Xara Group has announced the release of Xara Designer Pro X9 ($299), the latest edition of its all-in-one photo editing, web design, illustration and desktop publishing tool. It’s a significant upgrade, too, with worthwhile new features everywhere you look.
The Photo Editor now includes an easy-to-use Background Erase tool, for instance, which helps you quickly cut a complex object out of a photo (a person, say), ready for placing elsewhere. The Healing tool seamlessly removes unwanted defects or objects from your photos, while the program’s effects options have been extended with eleven new Photo FX Plug-ins.
Web design additions include Google Web Fonts integration, Retina screen compatibility and Google Analytics support. There’s improved HTML5 and CSS3 compatibility, background handling, object recolouring, navbar management and publishing. New widgets include Google+ and AdSense tools, as well as a handy table option, which allows your pages to include sortable tables based on CSV files.
Text and DTP-related improvements start with Word DOCX file import/ export filters (they’re currently flagged as only beta versions, but worked fine for us in a brief initial test).
Elsewhere, word processor-style content entry means that as text flows off the bottom of one page, it flows into a new page, now automatically created with the same layout.
New right-click menu options make it easier to create flowing text areas (including across multiple columns), insert page numbers, page and column breaks, and more.
There’s also an optimized 64-bit version, apparently, although exactly how it’s been optimized isn’t entirely clear. And of course you get plenty of new content, including web and print themes, backgrounds, logo designs and more.
Put it all together and Xara Designer Pro X9 ($299) remains a powerhouse publishing tool. Trial versions are available now.