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  1. #1

    Default Pro X9 user needs advice on current versions

    I've used Xara Designer Pro X9 for years. (I started with X5, I recall.) But no version after X9 had any new feature that I needed (I mainly do illustrations for presentations).

    As a result, I've lost track of what software designations are used for packages. I actually stopped looking at versions, entirely, when a cloud version was introduced.

    I now am in the position of recommending Xara (maybe) as an illustration tool for others. So my question for someone who has kept up with releases over the years:

    Is there a current Xara offering that's equivalent to Pro X9? (i.e., without excessive capabilities)

    If not, then does anyone know of a mid-level software that's not cloud-based and that might be comparable to X9?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pro X9 user needs advice on current versions

    If you are not using Xara for DTP or Web, then use Xara Web Designer Premium, version 16.2 currently (XWD(P)v16.2).

    You mention "presentations"; XWD(P)v16 has the ability to generate web pages in a PowerPoint style.

    You don't need the power of Xara Designer Pro if you are recommending features for illustration.
    In your specific case, stick with v9.

    Acorn
    Acorn - My currently active Xara software: XDPX (current, v15, v12 & 11 (64-bit)), unserviced XWD Premium 15 & 12, XPGD10, X3D7; lots of licences back through time (to CC's Artworks). If your Post identifies a Xara software fault, please raise it directly with Magix --> support2.magix.com.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pro X9 user needs advice on current versions

    Thanks for your response. I have two questions:
    If you are not using Xara for DTP or Web, then use Xara Web Designer Premium
    If I'm not using Xara for Web, then use Web Designer Premium? Can you elaborate on that?

    Also, "stick with v9". I'm certainly going to do that, myself. But what do I recommend for others?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Pro X9 user needs advice on current versions

    I want to clarify my request for a recommendation. I've been to the Magix web site and much to my chagrin, I can't find any comparisons that make any sense about the current offerings.

    I've viewed the Web Designer Premium feature comparison with the "standard version" and agree the Premium is far better. But is it equivalent to Designer Pro X9 in features? If so, why isn't it pitched as good ol' illustration software? (For reference, I always start a new graphic with a custom full-screen template, as I think most illustrators would. Web page layouts and all those bells and whistles are just unneeded complications ... although multi-page graphics are important in developing designs. Having each illustration in a separate file would be a real negative.)

    Overall, it looks to me that Magix has broken up the software and tried to label the same foundation for different purposes. But is it the same foundation? It's hard for me to tell.

    So my question comes down to: What current software do I recommend to a designer as the "best value" package for getting the same level of illustration tools that are in Pro X9?

    BTW, if I can't figure this out, how does any first-time buyer ever get the right software? It looks like the offerings are a minefield of "gotchas".

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pro X9 user needs advice on current versions

    Xara Designer Pro X is the all singing all dancing complete program, all the other offerings are the base software with some features turned off depending on the 'model' you buy.

    Try this Contours:

    https://www.xara.com/eu/designer-pro/compare/
    Egg

    Intel i7 - 4790K Quad Core + 16GB Ram + 232 GB SSD + 250 GB SSD portable drive
    Xara Designer Pro X 16

  6. #6
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    Info Re: Pro X9 user needs advice on current versions

    Quote Originally Posted by Contours View Post
    Thanks for your response. I have two questions:
    If I'm not using Xara for Web, then use Web Designer Premium? Can you elaborate on that?
    Also, "stick with v9". I'm certainly going to do that, myself. But what do I recommend for others?
    Web Designer Premium to both questions. XDPX does more but is too powerful for what you have asked. Premium is very close and far cheaper and has enough "web" capability to not disappoint if you change your mind. Avoid Web design, non-Premium version; it is woeful. I suggested XWD(P) mainly for Online Presentations.

    Also avoid Page & Layout Designer 11; Xara have stopped it at 32-bit and any updates whatsoever.

    Photo & Graphics Designer has advanced photo features that shouldn't be of much use for illustrating. It does have a Bitmap Tracer but all pan it and there are far better free ones available.
    Only you can then assess if it has all the Illustration features necessary for others' work; I couldn't even guess.

    Best value for illustrations would be 60 for P&GD; XDPX is 200!. XWDP is 70.

    Acorn
    Acorn - My currently active Xara software: XDPX (current, v15, v12 & 11 (64-bit)), unserviced XWD Premium 15 & 12, XPGD10, X3D7; lots of licences back through time (to CC's Artworks). If your Post identifies a Xara software fault, please raise it directly with Magix --> support2.magix.com.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Pro X9 user needs advice on current versions

    Quote Originally Posted by Contours View Post
    I now am in the position of recommending Xara (maybe) as an illustration tool for others.
    On what basis would you do that in preference to alternatives (besides the fact that you are comfortable with it)?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Pro X9 user needs advice on current versions

    @Egg Bramhill: Thanks for that clear comparison. It's a real eye-opener for trying to guess "what are the developers thinking?" It also provides an excellent basis for evaluating any other illustration software.

    @Acorn: Thanks for the additional information. I would pick Page & Layout Designer were it not for the issues you've mentioned. 32-bit isn't a problem ... but having it shelved by the developers certainly is.

    @pauland: You ask "on what basis?" The answer is two-fold. 1. Xara Pro X9 has amazing tools for illustration. 2. I haven't found any comporable package. So my question is: what would you recommend?

    Conclusions at this point:
    Page & Layout Designer is an apparent "winner", except that its on its way out.
    Web Designer Premium lacks PDF Export for some reason. Otherwise, it's a viable choice, its name notwithstanding.
    Both lack the Photo Healing Tool ... which is about the only photo feature I ever use for gathered images, and which others would find useful.

    But, mainly: there is not a great choice among the current offerings.

    Thanks, again, for all the information.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pro X9 user needs advice on current versions

    Quote Originally Posted by Contours View Post
    @pauland: You ask "on what basis?" The answer is two-fold. 1. Xara Pro X9 has amazing tools for illustration. 2. I haven't found any comparable package. So my question is: what would you recommend?
    You haven't found a comparable package because Xara is the only swiss-army knife design package I know of.

    I absolutely love Xara software, but in terms of capability for drawing and now on price it has been matched and superseded by an alternative. If you take Xara as an all-in-one tool there is little to compare it with, but on many fronts it has serious shortcomings and I'd say it's long-term future with Magix is questionable. A swiss-army knife cuts things, and it has scissors but you wouldn't use it to carve your Sunday roast, or cut out a clothes pattern. Xara does a lot well, but falls behind on so many fronts.

    So specifically, I would say that Xaras clear and obvious competitor is the Affinity series of software, which beats it hands-down on price and capability. There are places where Xara can do better but those are few and while I can understand why people who have used Xara in the past continue to do so, I really don't see it as software to recommend to other people unless they want a jack-of-all-trades tool and need to make basic static websites.

    The three affinity programmes together tackle everything that Xara does besides website creation and generally they do it better.

    Since you specifically mentioned illustration, there's Affinity Designer. Supports CMYK for a start. No issues on high-res screens either..

    You can always find niches where Xara is better and I think many of us were fortunate when Affinity was super cheap (it's now just under 50 per program), so I really would recommend anyone to go for Affinity before Xara, particularly if they are looking for industry acceptance - there is growing acceptance of Affinity software in professional circles, and absolutely no acceptance of Xara.

    Check out Affinity if you haven't already done so. It doesn't make websites. It doesn't do everything in one program.

    Paul

  10. #10

    Default Re: Pro X9 user needs advice on current versions

    Quote Originally Posted by Contours View Post
    ...
    @pauland: You ask "on what basis?" The answer is two-fold. 1. Xara Pro X9 has amazing tools for illustration. 2. I haven't found any comporable package. So my question is: what would you recommend?

    ...
    Both lack the Photo Healing Tool ... which is about the only photo feature I ever use for gathered images, and which others would find useful.

    But, mainly: there is not a great choice among the current offerings. ...
    Xara Photo & Graphic Designer fits your requirements, including the healing tool. It is also quite inexpensive.

    Whether or not "industry acceptance" is important to you is a matter to consider. I generally never share my design files, so it isn't important to me. Whether the learning curve + different capabilities (and lacking some capabilities) in Affinity Designer is/isn't important to you, it should be still useful to install the trial (14 days or less from first run up. I don't know what it is these days) and check it out.

    My thoughts on AD? For what I design, it isn't worth it. I want to like it, but don't for several reasons.

 

 

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