Photo Tools Web Authoring Web Publishing Page Layout & Documents Content Other Enhancements

Photo Tools

Photo Healing

A simple but incredibly effective tool that can be used to erase spots, scratches and blemishes from photos. In fact it can be used like a ’paint brush’ for the magic erase feature, so you can erase even quite large features from your photo with amazingly seamless results.

See some more examples

Before After

New Masking Tools

It’s a pretty common requirement to want to work on just one part of your photo (or indeed vector image) - for example brightening a selected area of a photo, or cropping a specific shape out of a photo or vector image.

With the new mask and region tools it couldn’t be simpler. With the region painter tool you can draw a selection region to apply effects to (such as you brightness change, or crop) or you can use the mask painter tool to protect an area from being altered.

See an example.


Bonus Software

Designer Pro includes two valuable free additions from the MAGIX range:
  • The Premium version of MAGIX Online Photo Album, free for one year. Share your photos with friends, families and colleagues with an online album (see our example & find out more here)
  • A free copy of MAGIX Photo Manager, a useful utility for sorting, searching and creating back-ups of your photos


Background Erase

A really quick, easy and effective way of cutting complex objects out of photos, so you can place them on alternative backgrounds.  We've had some fun combining the healing and background erase tools in demo 1 and demo 2.

See some more examples

Before After

New Photo FX Plug-ins

11 all-new photo plug-ins for a dazzling array of creative photo effects:

  • Fake HDR: simulates the effect of HDR images
  • Tilt Shift: Certain image areas are blurred resulting in a miniature world look
  • Orton: Blurs the image in a special way which makes the colors stand out
  • Little Planet: Turns the image into a mini planet
  • Pencil: Transforms the photo into a pencil drawing
  • Lomo: Gives the image a processed appearance by distorting its colors
  • Color Splash: Specific areas of the image are in color and the rest is black and white
  • Polarised greyscale: Converts the image into greyscale after treatment of certain color filters
  • Color Mix: Mixes up the red/green/blue color channels
  • Sepia: Transforms color photos to give the impression that it's on old paper
  • Thermal: Certain parts of the photo are colorized, without affecting the brightness, similar to a thermal imaging camera

See some examples.


Web Authoring

Improved web page background handling

Backgrounds behind your web page that fill the whole of the browser window (regardless of how wide the window is or how big your monitor) are all the fashion, whether they are graduated fills or textures or simply headings that stretch across the whole window.  So we’ve added some significant improvements to background handling in v9:

  • A selection of quality background designs in the Designs Gallery (see below in Content)
  • A new right click menu allows you to easily set pasteboard and page background
  • You can draw anything on the website backdrop
  • Supports the new drag ‘n’ drop re-coloring methods for easy re-coloring
  • Efficient tiling texture backgrounds
  • Fixed backgrounds (stay fixed as the page scrolls over the top)

A new 'pull' option extends the automatic page resizing and object positioning feature

Automatic object positioning and smart page resizing was one of the big hits of v8, because it’s such a great time saver. Now we’ve extended the feature so that it works in reverse, automatically adjusting the position of objects and shortening the page when you delete text or objects on the page.

Drag & drop NavBar replacement

A new and really easy way of replacing NavBars in your document with a new NavBar design. Simply drag and drop the new design from the Designs Gallery onto the current NavBar in your document.  All features of the existing NavBar such as menus and links are automatically copied.

Improved web font embedding

Xara’s innovative font embedding technology gives you the freedom to use a much wider range of fonts on your website than the traditional limited ‘web safe’ fonts, by embedding fonts in the uploaded site (where license permits).  In v9 we’ve enhanced the export so that the embedded font files are much smaller. And smaller font files mean faster websites!

Improvements to the creation & editing of web presentations

Changes to the presentation feature make it more intuitive and quicker:

  • We no longer auto-delete empty steps during editing (delete on export/preview/save instead)
  • The current step is shown in the presentation bar
  • Adding a new step makes that new step current
  • Steps above the current step are hidden

Web Publishing

Retina® screen compatibility

Most of the latest versions of iOS and Android devices support superb quality ‘Retina’ graphics. Designer Pro X9 automatically creates the high-resolution photos and web graphics required for Retina displays - you need do nothing - but the web pages are smart and only load the correct resolution graphics for the browser being used.

MAGIX Online World 'M' hosting included free

Owners of Designer Pro get MAGIX Online World ‘M’ hosting option included free for one year (worth $1.99 a month). This includes 2GBytes of free web hosting space, one free domain name (e.g. yourname.com or .co.uk or .de etc) and a free web-based email that can be associated with that domain name (5 different mailboxes).

Improved HTML5 compatibility

Designer Pro automatically makes use of HTML5 whenever it can, so you get a state of the art website without having to do anything or understand anything about HTML!  In v9 we ensure that your graphics are exported in the best format for current browsers  (shapes such as rectangles, rounded rectangles with grad fills and transparency, shadows, text with shadows and page backgrounds, are displayed using native HTML not memory hungry PNGs) . It’s more efficient, and that means your site will be faster.

Your site will of course still work with older browsers.

Google Analytics

You’ve created a great website and published it, now you’ll want to know how well it’s working for you. Google Analytics is something of an industry standard for website stats, we’ve now provided a quick and easy way to add the analytics code to your site.

Simpler publishing to MAGIX Online World

To make publishing your website as easy as possible, Designer Pro includes a free hosting offer from MAGIX Online World. We’ve made this popular option beautifully simple to use.

Usage Note: Previous versions of Designer Pro required you to export the HTML to your local disc before publishing. This is no longer necessary in v9.

Page Layout & Documents

Direct support for Google Fonts & a new Google Font picker

Every document has the perfect font, so you can never have too many of them. Google has recently shaken up the font world by offering a large and growing collection of fonts for free. We bring that collection right into the font picker with a new Google Fonts section where you can preview and select fonts from the current 600+ Google Fonts collection. What’s more, if you import a document with Google fonts then the fonts will be automatically downloaded and installed.

Check out our examples on demo page 1 and demo page 2.

Support for Multi-weight Fonts in the Font Menu

Where a font has more than the usual bold and italic versions, the full font family is now displayed.

Strikethrough

V9 adds a new strikethrough icon to the Text Tool InfoBar.

Multi-Column Text

Instead of creating multiple text areas manually and connecting them up, Pro X9 introduces a direct, easier way to create multi-column flowing text areas. With a Text Area selected, right click to display a Columns menu option, or click the icon on the right end of the Text Tool InfoBar , and the Columns dialog is displayed.

This allows you to convert a single text area into multiple linked ones.  Or, if there are already multiple linked columns in a set then you can adjust the column count.

Page Numbers and Page & Column Breaks

With the text cursor in the text, a new Insert  right click menu is available, with a selection of page number styles.

The same right click Insert  menu provides an option to insert a column or page break.  Inserting a column break will move the following text to the start of the next column, inserting a page break will move the following text to the start of the following page.

Text flow & page creation

Pro X9 can now act like a word processor so that when text flows off the bottom of one page (or out of a text area) it can automatically create a new page (a copy of the previous layout) and flow text into this new page.

An easy way of re-coloring elements in complex grouped objects & web backgrounds

There’s a new and much faster way of changing the individual colors in grouped objects such as clipart, NavBars, buttons and web page backgrounds.  When you drag & drop a color onto the group, you’ll see a list of all the colors in the group, simply pick the one you want to change (changing a theme color converts it to a local color).

Web Documents

Designer Pro enables you to publish a perfectly accurate WYSIWYG web version of your print documents, compatible with all modern web browsers, phones and tablets, no plug-ins required.

By producing a completely accurate paginated web document, anyone online, including phone and tablet users, can quickly swipe through all the pages. So if you want to share print documents with friends, colleagues or customers, confident that they’ll see an accurate copy of your document, you no longer need to create and send PDFs nor worry about the quality of their PDF reader - you can just publish to the web (and of course a free hosting deal is included with Pro).

Example 1 web document (the Release Notes for Designer Pro X9)
Example 2 web document (What's New in Designer Pro X9)
Example 3 web document (the Intro Doc that you see on start up of Page & Layout Designer)

Word Import & Export

V9 includes import/export filters for Microsoft Word .docx file format. File > Open or drop the .docx file onto the title bar.

Content

New collection of backgrounds

To complement the improved background handling in v9, we've added a collection of top quality web page backgrounds to the Designs Gallery, including graduated fills, tiling textures and repeating bar designs, all color editable. Simply drag and drop them onto your page background.

Check out our examples on demo page 1 and demo page 2.

A collection of new Widgets

Designer Pro X9 includes new Widgets that add support for basic tables, easy addition of Google+ buttons, and support for Google’s AdSense advertising program. Plus there are 6 exciting new photo slideshow and gallery widgets. You’ll find them in the Designs Gallery.

See previews of many of the Widgets and some working examples in our demo page 1 and demo page 2.

23 new general print theme template designs

There is a new folder in the Designs Gallery called Print Themes (General), consisting of 20+ themed letterhead, compliment slip and business card designs.  These match the Web Themes (General) of the same name, so you can have a consistent style across your whole business.

See some of the templates.

20 new general web theme template designs

We are including no less than 20 new web themes (normally sold for $10 each, that’s $200 worth!), with up to 15 page layouts each, offering a massive increase in the choice of web pages, websites and web graphics to every user of Designer Pro.

See the templates.

A new category of business specific theme designs

You will see a new category of business web themes in the Designs Gallery, designed for specific business types, such as pubs, travel agents, hairdressers, etc. Each is a complete website, with linked pages typically required for that business type, and professional photography suited to the business.  This makes it easier and quicker than ever to create a complete, professional looking website for almost any type of small business.

More than 100 business specific web themes will be offered for sale (note they are not included in Pro as standard) at the time of v9 launch and we plan to offer more by the end of the year.  Coming soon... matching print templates!

Take a look at the new business themes.

Other New & Updated Templates

Some categories (such as photo calendars) have been updated, plus we've added new category of logos (Page Elements > Graphic Elements > Logos).

Other Enhancements

Fly-out toolbars easier to use

Version 9 release makes it easier to traverse the fly-out menu without it closing.

Useful right-click menu options on document tabs

We've added some useful right-click menu options on document tabs: save as, close all but this, discard, close all, discard all.

Larger thumbnails

In v9 .web files are saved with extra large thumbnails so you can take advantage of the ‘extra large icon’ view option in Windows File Explorer (Windows 7 & 8)

Windows 8 touch compatibility

v9 is now compatible with Windows 8 touch devices.

Tileicons & Favicons

v9 improves Favicon support for Internet Explorer producing anti-aliased alpha-channel favicon images.  In addition if you apply the name ‘tileicon’ to the same graphic it will export a much larger (144px square) version of the favicon that both Windows 8 Internet Explorer 10 and iOS devices will use when you add or ‘pin’ the website to the home screen.

64 bit Windows version

Designer Pro now takes advantage of the power of 64 bit, if your computer supports it, enabling you to create larger, more content rich documents - for example this is excellent news for anyone creating large websites with lots of high-resolution photos (typically 50 or more) where the memory limits of 32 bit Windows were becoming a problem.

User note:
With 64-bit Windows you’re no longer limited to the 2 to 3 GBytes RAM available to the old 32 bit systems. Most current computers (Spring 2013) are now provided with 64 bit Windows and typically have (or can have) more than 4 GBytes of RAM installed.

Improved speed and quality for JPEG / PNG

A new and improved JPEG / PNG converter means significantly improved import / export times, and a subtle quality improvement.

New ‘Link to top’ option

A new ‘top of page’ option is available in the Link dialog that allows you to add a text link or button that scrolls to the top of the web page.

More efficient tile bitmap export

Rectangles that contain a tiling bitmap fill or a simple axis aligned graduated fill are now exported more efficiently as a single tile, set to repeating (rather than having the whole object rendered as a single large bitmap).

Simple page color change

There is a new quick and easy right click option to change the color of the page or pageboard background.