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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    3

    Default Is Xara the right software for book configuration and layout?

    Hi everyone, I'm seeking advice on whether to purchase Xara. I'm in the process of writing a book using some fairly old stuff, Windows 7. The book text is being typed in Word, but I cannot import scanned pictures and documents, nor clean them up and re-size them to integrate into the book text with Word. Can I bring a word document into Xara and import scanned documents and pictures into the word document, and also re-size them to fit into the book text using Xara? It would help if Xara also has a function like Photoshop to clean up some of the imports, but not essential. Thanks for the help, if I join the Xara club I'm sure I'll have more questions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Is Xara the right software for book configuration and layout?

    There's a fair bit of expectation vs reality involved in this answer. Should you buy Xara? Not my call, but I can throw a little bit in to help you decide.

    Word is a word processor that has limited graphics handling abilities. Xara is a graphics software that has document handling abilities. My first hand experience goes no further than 7 or 8 page documents, so please take that on board.

    There is no doubt that Xara can look after smartening up of your scans and pictures provided you know how to do it.
    Xara can handle a .doc and .docx simply by dragging the Word document into Xara.
    Line up the first page to where you want it and Xara will ask if you want ALL pages to match the same position...great!
    Drag a picture onto the page you want it to appear and use the 'Repelling and Anchoring' settings to make the text flow around the graphic. If the graphic pushes the text off the page it will push the rest onto the following page.
    If you go back and edit an earlier graphic, everything will follow like a well trained puppy if you have 'Anchoring' enabled.
    Xara will export the finished document in a multitude of extensions (most are graphic extensions) including Word and PDF.

    So. Will Xara do the job? Yes. Is it the best choice for your needs? Don't know, I'm not taking the blame for that decision You will need to learn how Xara works to suit your needs though, and I don't know how many pages it will handle at any given time. I would think live manipulating 100+ pages would be quite hardware intensive, and you did say your computer was fairly old. Double digit RAM and multi core CPUs bob to the surface when I think of large data manipulation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    SW England
    Posts
    8,702

    Default Re: Is Xara the right software for book configuration and layout?

    Quote Originally Posted by JD1 View Post
    Hi everyone, I'm seeking advice on whether to purchase Xara. I'm in the process of writing a book using some fairly old stuff, Windows 7. The book text is being typed in Word, but I cannot import scanned pictures and documents, nor clean them up and re-size them to integrate into the book text with Word. Can I bring a word document into Xara and import scanned documents and pictures into the word document, and also re-size them to fit into the book text using Xara? It would help if Xara also has a function like Photoshop to clean up some of the imports, but not essential. Thanks for the help, if I join the Xara club I'm sure I'll have more questions.
    It is possible but might not be the best software for you.

    Ignore Page & Layout designer 11. It is deprecated as only 32-bit so will have no future updates. To be safe download Xara Web Designer Premium (XWDP) as a first trial.
    If most of what you need can be done with this, use that. If you register, you get a 30-day trial. Aim to complete your project in that period.

    If required, download Xara Designer Pro X (use XDPX for another 30 days) to finish off or add in those extras missing in the first download.

    Make sure your master off your copy as PDF (XDPX only but consider Print to PDF from Preview), DOCX & RTF to ensure you can edit with some other free tool subsequently.

    Look at https://www.xara.com/us/designer-pro/compare/ to see what you get.

    Have you checked the collection of free applications PortableApps.com offers? DTP for free, photo editing for free.

    Xara has some good clean-up images tools, mainly in XDPX, that you can experiment with.

    Acorn
    Acorn - My currently active Xara software: occasionally serviced XDPX, purposely unserviced XDPX12 & XDPX11 (32/64-bit), unserviced XWD Premium 15 & 12, XPGD10, X3D7 and lots of 'permanently-owned' licences back through time (to CC's Artworks)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Placitas, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    35,839

    Default Re: Is Xara the right software for book configuration and layout?

    I am working on my 5th indie published book done with Xara Designer Pro X 16.

    That said I have used Xara since 1996 and I am familiar with how to do what I need to do.

    I do all my graphics in Xara and it works for me. I design book for my wife and for a writer friend. The first book I designed I illustrated the cover and won an award for best cover design in the 2015 New Mexico Arizona Book Awards https://www.amazon.com/Lonely-River-...s=Norma+Libman My wife's latest book won best in the New Mexico Arizona Book Awards and was a finalist in the National Jew Book Awards https://www.amazon.com/I-Sarah-Stein...sarah+steinway The books are all published through Amazon's CreateSpace (now KDP). I submit the covers and interior as PDF/X4 files.

    In addition to book design I also use Xara to produce promotional materials including bookmarks and mailers.

    So if you are willing to invest some time to lean the program it will do what you need it to do.
    Gary W. Priester
    Mr. Moderator Emeritus Dude
    , Sir

    gwpriester.com | Custom-Stereograms.com | eyeTricks on Facebook






  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3,138

    Default Re: Is Xara the right software for book configuration and layout?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acorn View Post
    To be safe download Xara Web Designer Premium (XWDP) as a first trial.
    Acorn, you mean Photo & Graphic Designer, right?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    SW England
    Posts
    8,702

    Default Re: Is Xara the right software for book configuration and layout?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boy View Post
    Acorn, you mean Photo & Graphic Designer, right?
    No, I looked over both and found XWDP to be more versitile. Also no idea of where the OP want the document to end up so the Web version was my first choice.

    Technically, go for all three in sequence and you get 90 days free use.

    Acorn
    Acorn - My currently active Xara software: occasionally serviced XDPX, purposely unserviced XDPX12 & XDPX11 (32/64-bit), unserviced XWD Premium 15 & 12, XPGD10, X3D7 and lots of 'permanently-owned' licences back through time (to CC's Artworks)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Is Xara the right software for book configuration and layout?

    Thanks to all for your comments, they have been quite helpful. JD1

  8. #8

    Default Re: Is Xara the right software for book configuration and layout?

    Quote Originally Posted by JD1 View Post
    Thanks to all for your comments, they have been quite helpful. JD1
    For a book, I cannot see reason for spending the money for Xara Designer Pro (XDP). Photo & Graphic Designer (P&GD) has what is needed, sans the website building stuff. If you aren't into building fixed-width web sites, I would give the Web Designer versions a pass.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Lam, Bavaria-Germany
    Posts
    360

    Default Re: Is Xara the right software for book configuration and layout?

    Hi JD1,
    in this thread https://www.talkgraphics.com/showthr...v16&highlight= I share my expieriences to set a book with XDP.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Is Xara the right software for book configuration and layout?

    Thanks ernie-f, your thread was an eye opener. I'm simply looking for a user friendly program that will integrate and insert a variety of scanned photos and documents into a word-drafted book, as well as allow re-sizing and, if possible, some cleanup of photos that are over 70 years old. All of my scans dump into documents--pdf and jpeg are the only formats on my scanner. While word will allow me to insert and manage digital photos from my pictures file, there's no way to cleanly insert, re-size, etc. anything from documents that is dragged over to pictures.

 

 

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