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Xara Web Designer 365

Create stylish, feature-packed websites, no HTML experience required

by Mike Williams

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License: Trial Software
Operating Systems: Windows 10, Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8
Requirements:

300MB free hard drive space

Languages: English
Software Cost: $49.99 (Windows)
Date Updated: 15 April 2016
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 2850
Developer: Xara
RSS News Feed: http://www.xara.com/rss/
Twitter Feed: http://twitter.com/XaraGroup
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/XaraGroup
Back up your data with Acronis True Image 2016 with a 1-PC LIFETIME license, only $29.99, saving 40%, from store.downloadcrew.com
Xara Web Designer 365
Create stylish, feature-packed websites, no HTML experience required

Xara Web Designer 365 is a template-based design tool which makes it quick and easy to create quality websites.

The program comes with a host of professionally-produced multipage responsive web designs (only a few are editable in the trial, though). These can immediately be enhanced with your preferred buttons, headings, navigation bars, photos, icons, movies, MP3s, PDFs and more. Just drag and drop an item onto your page and customise it to suit your needs.

If you'd like to add some interactivity to your site, you'll appreciate the program's widgets. These can embed YouTube videos on your pages, Google Maps, Facebook Like and Twitter buttons, media players, contact forms, news feeds and more.

All of this can be further tweaked or rearranged as necessary. You can even build a site from scratch if the bundled templates don't appeal. And once you've finished, the program will put the site online for you, either at your own web host or using 500MB of free web space included with the package.

Web Designer 365 extends the program with parallax scrolling, 30 additional scroll animations, 40 extra "on reveal" animations, powerful new SmartShape types (charts, photo grids), and the addition of Google's Material Design icons, a collection of more than 1500 professionally-designed vector graphics.

Xara Web Designer is a very capable tool, but if you need more power then you may prefer the Premium edition. This adds tools to create presentations, animations (Flash and GIF) and single page "SuperSites". You get "sticky" objects (like a navigation bar which stays at the top of the page as users scroll), extra animations, advanced widgets (ecommerce, charts, photo sliders), and a pile of extra drawing and graphics tools.

Verdict:

Xara Web Designer is a good WYSIWYG web builder, easy to use and capable of producing quality results. If you need to produce anything more than a simple personal site we'd recommend the Premium edition, though - it's more expensive, but the extra power is worth the cost.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

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Value:
Free
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