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Graphic Designers,Illustrators, and even Web Designers on a tight deadline should know about a secret weapon in the toolbox of many veteran creatives – Xara Designer Pro X. If you never used Xara Designer Pro before, it’s the current version to one of the most used graphic design/illustration programs- Xara Xtreme Pro. Known for having the fastest graphic rendering engine available,(with pretty modest system requirements) professional design programs don’t get much easier than Designer Pro X.
The latest release comes with a year free updates from your date of purchase, hence the name change- Xara Designer Pro X365. It also comes bundled with Photoshop plug-ins from Redfield, Mehdi and Red Giant’s PhotoLooks 2 to accompany the program’s 46 “Live Effects” from parent company Magix.
The benefit of using Designer Pro over other illustration software is the fact that it’s as versatile as it is, while remaining a lean package at the same time. It seems to cover the ground of 5 to 6 Adobe programs while staying around 300 MB in size, many thanks is due to the fact that most of the programs’ content is stored online and can be downloaded at will. Where Xara goes beyond most other options is interactive widgets and websites that can be customized and adjusted down to the button.
There is an undeniable speed advantage to the way Xara handles the processing of graphics and effects,which have a ‘live’ feature that allows FX to adjust to the changes of the image it’s applied to in real time; they also work with vector graphics as well-not just bitmaps/photos.
A familiar interface for illustration, speedy software-optimized processing and a well-rounded toolset makes Xara Designer Pro an All-In-One program for designers, illustrators and even web programmers. It’s only true setbacks are that the interface really isn’t optimized for touch input,and it lags when you try to resize the view or an item in your design using the touchscreen- yet responds instantly when using a mouse. Also, the price range for design programs made for Tablets and Smartphones (usually $9.99 to $49.99) may make Xara Designer Pro seem overpriced,but when you factor in the amount of content and extras that come bundled- AND take into consideration that the Adobe Creative Suite (Xara’s closest competition feature-wise) costs twice as much for a yearly subscription than a one-off perpetual license to Designer Pro- it begins to put the $299 price tag into perspective.It’s clearly obvious when looking at the bigger picture why Xara Designer Pro is Labfreq’s Editor’s Choice 2016 for Illustrators and Graphic Designers. Total packages don’t come more complete than this.