This month we're focussing on the Contour tool in Xara Xtreme. A couple of tutorials and a movie are linked to below.

This month the special offer is for one of the lesser known Xara products, Menu Maker. There are many DHTML menu making utilities out there, but what differentiates Menu Maker is that it builds graphical menu bars, that have dynamic drop-down menus as well.

For anyone who creates websites this is a great little utility. Xara Webstyle also includes the same menu making capabilities, and a lot more, but if you want to create DHTML menus only, then Xara Menu Maker is the answer. The offer of $5 off and the template pack for free lasts until 5th April. Get Menu Maker for just $19.99.

We're working on updates to both Xara Xtreme and Xtreme Pro, more on this next month. Many of the new features are a result of feedback from customers, both from the TalkGraphics forum and direct. If you're a user of Xara Xtreme or Pro, it would really help us to get some more feedback - see the side panel.

Xara Xtreme is a drawing program. It's not painting program. But sometimes its users create drawings that leave you open mouthed in wonder - how anyone could create artwork like this in a drawing program, is really amazing. So utterly like a painting - and in this case exceptional fantasy 'paintings' produced by Vladimyr Savvateew. 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 cracks effect from the Xenofex 2 plug-in collection, can be applied to any vector object or text and you can still edit the image - the cracks effect is automatically re-applied to the text (or shape) after you've edited.

The Xenofex 2 collection of 14 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!

Find out more
You are subscribed to the Xara Outsider newslist. To change this visit
Let us know if you have any suggestions on how we can improve the Outsider Newsletter. Contact us.

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

Xtreme tip: Contour tool
One of the best hidden features of the Contour tool is that it's a way to make shapes fatter or thinner.
Just select the Contour tool, drag on one of the corner arrows inwards or outwards, to create a contour, and then click the Inset Path button on the InfoBar.

If you're existing owner of Xtreme or Xtreme Pro, we'd really value your feedback, just click on the links below to fill out our survey.

Do you regularly use a mobile/cell phone camera?

Contour tool
Here's a short movie demonstrating the Contour tool in Xtreme and Xtreme Pro. See movie...