The new Xara Xtreme Pro is proving incredibly popular, and we now have a large backlog of orders. But the box, manuals, CDs etc have just come in and so we're starting to ship these as you read this. This is slightly later than we anticipated, but it means we managed to get more recent updates of Xara Xtreme and the PDF import filter on to the CD. What's more, we've just concluded a great deal with iStockphoto to bundle 10 free credits with every copy of Xara Xtreme Pro, and the pre-paid iStock cards will be included in your box.

We think the new box and manual design look great. They're created by 'Miro' who many of you will know as a regular on the TalkGraphics forum.

As we mentioned in December, orders are being despatched on a first come first served basis, but we hope that over the coming week or so everyone who has ordered Xara Xtreme Pro will receive their copy (but we know from past experience it can take 2 weeks to get to some parts of the world).

So we anticipate that by the middle of February everyone who has ordered should have their copies. But please do not chase us about this until at least the middle of the month!

This month's inspirational art comes direct from the Xara Gallery on the TalkGraphics forum. Find out more

The Xara Xtreme Live Effect feature lets you use Photoshop plug-ins with vector graphics. What's more they remain completely live and editable. So this example, produced with the Gradient Glow effect from the Eye Candy 4000 plug-in collection, can be applied to any vector object or text and you can still edit the image - the glow effect is automatically re-applied to the text (or shape) after you've edited.

The Eye Candy 4000 collection of 23 plug-ins is normally sold by Alien Skin for $129, but we've negotiated a discount for all Xara registered users, so you can purchase this for just $59!

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Visit the Xara graphics forums to discuss or find answers to your graphics needs. Our pick of top talk this month:

Xtreme tip: Cropping an image
The quickest way to crop a photo or picture in Xara Xtreme is to draw a rectangle over it, at the required size and position, then select the bitmap AND the new rectangle (go into Selector tool and and just Shift click on the picture, so that both are selected) and then press Ctrl+3. The picture will be cropped to the rectangle. What this option does is the same as the menu option Arrange -> Combine Shapes -> Intersect Shapes. So in other words it creates a new shape (with the bitmap as a fill) that is the intersection of the rectangle and photo.

  • 2007 Calendar Templates
    New templates can be downloaded into Xara Xtreme, simply click 'Get Clipart' in the clipart gallery.
  • YouTube Videos Update
    We've added our most popular movie, covering how to create Flash in Xara Xtreme Pro. And if you're looking for more hints or tips on using our products, check out the full list of Xara movies at YouTube, which now includes many new movies created by our users.

Graphics tablet: an indispensable tool?

Absolute Beginners Part 3
We've created a new beginner movie covering graduated color, photo drag & drop, transparency, clipart, and the text tool. See movie...