The Xara Xone
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Welcome to the definitive site for information, guides, and support for Xara Designer Pro X10, and previous versions of The World’s Fastest Drawing Program!
Here, you’ll find fresh new tutorials every month, plus a huge archive of examples representing over 15 years of community support.

New This Month


Typography Part 2 of Page Layout

Typography Part 2 of Page Layout

This month Gary shows you how to design using type as creatively as putting pictures together. From the ongoing "Page Layout Series" on XaraXone.com, this video is bound to spark some ideas and more clever designs of things everyone reads. Read more…


Big GIFs, Tiny Animations
Red Dart and blue sky with clouds animation

Big GIFs, Tiny Animations

This month, Gary Bouton takes you on an animation trip that’s sweeping the Web: creating a large GIF file that is animated in only part of the overall image. The GIF can be advertisement size, but only a few kilobytes when you see how to set up a GIF document in Xara, and customize how the GIF file is written. Work through the tutorial and get carved pumpkins for your efforts! Read more…


Giveaway of the Month October 2014 25 Extraordinary Textures by Christine Farrelly

Christine Farrelly’s Seamless Pattern Collection

Twenty-five stunning repeating patterns are the Giveaway Gift of October. Their creator, Member and TG Moderator Christine Farrelly, took our font collaboration, the Celebrated Burgeon Ornaments TG, and used a technique that’s top secret (!) to turn portions of the characters into elegant seamless tiling patterns. Come get more than two dozen winners for your next Fill tool need! Read more…


No clowning around. Xara Photo Compositions Part 2 of 2

Using Masking tools in Photo Compositions

Earlier this month, you saw Part 1, on how to blend and alter multiple images to make dramatic compositions. This month, Gary tips in the Mask tools, the ones in Designer Pro 10, some in version 9, and some in version 8. Come see how you can create a spotlight effect on a pile of gems and not even get arrested for breaking and entering a jewelry store! Read more…


Extrudes and nothing else

Creating illustrations With Only Extrudes

Xara’s Extrude tool is good for making cut-out shapes and swooping text, but did you know you can also build complex, photorealistic shapes? Like a toy train, or the pages in the billboard above, and even a long lens for an SLR camera. Rik Datta takes you through the precise steps to build a marvelously intricate long camera lens this month, and the techniques you’ll learn can take you to even greater creative heights. Or at least 250mm f1.4. Read more…


Giveaway of the Month Simulata The Ultimate Art Deco Display font in TTF and OTF!

Simulata Typeface in TTF and OTF Giveaway

In 1995, the URW font “Sinaloa” was Mac-only, and an incredibly beautiful design. Gary Bouton, who is a Windows kinda guy, painstakingly recreated the glyphs as well as possible from a few example files, and today, Simulata—based on Sinaloa—is not only available for Windows, but it’s free, too, in TTF and OTF file formats. Read more…

unexcpected-vid-tutorial

Xara Photo Compositions Part 1

Photo composition is a sport that’s largely vertical: not many people know how to blend or alter photos, so you’re in luck this month, twice in fact, as Gary presents both Part 1 and Part II of this mega-informational guided tour of Xara’s photo strengths. The tutorials are not about photo retouching, or using a third-party filter turn your friends into melted friends. You’ll combine and refine images so they take on a whole graphical meaning. If this sounds too esoteric, it’s not and I’m just bad at explaining how to combine photos. Watch the video because it explains these techniques better than Bouton can! Read more…


Giveaway of the Month 25 Free Vector Icons

Twenty-five Vector Icons

More than a dozen, this month’s Giveaway is a quarter of one hundred vector icons…that’s twenty-five ways to customize your programs. Check out the novel designs Gary Bouton has created in Xara for our community! Read more…


August Guest Tutorial Unique London

Designing an Elegant Poster

Much more elegant than simple drop shadows, our buddy Mike (mwenz online) shows us this month at least two different samples of good layout for posters. First, a different kind of dead-on shadow technique is shown, and then you’ll have some fun adjusting the tone and color of the poster, because you’ll be working with Named Colors. Come along and get into the finer details of professional text and poster design! Read more…


Gary Preister's First Look Xara Designer Pro X10

Introducing Xara Designer Pro X10

Want some new toys in your favorite drawing program? Well, first of all Xara Designer Pro 10 has arrived and it’s available at Xara’s Products page, and not at Macy’s or Selfridges. Which doesn’t tell you about the goodies in the box, but Mr. Gary Priester will in his review this month of the outstanding upgrade. Come see all the new filters, new page transitions for websites, Smart Shapes, and much, much more! Read more…


First Looks with Gary Priester Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 10

Photo & Graphic Designer turns 10!

And how mature Photo & Graphic Designer 10 (PGD10) has become! Loaded with new image editing features such as Enhance Photo Colors…a stride past the previous color tools, new Smart Shapes that give you dozens of variations on preset shapes just by dragging on a control point, and Font Awesome, a font palette of symbols you place in-line with text, and the symbol remains as editable text on the web. PGD10 is loaded with too much stuff to explain here…read Gary Priester’s First Looks article. Read more…


Going Beyond 3D

If you thought “3D” in Xara meant typing some text and angling it, you’ll be happy to be shown you’re wrong this month. Gary takes you the steps to building an entire scene that looks like a diorama, combining arcing 3D text with 2D shapes. And how about extruding text that’s been through the Mould tool first? It’s a classic movie and comic book look! Then you’ll see how to make accordion-style text that looks 3D, but not in the way an extrude does. This is stuff that’s simple to do, but you might not have thought about it. Read more…


July 2014 Giveaway Free Textures (They fell off a truch)

They’re a real steal. Mostly because they’re free; 12 (that’s one dozen) seamless tiling textures Gary created for the Giveaway this month, after realizing that 12 equals a dozen. Also a bonus mini-tutorial on making a textured sphere. Scarf ‘em up, and let’s see what you can do with them on the Xara Xone thread at TalkGraphics! Read more…


Creating 3D Semi-Transparent Cubes

The next best thing to a cool refreshing drink this season is a tutorial on how to draw ice cubes. Yeah. Right. Seriously, Gary Bouton will walk you through using the Extrude tool to create a reference model, show you how to draw all six faces of a cube, how to shade it and how to make a shadow for objects such as glass that should have a cool refreshing drink it. Read more…


How to Make Water Without Science. Learn how to mix extrudes with shapes to make molecules.

Some people use the Extrude tool to make Art. Others use the drawing tools in Xara to make art.

Why not use the two together? This month, Gary Bouton takes you through a detailed exploration of what it takes to draw a molecule, specifically a simple water molecule, like the pros do with modeling programs. Except we’re going to do a spectacular illustration right inside our favorite program that will put a lot of techno-scientific-ultra-cranial types’ work to shame! Read more….


This scene would look more realistic if it had clouds. Giveaway of the Month 7 Hi-Res PNG (with transparency) images of clouds

This month’s Giveaway is absolutely stratospheric. In fact, you’ll be in 7th Heaven with 7 high resolution PNG images with transparency of all sort of clouds. As bitmaps, you can brighten them, make the more transparent, use the Contone feature on the Color Editor to make alien clouds, or just use them as is to complete an outdoor scene. Mix and match, too! Read more….


Featured Artist Maya Doka Nature, Astronomy, Future Possibilites

In the second of Xara Xone’s Featured Artists for 2014, we were fortunate enough to find a treasure trove of Xara artwork by Maya Doka, TalkGraphics member and an extraordinarily gifted artist in many types of media.

Step inside and take a look at a gallery that has themes but is at the same time diverse in subject material, and a beauty to behold. We also had a little time to ask Maya questions concerning her art, her motivations, preferences, and advice for newcomers to Xara Designer. Get a delightful earful and eyeful right here.


What is this DPI stuff anyhow?

This month kicks off a new category of content on The Xara Xone. Gary Bouton has written and essay on a topic of interest and sometimes confusion among the graphics community: What the heck (or other epithet) is this “resolution” stuff?!

Gary guides you through what a pixel is and isn’t, the difference between a unit and a ratio, the difference between a pixel and a dot, and how to get the best bitmap image possible out of Xara Designer.

It’s not a tutorial. It’s the stuff that should be right up front the day you walk in the door of computer Graphics.

But wasn’t. Read it now!


The May Giveaway 12 Tonal Tiling Textures

Brace yourself for not just a dozen seamless tiling textures Gary has designed for May. This time 1.) They’re all unearthly—none of this wood and marble stuff. You’ll find them utilitarian for page borders and fills, but also… 2.) Gary has set the Wayback Machine to January 2012’s Tutorial on how to texture a blank 3D object. And this time, Gary has 6 planar 3D shapes you can dress up with this month’s textures, or any texture you like. Definitely read on for the instructions…


Gary Preister's First Look@ Xara Web Designer 10

Wouldn’t it be nice to create a web layout that looks the same on a phone, tablet, and on a desktop? This is called a Responsive Website, and for the first time Xara Web Designer 10 makes it easy for designers who don’t code to get your visual message all over the web with consistency across devices. Gary Priester takes a First Look, and what a look it is! Read all about it now.


Thinking about the box: A micro-mimi-nano special tutorial

Gary’s Textutorial shows you how to take any of the textures (the ones of wood work particularly well) and turn them into three dimensional objects. It’s always great to get something for free, but even better when someone tells you whay your gift is good for! They’re texturrific! Learn how…


First Looks by Gary Priester
Gary Preister's First Look Xara Designer X10

Xara Designer Pro X10 Review


First Looks with Gary Priester Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 10

Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 10

Xara Page & Layout Designer 9: A First Look

Xara Page & Layout Designer 9




Tips and Tricks

Check out the terrific backlog of tips, tricks, and tutorials in the archives! ½

Tips and Tricks!

Molecular Adventures in Xara. How to draw scientifically accurate science stuff without knowing science. Learn More…

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