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  1. #11
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    Default Re: Xara Designer Pro+ questions about desktop publishing and note taking features

    Quote Originally Posted by handrawn View Post
    @Ben Wiens - your attachment in post #8 is invalid - have you deleted it ?
    You can save it as a TXT file though.

    Acorn
    Acorn - installed Xara software: Cloud+/Pro+ and most others back through time (to CC's Artworks). Contact for technical remediation/consultancy for your web designs.
    When we provide assistance, your responses are valuable as they benefit the community. TG Nuggets you might like. Report faults: Xara Cloud+/Pro+/Magix Legacy; Xara KB & Chat

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Xara Designer Pro+ questions about desktop publishing and note taking features

    is that a mod thing, I can't see how to do it...
    -------------------------------
    Nothing lasts forever...

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Xara Designer Pro+ questions about desktop publishing and note taking features

    Quote Originally Posted by handrawn View Post
    is that a mod thing, I can't see how to do it...
    Yes, it appears to be. You probably got "Invalid Attachment specified. If you followed a valid link, please notify the administrator".

    The content is:
    XARARECS.BAS - Records in XARA file TEST5CHR.XAR:
    FilePosn TagHex TagDec DataSize Tag Description
    00000000 File ID = 0x41524158, 0x0A0DA3A3
    00000008 00000002 2 63 TAG_FILEHEADER
    0000004F 0000003E 62 6497 TAG_PREVIEWBITMAP_JPEG
    000019B8 00000028 40 0 TAG_DOCUMENT
    000019C0 00000001 1 0 TAG_DOWN
    000019C8 00001028 4136 12 TAG_DOCUMENTINFORMATION
    000019DC 00001175 4469 12 (new?)
    000019F0 0000000C 12 142 TAG_TAGDESCRIPTION
    00001A86 00001012 4114 4 TAG_DOCUMENTNUDGE
    00001A92 00001191 4497 8 (new?)
    00001AA2 00001014 4116 5 TAG_DOCUMENTBITMAPSMOOTHING
    00001AAF 0000101C 4124 8 TAG_DUPLICATIONOFFSET
    00001ABF 00001079 4217 0 (new?)
    00001AC7 00001147 4423 10 (new?)
    00001AD9 000011B3 4531 14 (new?)
    00001AEF 000011B8 4536 2 (new?)
    00001AF9 000011E8 4584 8 (new?)
    00001B09 00001197 4503 8 (new?)
    00001B19 0000119A 4506 8 (new?)
    00001B29 000011AD 4525 4 (new?)
    00001B35 000011B9 4537 20 (new?)
    00001B51 00001220 4640 0 (new?)
    00001B59 0000125C 4700 0 (new?)
    00001B61 0000005D 93 4 TAG_DOCUMENTFLAGS
    00001B6D 00001213 4627 540 (new?)
    00001D91 0000001E 30 4 TAG_STARTCOMPRESSION
    (ZLib compressed data, etc.)
    0000286A 00000003 3 0 TAG_ENDOFFILE
    I have delved further into Xara's manifest and found the Default image is in XaraXEng.dll >Bitmap 30464 : 2057.
    Perhaps @Ben could try replacing that with a 2-colour 16x16px Black image instead; that is all of 32B.

    Acorn
    Acorn - installed Xara software: Cloud+/Pro+ and most others back through time (to CC's Artworks). Contact for technical remediation/consultancy for your web designs.
    When we provide assistance, your responses are valuable as they benefit the community. TG Nuggets you might like. Report faults: Xara Cloud+/Pro+/Magix Legacy; Xara KB & Chat

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Xara Designer Pro+ questions about desktop publishing and note taking features

    yes, that is what I got; thanks
    -------------------------------
    Nothing lasts forever...

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Xara Designer Pro+ questions about desktop publishing and note taking features

    @Ben - quiet your end.

    I have mentioned MarkDown several times.

    The product that is near perfect for your needs is Obsidian.
    It is multi-platform/OS but all local storage, hence private.

    All your notes would be in MarkDown and are editable, searchable, and copies are saved and stored under your control.
    No overhead and external image files are just linked in.

    It comes with Core Plugins for Search and Templates.
    Community Plugins for LaTeX, Longform for book management.
    the Pandoc Plugin allows you to export documents to Word Documents, PDFs, ePub books, HTML, PowerPoint and LaTeX among (many) others
    It's so good, I would use it myself. Oh! I do.
    It's free. You can pay for Sync & Publish, each @$8/m.

    For you, my doubt is your older OSs.

    Acorn
    Acorn - installed Xara software: Cloud+/Pro+ and most others back through time (to CC's Artworks). Contact for technical remediation/consultancy for your web designs.
    When we provide assistance, your responses are valuable as they benefit the community. TG Nuggets you might like. Report faults: Xara Cloud+/Pro+/Magix Legacy; Xara KB & Chat

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Xara Designer Pro+ questions about desktop publishing and note taking features

    Quote Originally Posted by Acorn View Post
    Offer up a 'page' from your website that we can dissect to see how well we can do.
    1. I've created a sample file in xra format, which I extracted from my website, for anyone to play with, I get 122.1 K for a full 2 page document with a complex vector header, this xra file likely has 3.9 K page setup section, 2.0 K of text, 10 K vector header, and 106.2 K preview jpeg. It would be great to eliminate the preview jpeg and this would bring the file size down to about 15.9 K (unless the vector embedding adds overhead).

    2. I created a template which had the create preview image unchecked and this did not reduce the filesize of 1 page of text, the preview image was still there and visible in Windows Explorer.

    3. Acorn, I am getting a new Windows 11 computer, really, and have been waiting for the right parts to become available for a year already. Along with it some upgraded programs, the reason for this trial. But was still hoping to install some newer programs on a Windows 7 machine and the reason for those questions.

    4. Acorn, I was an early adopter of Windows 10, installed it on my main computer soon after it came out on the recommendation of Microsoft and shortly after bought a Nokia Windows smartphone, which was a great smartphone, drank in the Microsoft Windows 10 on all devices cool aid and looked forward to a bright future with Windows 10 forever. My computer was only about 3 years old then and had shipped with Windows 7. This was a horrible mistake to upgrade it and after tearing my hair out for 2 years, Microsoft technical experts told me it had been a mistake to suggest the upgrade because my 3 year old Intel i7 Quad processor was not compatible. It also seemed like due to me being an early adopter of Windows 10, Microsoft more than likely used my laptop as one of many remote servers to disseminate Windows 10 to the world. The router I was using reported a huge spike in Internet traffic during this period. Poor laptop, it wasn't made for this kind of punishment. I went back to Windows 7 then and realize I liked it so much better.

    5. The expert I used to look inside the xar file format would like to know if an updated xar format specification is available. See http://site.xara.com/support/docs/webformat/spec/ for the only one we can find which was lasted updated on 2007Sep14. Key questions, does xra file format now use the UCS-2, UTF-16, or UTF-16 text encoding.

    6. Acorn, regarding Obsidian. I have looked into about 100 of these note taking programs in the last months and couldn't find anything I liked, always something major missing. According to Wikipedia, "Obsidian operates on a folder of text documents; each new note in Obsidian generates a new text document". I understand that add-ons such as ExcaliDraw are available, but doesn't this just result in a mixture of Obsidian main notes being pure text and ExcaliDraw creating entirely doodles in a separate image file, rather than a mix of vector, raster, and text in a note like could be done in Xara Designer Pro? My idea of a perfect modern Zellelkasten note taking system is to have longer notes of sometimes a few pages (even you suggested that) similar to how students take multi page notes in class. I might have one note for a project that I'm working on and add to it for months or even years which would become pages long. But I want the drawings to be higher quality than doodles by using Bezier curves, and located between section of typed text and have proper tables and equations. This is the concept of "visual note taking" which is more desirable than text only note taking but the ideal is to have graphics and typed text all together with the graphics mostly anchored to the text. Besides Xara Designer Pro, I have yet to find a program that does such a thing as for example Corel Designer does not anchor objects with text, Microsoft OneNote, Samsung Notes do not have editable Bezier vector drawings, Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Designer do not have multiple page capability, and Adobe Indesign is way too clumsy to use for note taking and has huge file sizes.

    2024Feb26 Make the Boeing 737 MAX safe again.xar

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Xara Designer Pro+ questions about desktop publishing and note taking features

    @Ben, thank you for the sample file. It clocks in at 119.3kB

    I have to assume that the untick of the Preview in the Save Template dialog is where you ought to be able to remove the Preview image.
    It appears not to work in XPro+ so I believe it has to be a Bug.
    I will leave you to tackle Xara with this as you have more skin in the game. There may be other associated issues that you should raise at the same time.

    Your original numbered bullets (1} to (4), I think, are now answered, if not fully addressed:

    (1) File Size.
    To 'remove' the Preview image, my current fix is to create a very short first page that is blank. I estimate the Preview file is ~4kB.
    You may wish to experiment with making the first page 0.5in x 0.5in to reduce this to near nothing. I'll leave the analysis to you and your expert. I find my poodle's eyes cross when he has to do sums.
    You should lose the Scale to fit width setting else your HTML render will scale the view setting to fit your browser.

    As a design approach, I have placed a Title & Revision section into the MouseOver layer so that the Preview image is monochromatic (here, white). You could colour code your Notes if you wanted.
    The first page filename is a mix of abbreviated Title and Revision Date.
    I set up an altered Template (US Letter 1-column - no Preview.xar) for this. It is 7.33kB. You need to accept this as your overhead.
    Should you export this as PDF (enabled with Web Properties > Export > Viewer options > PDF download then the output file size is 5.42kB - US_Letter_1-column_-_no_Preview.pdf
    I took your XAR file and added it into my new Template and got this: 2024Feb26 Make the Boeing 737 MAX safe again (Acorned).xar, it is now 38kB with PDF 25.9kB - 2024Feb26_Make_the_Boeing_737_MAX_safe_again__Acorned_.pdf

    The greater reduction is where I applied your (2) ask.

    (2) Externally linked images.
    I took your header group and exported it as an SVG - BWTG.svg.
    I immediately linked to it in its external location, saving 77.8kB of internal file storage.
    I also make it Repeat on all note pages as well as make it Repel text under.
    This replaces it: <img class="xr_ap" src="revision-yyyymondd_html_files/BWTG.svg" alt="" title="" style="left:0px;top:17px;width:816px;height:76px;" >; just over 128B per reference.

    The benefit is you can preserve all your 300+dpi images in their own repository and reference to them for any of your Notes.

    For your book, where the images are pure vector, they will be stored in Xara's compressed FLARETEXT format. I would not outload such items.
    In passing, there has been no public update of the XAR Format Document that I have seen.
    I would also assume UTF-8: <meta charset="utf-8">, probably around the time the applications went 64-bit. It is also probably USC-2.

    (3) Equation editor.
    Is possible with the right product.

    (4) Book size.
    I would simply append your collated Notes into one long XAR (100+ pages) and export as PDF.
    If your images are externally-linked and in-line diagrams are vector, there will be no quality issues and no in-depth editing needed.


    (*) Obsidian.
    The MarkDown equivalent file is 8.16kB with links to the above SVG: Make the Boeing 737 MAX safe again.txt - replace .txt with .md (a TG restriction).
    I would use Xara exclusively for diagrams and export each as SVG into the same folder as the Notes so linkage is just ![[BWTG.svg]] and is "anchored".
    they could be in their own location and externally-link as well but keeping one Obsidian Vault for Notes and diagrams does all the heavy lifting.

    Add a few hundred Notes and images and then you see the power of Obsidian's Graph view:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Not to mention Search:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Acorn
    Last edited by Acorn; 28 February 2024 at 01:41 PM.
    Acorn - installed Xara software: Cloud+/Pro+ and most others back through time (to CC's Artworks). Contact for technical remediation/consultancy for your web designs.
    When we provide assistance, your responses are valuable as they benefit the community. TG Nuggets you might like. Report faults: Xara Cloud+/Pro+/Magix Legacy; Xara KB & Chat

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Xara Designer Pro+ questions about desktop publishing and note taking features

    Quote Originally Posted by gwpriester View Post
    Last year, I tried Affinity Publisher to recreate a book I had already produced just to see what the process and experience was. And I have to say, I wish I had used Affinity Publisher a long time ago.
    Thanks for the suggestion. Affinity was on my list of programs to look into but somehow I had not researched it very well because Affinity Designer doesn't have multiple page capability and hasn't been in the market for a long time and might not be very popular and lasting. My ideal program would be a program that can do note taking as well as books.

    Then handrawn mentioned that each of the Affinity programs open each other's files types and this seemed interesting. In the last few days I've researched the Serif company and the Affinity Publisher, Designer, and Photo and it opened up my eyes. These programs have become very popular with 3,000,000 users of at least one of the modules. And version 2 has added some more features and now it has all the book features I would need.

    The fact that Designer and Photo can work in Publisher could save a lot of time in writing an illustrated book and the fact that Designer doesn't have multiple page capability might not be an issue at all if I do the notes in Publisher rather. So for books, Affinity Publisher is a winner in my mind, for the note taking it depends on the minimum file size of the documents. Adobe Indesign minimum file size is 144 K with as many things turned off as possible which is too big for note taking.

    So I plan on downloading the Affinity Suite tomorrow. Not only is Affinity Suite way cheaper than Adobe Creative Cloud but it might be way faster to work with. Crossing my fingers that Affinity Suite is the Swiss Army knife program that I've been looking for. Version 2 likely doesn't run on Windows 7 and guess there is no way of buying Version 2 and also getting Version 1 which I think can run on Window 7?

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Xara Designer Pro+ questions about desktop publishing and note taking features

    Version 1 is no longer available; also it is not so easy to transfer an affinity licence unless the seller is willing to give over the email address as well, because to quote affinity 'one is encoded in the other' [and you would also likely need their permission so to transfer]

    but if you could get it, it should run on windows 7 service pack 1 or later

    you only pay once for affinity per version - ie: once for ver1 and then for upgrade to ver2; will be same for version 3; meanwhile all the updates one bug fixes are free; no subscription

    xara users should be so lucky, though of course, affinity does not do web-design...
    -------------------------------
    Nothing lasts forever...

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Xara Designer Pro+ questions about desktop publishing and note taking features

    So then Ben, I wish you well with Affinity.
    You originally specified "File size is important then" with "all the graphic files need to be externally linked".

    Your 737 MAX file with only text is 132kB and its PDF is 415.42kB for all of two and a half pages.
    Affinity offers little in the way of embedding external content.
    The switching back and forth with Affinity is on a page-by-page basis.

    You also said you were "an early adopter of Windows 10" and getting W11 but here you are now asking about W7.

    Xara Pro+ will do what you want with a first page preview image overhead that I have reduced dramatically for you. Xara could probably eliminate this totally if you advised them of the issue.
    Xara comes with the joy of in-line graphic and vector manipulation alongside text.
    The trade-off is around 10kB per page of text that is a factor of three above raw ASCII.

    Both Affinity and Xara use proprietary file structures so if the product breaks or disappears so does your archive or book.

    On the other hand, MarkDown is plain ASCII that is parity with plain text.
    It is human-readble and there are many applications that will handle .md files.
    External image linking is trivial and goes where you put it.

    Your only loss is in-line vector creation.
    If I did not have XPro+, I would exclusively use Boxy SVG as I can deliver SVG animations and retain the same SVG for re-editing.
    The SVG code will paste directly although is is better to use an image link; Obsidian allows drag and drop into any document file as will any other good MarkDown editor.

    I will not trivialise the task you have set yourself but you are juggling with system and archive instability without addressing your computers first and then how to handle all the metadata around achieving a fully integrated and searchable archive.

    For almost in-line LaTeX in an .md file you could use add a <script> line: <script src="https://cdn.mathjax.org/mathjax/latest/MathJax.js?config=TeX-AMS-MML_HTMLorMML"> </script>and thereafter surround LaTeX with $$: $$V_{sphere} = \frac{4}{3}\pi r^3$$. This also works in XPro+ but the text needs to be turned into a Named htmlblocktext area.

    Obsidian + Boxy SVG >> Xara Designer Pro >> Affinity Suite.
    I think you would be better with a purchase (https://www.xara.com/webdesigner/v20/) rather than a subscription.

    Acorn

    P.S. I would have liked some sort of acknowledgement for the effort put into Post#17.
    Acorn - installed Xara software: Cloud+/Pro+ and most others back through time (to CC's Artworks). Contact for technical remediation/consultancy for your web designs.
    When we provide assistance, your responses are valuable as they benefit the community. TG Nuggets you might like. Report faults: Xara Cloud+/Pro+/Magix Legacy; Xara KB & Chat

 

 

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