1. Technology

Xara Xtreme Illustration Software

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating

By

Xara Xtreme Illustration Software

Xara Xtreme Illustration Software

© Xara

The Bottom Line

Xara Xtreme is a top-notch graphics tool, no matter what your level of graphics experience. With its amazing speed, small size, reasonable system requirements, moderate price, and powerful feature set, it's hard to go wrong with Xara Xtreme.

Pros

  • Fast and small with minimal system requirements.
  • Powerful features for a moderate price.
  • Live interactive tools offer real-time feedback as you create and edit.
  • Work with vector- and bitmap-based objects in the same environment.
  • CD includes tutorial movies, plug-ins, clip art, templates, fonts, textures, and full online help.

Cons

  • For Windows only.
  • Some dialog boxes are small and can't be resized.

Description

  • Xara Xtreme is a fast yet powerful vector-based drawing and illustration program for Windows.

  • New Photo Tool lets you crop, rotate, and enhance bitmap-based photos non-destructively without leaving the program.

  • Suitable for Web graphics, illustration, technical drawing, animation, cartooning, and compositing.

  • New rendering engine in Xara Xtreme performs even faster than previous versions.

  • Live tools allow you to apply effects interactively and see the results in real time.

  • New Live Effects tool for real-time special effects which update as you edit the source object.

  • Add bevels, shadows, feathering, and transparency effects to vector- and bitmap-based objects.

  • Draw with pressure-sensitive natural media brushes, pen tool, QuickShapes, and shape editor.

  • Create animations, navbars, rollovers, image maps, and export as optimized Web graphics.

  • Supports 32-bit alpha-channel bitmaps, "zero-memory" bitmap editing, and CMYK color for print.

Guide Review - Xara Xtreme Illustration Software

Xara Xtreme is a top-notch graphics tool, no matter what your level of experience. If you're a non-artist just getting started with illustration software, Xara offers tutorials and video demos to help you learn. If you're a professional illustrator, Xara Xtreme holds its own against the leading drawing packages in features, and totally blows them away in terms of performance. For Web designers, Xara combines the power and ease of vector drawing tools with export capabilities for all major Web formats.

The tools in Xara Xtreme offer live, on-screen editing which means that all effects can be applied directly in the document window, without having to navigate cumbersome dialog boxes and screen-cluttering palettes. Changes you make to blends, bevels, shadows, feathering, transparency, and other effects appear on-screen in real time, so you can see exactly what you're going to get. Xara Xtreme also allows you to work with imported bitmap images and photos in the same ways you work with vectors. The new integrated Photo Tool provides photo-specific editing features without opening a separate program, and all photo edits are applied non-destructively.

With its amazing speed, small size, reasonable system requirements, moderate price, and powerful feature set, it's hard to go wrong with Xara Xtreme. For those who require high-end features such as color separations, advanced output, and multi-processor support, a Pro version is available at higher cost.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.