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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    SW England
    Posts
    13,067

    Lightbulb Working with modern Image File Types

    At present your XDA effectively handles images that are JPEG and PNG. It also coverts SVGs to Text and Objects.

    If you work with very high resolution graphics, as many do, Xara impacts on SEO by stripping away the filename.
    Yes, there is the new Image Filename capability but it is quite buggy as I have documented in the dear Xara Forum.

    The next difficulty is file dimensions.
    Xara will adjust your hard-earned images down to 96 dpi and with Full Width Stretch, you loss crispness on high resolutions.
    Equally, a SVG is probably rendered as an image, destroying its whole purpose of being a vectorised object with a vector program. This is more loss of definition.

    Lots of files means lots of design file size.
    Sadly, Xara has not yet managed to deliver a scalable product in either web design or DTP.

    Since ever, therefore backward compatible, Xara has built in the concept of a Support Folder.
    Basically, if you use Web Properties > Link > Link to file, the picked file is stored external to the design file.

    I have started to used this to good effect elsewhere: restoring Squishy/Squashy to v15.0 users & document versioning .
    The concept is not difficult, just obscure.

    This is a simple workflow:
    • Open a new design.
    • Create an object and Web Properties > Link > Link to file to any small file. This can be deleted later.
    • Save your design. Let's call it Acorn.xar.
    • Immediately beside Acorn.xar, you have created a folder called Acorn_htm_files/.
    • Open in and delete the file you linked to, if you want to. I keep log.xara for my documentation.
    • Drop all your large images into the Acorn_htm_files/. As many as you like and the design file Acorn.xar is unchanged.
    • I use a tiny Thumbnail Generator against all these image files with a Width of 128px and an extension of THUMB and Xara can accept. (https://www.codeproject.com/articles...rocess-thumbna)
    • When you drag these into a design, you get a small Bitmap that can be scaled to the final size you want. They will be lumpy but these are just going to be Placeholders. The KEY point is the design file stays small.
    • I then use https://squoosh.app or any compression tool to generate .webp or .aviv files; the latter do not render in most browsers yet. These reduce file sizes considerably.
    • The final trick is the utility I am now presenting:
      JS - Image Placeholder Generator.xar
    • Drag a clutch of your newly-minted WebPs onto the button in Preview (probably safer in a real browser and not Xara's stale IE instance) and each file now has the required Placeholder body (code) to add into the THUMB images.

    Yes, a lot of knitting but you can now squish & squash all day, deliver crisp images in stretches and pop-ups, handle newer file types, treat SVGs as vectors and keeps the design file well under control.

    I am sure there are many more uses.

    I am still experimenting with a THUMB replacement service where the true file is added in as the source so all current Xara transforms are honoured. This will bypass the need for introducing Placeholders for image files.

    That's for another day.

    Acorn

    The fuller Placeholder code ought to be:
    Code:
    <picture>
      <source srcset="index_htm_files/Acorn.avif" type="image/avif">
      <source srcset="index_htm_files/Acorn.webp" type="image/webp">
      <img src="index_htm_files/Acorn.png" alt="AVIF full example with fallbacks" width=100% height=100% />
    </picture>
    to handle fall-backs when you have all such file types at hand.
    The design file for this is all of 13.7kB with the Support Folder holding three images (avif, webp, png) of sizes (40.6kB, 135kB, 378kB).
    Last edited by Acorn; 30 March 2021 at 05:51 PM.
    Acorn - installed and active Xara software: Cloud+/Pro+, XDPX, XWD Premium 15 & 12, XPGD10, X3D7, Xara Xtreme 5, back through time (to CC's Artworks).
    Raise software faults with MagiXara: http://support.magix.net/; if Cloud+/Pro+: https://xara.com/contact-us/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    18,685

    Default Re: Working with modern Image File Types

    you are indeed a dedicated follower of format
    -------------------------------
    what can I say ?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,929

    Default Re: Working with modern Image File Types

    Designfacet
    ____________________________________________
    Xara Designer Pro X

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Morelos, Mexico
    Posts
    202

    Default Re: Working with modern Image File Types

    Thanks for the information, Acorn. In the project I've been developing for a while, I put my svgs and certain jpgs in an external directory, sister of index_htm_files, that is referenced in placeholders appropriately. It sounds like your way would save some steps. I look forward to trying it out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Currently New York State
    Posts
    620

    Default Re: Working with modern Image File Types

    Acorn,

    When you do this step:
    Create an object and Web Properties > Link > Link to file to any small file. This can be deleted later.

    When I look on Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Link to file.png 
Views:	7 
Size:	19.8 KB 
ID:	129292

    Are you leaving the path part blank, so when you saved the file this is when Xara makes the folder called Acorn_htm_files/

    Thanks
    Ray

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    SW England
    Posts
    13,067

    Default Re: Working with modern Image File Types

    Quote Originally Posted by RKissane View Post
    Acorn,

    When you do this step:
    Create an object and Web Properties > Link > Link to file to any small file. This can be deleted later.

    When I look on Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Link to file.png 
Views:	7 
Size:	19.8 KB 
ID:	129292

    Are you leaving the path part blank, so when you saved the file this is when Xara makes the folder called Acorn_htm_files/

    Thanks
    Ray
    When you browse for a file, select it then press Apply, the selected file is copied into the newly minted folder. At that point, you can remove the link or even the associated object. The folder and the copied file remain. You can regardless delete the file. It's done its job.

    Acorn
    Acorn - installed and active Xara software: Cloud+/Pro+, XDPX, XWD Premium 15 & 12, XPGD10, X3D7, Xara Xtreme 5, back through time (to CC's Artworks).
    Raise software faults with MagiXara: http://support.magix.net/; if Cloud+/Pro+: https://xara.com/contact-us/

 

 

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