Xara Graphic Designer – Last updated: July 5 – 2016

PHOTO & GRAPHIC DESIGNER 365 – Entry level app compared to the Industrial x365

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Website / Forum / OS: PC- ($89.99 USD) / MAC - (no Mac version)

May 30, 2016 - Review by: Ron Dorsey

Photo Editing & Graphic Design Software - by Xara

Photo & Graphic Designer is the entry level app compared to the industrial full strength Designer Pro x365

Selecting the Right Graphics Product

There are 5 areas to consider when selecting a graphic application:

  • Ease of use
  • Price point ($89.99)
  • Performance - the Xara Designer /365 series has one of the world's most sophisticated, high performance vector rendering engines.
  • Adhering to standards which allows you to integrate with Photoshop designer team
  • Photo & Graphic Designer has full support for importing and exporting Adobe Photoshop® PSD files including layer support. Photoshop plugins no longer has an open API so no longer are the new plugins accessible by Xara, however the older 32 bit plugins will work.

For this review, the mission is not to compare Adobe Photoshop  with Xara's Photo Graphics Designer 365 but instead to show how well Xara's 365 product can integrate with Photoshop elements and drawings by the ability to import/export files to Photoshop and back into Photo Graphics Designer 365.

Secondly, I would like to demonstrate in the several areas that Designer 365 is actually more efficient and out performs Photoshop.

Adobe Photoshop is undeniably the standard within the graphics industry. The benefits are:

  • An ever increasing wealth of free tutorials and paid subscription classes
  • Many mature tools and plugins
  • And many other resources
  • Integrates with other Adobe products

The cons are:

  • Expensive unless you have dedicated your working Photoshop and therefore can justify its cost
  • Not as intuitive as Xara 365 and x365 products - Xara has done away with dialog boxes and has instead integrated the dialog-like functions within the mouse options


Photo Composition using Xara Photo Graphic Designer (365)

Photo Composition in Xara Designer Titles

Continuing from the left column, the "365" which is a part of the new name denotes that within the year, the user has continuous major upgrades during the year. I am not sure of the naming method that will be used unless it is date based and not with version number.

What’s New for 365

  • Easy Move, Rotate & Scale for Photos
  • New Cross Process Photo Effect
  • New Blend Modes (dodge and burn)
  • Photo Filter Pre-Sets
  • Magnetic Lasso
  • Photo Effect Painter
  • Photo Grids

Xara Photo Designer 365

This graphic application has these advantages:

  • Performance is unbelievable and incredibly fast. This includes:
    • object(s) rendering 
    • object rotation
    • real time changes - seeing the changes as you move the pointing device
  • Ever growing library of free tutorial videos
  • Utilizes native Photoshop plugins


  • Microsoft® Windows® Vista® | 7 | 8 | 10
  • Intel® Celeron® or newer, or AMD® Sempron® or newer
  • Min 500MB of RAM
  • Min 300MB of available hard-disk space

Xara Designer Pro Educational Course – Free

Key Features

  • Rotating, resizing and cropping photos with Xara products


  • Cutting out objects in your photos with Magnetic Lasso


  • Shadows and Highlights


Helicon Focus 5

Bun video
A great companion for Xara Photo Designer (365)

May 29, 2016

No longer will the foregrounds nor backgrounds be out-of-focus due to the depth of field. Helicon Focus 5 solves this problem by allowing the photographer to take a multiple range of images from close up of the subject to its background.

These images are then seamlessly stacked together. Now both foreground (the subject of the photo) and background objects are sharply in focused. 

Xara Designer Pro X now called Designer Pro 365 

Website / Forum / OS: PC- ($269.00/$299.00 USD) / MAC - (no version release)

June 2, 2013

Xara Designer Pro X365 technology mixes a hybrid of both digital and analog functions. Xara has blended Adobe Fireworks and Photoshop facilitating analog and vector applications in the one product. Xara says, Why do you need to have 2 different products when it all can be managed under on roof? Its Adobe's marketing strategy to have you dependent on 2 products, requiring you to move design elements from one program to the other.

The Photoshop Connection

(Photo & Graphic Designer has full support for importing and exporting Adobe Photoshop® PSD files including layer support.)

While the industry standard is Adobe Photoshop, you may continue to create and import native Photoshop files in Xara Designer ProX. Although there are tools which are not found in Xara Designer Pro?X that are available in Photoshop, the ability to import and export PDS file types helps to justify using Xara Designer ProX. It is a fraction of the cost of Photoshop, renders images much faster and integrates tools/functions from Photoshop and Fireworks under one user interface.

Photo & Graphic Designer offers support for a huge range of file formats, making it easy to exchange your work with other users and programs. This includes common bitmap types (eg GIF, JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF, PSD, and RAW photos) and key vector types (eg PDF and AI/EPS, SVG, and EMF/WMF). For text Xara Designer supports RTF (Rich Text Format).

The information below is from the manufacturer.

Demo Movies

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