This capable graphics editor is equally at home with photographs and illustrations
Most image-editing programs fall into one of two camps: vector graphics built out of shapes and bitmap graphics, normally photographs. Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 7 is a little unusual in that it is equally at home with either and have some clever ways of putting them together.
New to Designer 7 are some very useful tools. Guides appear as you move objects around the page and they even work at angles. This makes it easy to align objects, an essential part of good design. Another visable change is the addition of a tab bar so it is much easier to switch between different windows.
Many objects will also appear semi-translucient when being placed on the page, making it easy to see how they will interact with objects. This is particulary useful when using shapes to crop photographs using the combine objects menu.
Another helpful feature is the way text can be set to wrap automatically around complex shapes, not just squares. It does involve keeping the objects in the right order (the shape to be wrapped around must be forward of the text) but it's easy to get to grips with.
The Photo Magic Erase tool can remove blemishes from photographs.
Installation is simple. The download link on this page will take you to the Xara website, which requests your email address in order to start the download. This is a small utility that will download and install the latest version, normally around 100MB.
This is a demo version of Photo & Graphic Designer 7. The full version costs £70, which is good value compared to the price of equivalent products from Adobe. Designer Pro 7 includes more tools, PANTONE color support and can open and save in a wider variety of file formats. Designer Pro 7 costs £250.
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