

  16. This is a special context-sensitive control bar and options here change depending upon which tool is selected from within the Tool bar.
  17. Tool bar

  18. This contains all the tools available in Xtreme Pro to create and manipulate content. These include drawing tools, photo editing tools, text tool, selector tool, etc. The tool bar can be customized and the tools can be moved to other control bars. Click on a tool to select it.
  19. Work area

  20. This is the actual document work place.
  21. Colors palette

  22. Provides colors for fills and outlines
  23. Figure 6 shows a 3D extrude applied to a picture.
  24. 3D extrude
    Figure 6: 3D extrude
  25. Once you have edited the content you wanted to create, do save your file.

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Pricing and Support

Xara Xtreme Pro 5 costs US$249, and can be bought online through a secure server.

Support is through e-mail, an online knowledge base, and FAQs, demo movies, and extensive tutorials.

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Conclusion

For what it does Xara Xtreme Pro is an absolutely amazing product. Even if you use another graphic design product, it's worth getting a copy of Xara Xtreme Pro just so that you can complement your other design program with the extra abilities available in Xara's flagship program.

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