So what’s new in version X11? Well to start with it incorporates the latest features of the recently released Web Designer 11 product; things like micro animations that slide in from the side of the page, or animated buttons that stretch and wobble when you mouse over them. Another is Sticky Objects – bits of text, buttons or graphics that stay where they’re put no matter how a page moves. For example you could stick them to the top or side of the screen making them always accessible, while the rest of the page is free to scroll. This version also adds the popular full width backgrounds to your pages. These are also semiintelligent in that they will stretch or contract to fit the screen size.If you work from more than one location, you can now sync your documents via Dropbox or Google Drive, meaning any edits you make will be updated by Designer Pro on the other computers you might work on.Other new features more relevant to desktop publishing or word-processing, yet obviously useful whatever the project, are auto correction and hyphenation. These can firstly make your documents more readable, and secondly improve your workflow by substituting long words or symbols using abbreviations.If graphic design is more your thing, the new art brushes and blend modes will allow you to be more creative, yet without the hard work normally needed to create these effects.While Designer Pro has been updated with lots of new features and content, the main structure and speed that’s always been an outstanding plus point for Xara remains as fluid as ever. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been a long time user of the program. There’s nothing that destroys your creative flow as much as twiddling you thumbs waiting for the program to catch up with you. This is particularly noticeable when you have a complex website, or multi page document. When for example you need to scroll or move an object to a different page. As it happens, Designer Pro has handled everything I’ve ever thrown at it, and that includes some pretty large and complex graphics. So I have no hesitation is recommending it.As usual the package includes a massive range of templates and clipart for projects, both web and print based; they encompass everything from widgets for your websites, to images and logos. Finally, as an added incentive to those interested in the web elements in this release, Xara has included web hosting for 12 months with two gigabytes of hosting space and one free domain name.In truth Designer Pro X11 includes much more that I could fit into a short review, so my advice would be to download the trial program from the Xara website and try it for yourself. It’s free so what have you got to lose? Joe LaveryA good value upgrade to what was already a fine product.
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