Xara (now owned by German company Magix) have just released a new version of their flagship Xtreme product. Upgrades for both the standard and pro editions are available, and a comprehensive list of changes is available from this Google Docs document.

Over at TalkGraphics, it’s getting something of a mixed reaction; those who use Xtreme primarily for its vector graphics capabilities to create artwork are somewhat miffed at the apparent paucity of new vector-related features, but other users are happy to see such longstanding requests as a spell-checker, and better object/layer management tools.

Personally, I can understand both viewpoints; historically, Xara was very much focussed on the digital artist, but the last few updates seem to be an attempt at broadening its user-base to include basic website design and desktop publishing. If it brings in the funding to continue development, and doesn’t get in the way of creating artwork, then I’m all for it. Let’s hope the next version has some more groundbreaking vector-related improvements though.

Interestingly it’s one of the first software titles I’ve seen that specifically mentions Windows 7 support – I know that much everything that was Vista compatible should work under 7, but it’s always good to be reassured.

I’ve managed to avoid starting on the redesign of wightmusic.com by playing with Xtreme 5 for long enough… back to work it is…!

Xara have released a bug-fix update for both the standard and Pro versions of Xtreme 4. 4.01 has a large number of bugs squashed and is recommended for all users. You’ll need to be running the CD version of the software though. Comments Off on Xara Xtreme 4.01 Update

Xara Xtreme

Although it’s been out for a couple of months now, there’s only a few reviews cropping up for the latest version of Xara Xtreme. For anyone considering buying/upgrading, the members over at the TalkGraphics forums have been keeping track of reviews as and when they find them.

Currently, the following reviews are known:

On the whole, the reviews are pretty positive – the main areas of criticism are in relation to the limited capabilities of the new 3D tools and the photo manipulation, and also some issues with importing from other design applications (but that’s always a bit of an arms race anyway).

Xara (now owned by German developer Magix) have just released a preview of the new version of their flagship Xtreme Pro. Version 4 (available in both Pro and non-Pro variants) has a bunch of new stuff, but the best things I’ve found so far are:

  • Automatically flows text around shapes
  • Integrated 3D extrusion tool (essentially offers most of what Xara 3D does)
  • Much improved photo editing tools
  • A very handy webpage export tool – ideal for quickly creating static pages, or for proto-typing designs
  • A new, “Very High Quality” display setting, handy for getting even cleaner bitmap exports
  • Multi-core processor support, – not that my current machine can take advantage of this, but it should speed things up on all those newer boxes out there

The upgrade from the previous version of Xtreme Pro (3.2) is currently a very reasonable $49, which, after delivery and other bits, comes to around $69 in total. In my opinion it’s the best update to Xara in since Pro was released.