Xara Photo & Graphic Designer contains all the expert tools and features to compete with high-end art software. Thankfully, you don't need to be a professional to use this sketch software. It is very easy to use. Most drawing software has a sharp learning curve to become familiar with its interface and limits, but Xara is intuitive to use from the start.
This software is an all-in-one application, which means you can edit photos and put pages into layouts as well as make full use of its drawing tools for sketching. It has great applicability for home users and professionals alike with its full range of illustration features. Xara was actually the creator of many of the traditional features that come standard in drawing software, including anti-aliasing and transparency.
A huge plus of Photo & Graphic Designer is the attractive and creative brush strokes. The original brush stroke options mimic the texture of crayon, marker, airbrush, felt tip, chalk and other hand drawing tools.
The gradient tool is a good example of how simple yet powerful Designer's tools are. With the gradient tool, you can create a gradient line that you can use to easily adjust all aspects of a gradient. You can move the line to adjust the start of the gradient and how gradually or suddenly the colors blend into each other. You can also drag colors onto the gradient line to adjust the colors in the gradient fill. Many other drawing applications do not have gradients that are as simple to use as Xara's drawing software; many of Photo & Graphic Designer's tools are superior because of their simplicity.
One tool in Designer that we particularly enjoy is the 3D extrude tool. Just by clicking a button on the tool bar and dragging the mouse on a 2D object, Photo & Graphic Designer will create a realistic 3D object with the snazziest effects we saw in the drawing software we reviewed. You can twirl and rotate the 3D objects to see every plane and angle. What makes this so impressive is that the light source, or the shading on each side of the object, changes as you rotate it. This makes the 3D effect look extremely convincing. You can also adjust the width and height of the 3D objects with the extrude tool.
We love the contour and bevel functions, which are not included in all drawing software. These tools give 2D objects the appearance of 3D objects without actually making them 3D. For example, a beveled edge makes an object look like it is slightly raised up from the rest of the objects. A contour gives an object one or several outlines.
Another command that is extremely helpful is the unlimited undo function. Normally, when you are working on a project and you want to undo the changes you have made, there are a limited number of changes the drawing software can undo. Because you cannot undo your changes past a certain point, those before that point have become permanent, so you have to spend time reconstructing what you have already done if you need to make further alterations. If this has ever happened to you, you will appreciate the value of the unlimited undo function in Photo & Graphic Designer. This drawing software can import and export a wide range of files types, so you don't have to struggle to work with the files. Potential buyers should be aware that this application does not support AutoCAD files.
One of the great advantages of using Xara is the abundance of video tutorials that are available to help new users learn to use this drawing software. On Xara's website, there are dozens of video tutorials, which are succinct and precise, teaching you exactly what you need to know to navigate and use Designer.
In addition to the video tutorials, Xara also provides in-application links to the Xara support site, where you'll find learning resources and an online forum. Xara provides further technical support through FAQs, email support, online forums and digital manuals.
This software has superior features that are comparable to the features included in professional-grade illustration software. Xara provides excellent support and learning resources to help you understand the application. Photo & Graphic Designer also has excellent file compatibility that allows you to import and export most file formats.