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Here are just some of the reasons why we believe Xara stands out from the competition, making Photo & Graphic Designer a great choice for all your photo editing, illustration and graphic design needs. Photo & Graphic Designer allows you to do amazing things with photos, includes really intuitive vector drawing tools and advanced text handling, all in one seamlessly integrated environment.
Revolutionary Photo Handling
Photo & Graphic Designer's photo handling beats other graphics programs on many fronts.
Fast, non-destructive photo handling
Photo & Graphic Designer photo handling beats other graphics programs on many fronts. It's much, much faster, produces smaller files and it's non-destructive. It makes the perfect photo composition tool.

Photo & Graphic Designer offers completely non-destructive photo editing (which means you can edit your photo as many times as you like without the loss of quality that is normal in other photo programs), and it uses a fraction of the RAM required by other products. It can handle multiple very high resolution images with ease, even on a modest PC.

Photo & Graphic Designer is also unique in the way it handles and stores photos, which means that files containing photos can be anywhere from 3 to 100 times smaller than with other programs.
Integrated Photo Tool
Photo & Graphic Designer includes a revolutionary integrated, ultra-fast, non-destructive photo editing tool. It offers both manual and automatic real-time photo enhance (brightness and contrast, sharpen/ blur, saturation and temperature) plus real-time scaling and rotation even on 50 Megapixel images. Other features include flexible cropping, red eye removal, advanced levels control, perspective correction, photo erase and masking tools and the innovative content aware scaling and zooming (you can find more on some of these below).

Combine this with features such as vector masking, layer blending, feathering - all in the non-destructive, memory efficient way - and you have something that no other photo tool can provide.
Magic Photo Erase tools
The powerful photo erase tools can produce almost miraculous changes and improvements to your photos!

The Magic Photo Erase tool makes it quick and easy to seamlessly erase unwanted objects from your photo completely. See some Magic Erase examples

The Color Select & Erase tool is another powerful tool for photo manipulation. You can erase or make transparent parts of a photo based on a color, or edit just those color-selected areas. See some Color Select & Erase examples

The new Background Erase tool does what it says on the tin, removes the background from your photo so you can place it on a different background. See some Background Erase examples

And then there's the Photo Healing tool which can seamlessly remove spots, blemishes and scratches from your image, or for even larger scale deletions it can be used as a 'paint brush' for the Magic Erase tool. See some Photo Healing examples
Photo Panoramas
Perhaps the easiest to use panorama maker. Drop a series of photos on the page, click one button and you'll get a perfect, seamless joined panoramic image.

See Panorama examples
Intelligent Scaling
The Photo Tool includes innovative intelligent image scaling technology that allows 'content aware scaling', which means images can be stretched or squashed while retaining the proportions of important parts of the picture.

This can provide a near miraculous ability to stretch and change the aspect ratio of photos, without apparently distorting the content of the photo.

And there is also 'content aware zooming', which works in a similar way but allows you to resize the object that is the center of interest without increasing the size of the total image.
Bitmap Tracer
Photo & Graphic Designer's powerful bitmap tracer can convert your bitmaps – typically photos, line-art or logos – into editable vector shapes.
All The Creative Tools You Need
Photo & Graphic Designer offers all the tools that a creative designer could need for illustration and text handling.
Drawing Tools
Photo & Graphic Designer is the primary tool of many illustrators and includes a set of powerful but really easy to use vector line and shape drawing and editing tools.

The Quickshape tools (rectangle, circle etc) allow you to draw pre-set shapes very quickly and easily. Editing shapes and lines is easy and the Freehand line drawing tool even offers a slider for retroactive smoothing after you've drawn your line. And there's support for pressure sensitive tablets too.

The powerful new Shape Eraser and Shaper Builder tools allow you to easily erase or build on your image with a 'paintbrush' type action, whether it's a vector drawing or a photo.
Advanced Text Handling
Photo & Graphic Designer offers everything you need for adding creative text to your designs.

The Text Tool allows you to enter as many lines of text as you want, at any place in your document. You can enter your text at any angle and you can also set your text along a curved path. Additionally, just like any drawn object in Photo & Graphic Designer, you can freely resize it on the page, and apply any of the effects, such as transparency, fills, molds and so on - and yet the text remains editable.

Like any word processing program, you have full control over the text style, and indeed you can create Text Styles such as 'heading' - you can change the font, size, color and justification of the text, alter the line spacing and kerning, and have bold, italic, superscript or subscript.
Creative Effects
Photo & Graphic Designer includes a selection of over 60 creative 'Live Effect' plug-ins that can transform both photos and vector drawings (they are called Live Effects because the object remains editable even after applying the effect). Effects include oil painting, pencil drawing, canvas, crayon, pastel, crumpled, fish-eye, television, newspaper print, waves, blinds, 'liquid paint' for creating caricatures and many, many more. See some examples.

Most modern Adobe Photoshop® plug-ins work as Live Effects, giving access to a huge range of plug-ins, both free and commercial, for creating a variety of effects that would take a lifetime to explore. 
Transparency & Feathering
Xara was the first vector application to introduce transparency, and continues to this day to offer the easiest, most advanced transparency control of any software. With click-drag simplicity you can create graduated transparencies to any object, photo, text, and vector shape.

Xara was also the first application to offer vector feathering (sometimes called Soft Vectors). This is a technique of slightly blurring the edges of objects to help them blend into the background and enables high quality realistic images to be created more quickly and easily than in any other software.

The combination of feathering and transparency is great for any photo composition work, as well as realistic vector shading, vital for any good illustration.
Blends
The blend tool tweens or blends from one shape to another. It's ultra-fast, click-drag simple, works with vector shapes, text and photos.

Blends can be used to create complex highlights, blurred edges on objects, repetitive patterns and many other effects, in other words it's a vital tool for creative design. Photo & Graphic Designer performs blending in a very quick and memory-efficient way compared to other drawing packages - meaning less waiting for you and less draining of your systems resources.
3D Extrude
The world's fastest, slickest, and highest quality vector 3D extrude tool.

Take any shape, and just drag on the face to create a beautifully lit and shaded 3D version. Drag on the sides to extend the extrude depth. It couldn't be easier.
Animated Flash Export
Xara Photo and Graphic Designer offers a genuinely easy way to create really efficient Flash animations.
Shadows, Bevels & Contours
Photo & Graphic Designer offers several powerful tools that allow you to add realistic effects with a single click. Apply, remove, and modify semi-transparent (or 'soft') shadows to any object with the Shadow tool. Use the Bevel tool to add bevels to any object, giving them the realistic appearance of depth. And add contours around objects with the Contour tool. All resolution independent (don't lose quality when you scale them)!
Productivity & Useability Benefits
Photo & Graphic Designer is famous for its speed and unrivalled ease of use, making it not just a highly productive tool, but a pleasure to be creative.
Speed
Photo & Graphic Designer is based on the world's most sophisticated, highest performance vector rendering engine. Quite simply this makes it the fastest graphics software to be found. Just what you need when you're working with complex illustrations or huge photos!
Direct Action Tools
The Direct Action Tools allow you to create effects such as transparency, shadows, bevels or gradient fills in an interactive, fast and intuitive way. No distracting dialogs - simply drag on the object!
Easy Drag & Drop
Many tasks in Photo & Graphic Designer benefit from being able to use the drag and drop principle, which is the most intuitive way of working and a great time saver. It also supports drag and drop import of files, such as photos.
Solid Object Editing
Instead of dragging outlines when you draw, move, rotate or resize objects, Photo & Graphic Designer offers solid live object manipulation, which simply makes it much easier to see what you're doing! Only Photo & Graphic Designer is fast enough to do this on complex vector graphics.
Infinite Undo / Redo
Being able to change what you have done is vital in a graphics package. Photo & Graphic Designer allows unlimited undo, making experimentation easy.
Zoom to 25,000%
The Zoom tool allows magnification up to 25,000%, perfect for detailed work. And it's super-fast and resolution independent too.
Top Quality Screen Display
Xara introduced the world's first vector anti-aliasing to bring maximum screen quality and is still a pioneer with the fastest, highest quality anti-aliasing available in any drawing program.
Compatibility With Industry Standards
Photo & Graphic Designer is used by many different types of customer in a spectacular range of uses - for designs combining drawings, text and photos, for print and the web - so we understand how important it is to offer compatibility with other products and users.
Import & Export
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).
PSD Support
Photo & Graphic Designer has full support for importing and exporting Adobe Photoshop® PSD files including layer support.
PDF Support
Photo & Graphic Designer offers industry leading export of super-clean, very compact PDF files (including support for graduated color fills and flat / graduated transparency). Combined with the PDF import feature, this provides another way to interchange files.