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Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 365 Review

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PROS / Supporting 58 file formats, this software can import nearly any image file type.

CONS / It lacks batch processing, so you cannot apply the same edit to multiple photos.

 VERDICT / Notwithstanding a steep learning curve, Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 365 has the capabilities and tools to not only edit your photos but add design elements to them.

Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 365 is full-featured photo editing software with powerful graphic design tools. In addition to adjusting colors and lighting, you can use the graphic design tools to transform your photos. Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 365 also simplifies the process for keeping your photo editing software current by guaranteeing free updates for one year.

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This photo editing application has a lot of different tools to edit photos, and because of these added capabilities, we found the software was more complicated to use than other programs on our lineup. However, Xara mitigates the learning curve by including tutorials and videos that give you an overview of where all the tools are located in the interface and how you use them.

  1. A score reflecting how easy the software is to use.
    Higher is Better.
  2. 9 Xara Photo & Graphic Designer
    80%
  3. 100%
  4. 95%
  5. 90%
  6. Category Average
    88.50%

The Xara photo software has all the standard editing tools: crop, rotate, resize, red eye removal and more. With selection tools, shape tools, and painting and drawing tools, you can add basic design elements to photos. The photo editor also has color-management tools, so you can adjust the color saturation, brightness and contrast of photos. A cross-process photo effect tool makes it possible to achieve many different looks from the same photo by manipulating contrast and saturation. Blend modes include dodge, which brightens, and burn, which darkens.

If you want to add text to your photos, the image editor has 576 included fonts and a large collection of symbols and icons. Xara allows you to add effects to text so you can manipulate fonts to make them more dynamic. You also have access to more than 1,500 additional symbols through Google. The content library offers a lot of options as well. There is a SmartShapes collection with charts, speech bubbles and more.

This software also gives you access to over 500,000 royalty-free photos that are searchable by keyword. The collection of photo grids offers a unique way to display those images or your own in an arrangement that is modern looking, even if the photos are different shapes and sizes.

The program has the ability to remove backgrounds or subjects in the backgrounds of your photos. While you can completely alter your images, it takes practice to achieve ideal results. You can also use the cloning tool and layer masks to minimize or mask imperfections in your photos.

The picture editor has 75 different ready-made filters you can apply to images that change the colors and textures. Filters like Black & White, Cold, Intense and Summer alter the "feel" of your photos in noticeable ways. It also has over 60 creative Live Effect plug-ins, which help you add editable effects to your projects. In addition, Xara features automatic editing options that adjust an image's color, focus or level.

While it offers several tools, both basic and advanced, the program lacks some features. Without batch processing, you cannot apply the same edit to multiple photos. The program also cannot create HDR images, and there isn't a lens distortion corrector. While none of these tools are vital to photo editing, they would improve the software's usability.

Xara Photo & Graphic Designer does not come with a built-in organizing system to help you keep track of photos. It does come bundled with MAGIX Photo Manager 16, a photo organizing software application that not only allows you to sort photos by rating, categories and face recognition, but also helps you identify duplicates, which keeps your files tidy.

Xara supports 58 different file formats, so you can import and export most file types. The photo editor supports the most popular image formats, including JPG, TIFF, PNG, GIF, PSD, PDF and animated GIFs. It also has tools to optimize photos for the web.

This program also provides printing project resources and templates. It has illustration and graphic design tools, which gives you more freedom to create projects like printable photo cards. When you want to share your edited photos, the software allows you to post to social media sites directly from the program.

Xara offers customer help and support both within the program and on the Xara webpage. Within the software, you can access the user guide and view tutorials. Online, you can find answers to your questions on the FAQs page. Xara also has a user forum and lists an email address for technical support.

Summary

While Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 365 has a steeper learning curve than other photo editors on our list, it has impressive capabilities and editing tools. With a wide selection of tools, creative filters and fonts, you can completely transform your photos. This professional photo editing software has the tools necessary for photographers looking to take their photos a step further.

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