There is relatively little news this month - that's because we're all working like mad towards a major new product announcement next month. But you'll have to wait until next month to find out more...

For anyone out there who doesn't have our current versions we've arranged a one-week upgrade holiday - a full 30% discount on all upgrades from all older versions. So if you've not got the latest version of Xara Xtreme, Xara3D, Webstyle or Menu Maker then now is the moment to upgrade.

Finally with Thanksgiving around the corner we've updated the Xtreme clipart gallery with a new Thanksgiving scrapbook template and some new cards, and we've added a free Thanksgiving photo album design and a couple of page layouts to Webstyle. See below for more details.
This month's inspirational art from Valery Kouleshov is a classic photo-realistic drawing from this Xara master. Find out more

We've created a new Thanksgiving themed scrapbook & card template for Xtreme. Webstyle 4 owners aren't left out - there's a couple of free Thanksgiving page designs and a photo album. To download the new templates click the 'Get Clipart' button in the Xtreme clipart gallery, select the card and click Open, or click 'Update' in Webstyle . See below for tutorials.

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 Electrify 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 electrical 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: Change the page color
Drag a color blob (from the color bar along the bottom, the color gallery or the preview patches on the color editor) onto the page, but before you drop, hold the Ctrl key. If you drag the lower color blob from the color picker to the page this way, you can now interactively alter the color in the editor and the document page color is updated interactively.

Xtreme tip: Temporary Tool Selection
Switching tools is one of the most common and therefore time consuming operations. How often, for instance, are you working on a shape, then need to zoom in some more, before continuing to work. Or perhaps you're editing a shape using the Shape Editor tool and want to select a new shape to edit.

Three tools in particular offer a quick, temporary way of being selected, which then revert to the previous tool afterwards. The Selector tool, push and zoom tools can each be selected using their key shortcuts:

Selector tool: Alt+S or simply press space

Push tool: Alt+X

Zoom tool: Alt+Z

Once selected, if use the same shortcut again, these will revert back to the previous tool. Better still, and perhaps even less known, you can just hold the shortcut keys, perform the operation while holding the keys, and then release the keys, and it will revert back to the previous tool.

So now, say, you're editing the outline of a shape and you want to edit the outline of another shape. Instead of clicking the selector tool, clicking the new shape, then clicking the shape editor tool back again, you can just press and hold the space bar, click the new shape, then release the space bar - you're now back in the Shape Editor.

Illustrator or Photoshop users are used to the space bar being a shortcut to the push tool, but there are other (more OS standard) ways of doing that, and so we feel it's better to use space bar as a short-cut to the most commonly used tool - the Selector tool. Of course this doesn't work if you're in the Text tool. In that case use Alt+S.

What's more we deliberately designed it so these shortcuts are typically very close to the standard left hand, and thumb, position on the keyboard so very little movement is required to use these shortcuts.

  • Xara Xtreme LX
    Not much news this month but progress continues. The 0.7 release remains the current recommended 'stable' release, but for those that want the absolute latest build, that's available from the download website as well, and in fact appears to be as stable, if not more so, than the recommended 0.7.

What web browser do you use?

Complex Fills
Re-create a realistic flower petal with complex shading and texture, using a combination of graduated fills, transparency and fractal textures. See movie...
Or you can select Help-> Movies and find it in that list.