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Xara Photo and Graphic Designer 2013 (v8.1.2)

Photo editing, vector drawing, dtp, web graphics, Flash animation - this tool does it all

by Mike Williams

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License: Trial Software
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:

300MB free hard drive space

Languages: English
Software Cost: $69.99 (Windows)
Date Updated: 29 July 2012
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 2253
Developer: Xara
RSS News Feed: http://www.xara.com/rss/
Twitter Feed: http://twitter.com/XaraGroup
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/XaraGroup
Buy Xara Photo and Graphic Designer 2013 for only $69.99, saving 22% from MSRP, only from store.downloadcrew.com
Xara Photo and Graphic Designer MX 8.1
Photo editing, vector drawing, dtp, web graphics, Flash animation - this tool does it all

Xara Photo and Graphic Designer (the package formerly known as Xara Xtreme) is a one-stop graphics package with the power to satisfy all your creative needs.

Photo editing? An excellent core set of features caters for all the most common requirements (crop, resize, fix red-eye, sharpen, fix perspective issues and so on). And if you need more, the program supports Photoshop plugins so can be extended just as much as you like (and there are 46 bundled filters to help you get started).

Illustration? The QuickShape tools allow you to draw preset shapes in seconds. There are plenty of other vector and line drawing tools on offer. 3D extrusion means you can drag any shape to create a properly lit and rendered 3D version, and it's just as easy to apply transparency, feathering, blends, shadows, bevels and more.

DTP? The built-in Designs Gallery gives instant access to templates for all kinds of projects (brochures, newsletters, greetings cards, calendars, covers, labels, stationery, more). If you prefer to start from scratch then bundled photos and clipart (3,000+ items) will help. And powerful print and various export options (including PDF and PSD) make it easy to share your creations with others.

If you're looking to create web graphics then Xara Photo and Graphic Designer MX can produce simple Flash animations (visuals only, no scripting or sound), animated GIFs, image maps, buttons, headings, icons and more.

And if you're just wondering what's new from the previous edition, there are some useful additions.

Text styles make it easy to change an entire document (font, colour, line spacing, more) in a few clicks.

The new Share menu makes it easy to share media files with Flickr, Facebook and other Xara/ MAGIX MX applications.

And along with some powerful new tools (colour selection, hue adjustment, shape eraser), the program includes improved image optimisation, enhanced import for many areas (SVG, PDF, RAW, web URLs), faster publishing, and a stack of usability improvements.

Verdict:

A hugely capable design tool which comes packed with high-end features, yet remains generally very easy to use and is amazing value for money.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Ashampoo Burning Studio 2013 (v11.0.6)

Free Full Commercial Software

Ashampoo Burning Studio 2013 is a compact, simple, but surprisingly feature-packed disc burning suite.

The program makes it easy to create simple data discs and audio CDs, for instance: just drag and drop your files onto the list area and you'll be burning the finished disc in a couple of clicks.

That's just the start, though. Burning Studio 2013 can also create data discs with customised, interactive multi-page menus, perfect if you'd like a more professional way to share and present the disc contents.

A built-in backup tool allows you to create backups which may be encrypted, compressed, and span several CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays.

And there are modules to create VCD or SVCD video projects; burn video DVDs or Blu-ray discs from prepared folders; create, browse or burn disc images (ISO, CUE/ BIN and Ashdisc formats are supported); copy discs, erase them, design and print disc covers, labels and booklets, and more.

The focus throughout is on ease of use, though, and so Ashampoo Burning Studio 2013 remains very straightforward, whatever you're doing. Most disc projects are created via the same simple interface, and for the most part all you have to do is drag and drop the necessary files. But experts will find more advanced options are only a click away, and if you need to then you can set ISO and UDF version, enable Joliet, make a disc bootable and more.

Note the download here will take you to the Downloadcrew Software Store where you can download Burning Studio 2013.

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