Release Notes 6 April 2022 (v21.9) 9 March 2022 (v21.8) 17 Feb 2022 (v21.7) 6 December 2021 (v21.6) 3 August 2021 (v21.5) 24 June 2021 (v21.4) 27 May 2021 (v21.3) 18 May 2021 (v21.2) 22 April 2021 (v21.1) 10 March 2021 (v21.0) 1 Feb 2021 (v20.8) 16 December 2020 (v20.7) 2 December 2020 (v20.6) November 20205 (v20.5) October 2020 (v20.4) September 2020 (v20.3) 3 August 2020 (v20.2) 25 June 2020 (v20.1) 4 June 2020 (v20.0) March 2020

Release Notes

Designer Pro+ is only sold and supported by Xara. You can find full details of the first release in the March 2020 Release Notes and all subsequent updates in our Release Notes June 2020 & Later.

6 April 2022 (v21.9)

Switch to Microsoft Edge

There are several tools that open a web browser window within Designer Pro to display content, namely the Widget Editor, Symbol Picker, Google Font Finder and Erase Tool Guide.

We previously used Microsoft Explorer for this, but with support for Explorer falling off (including among Widget providers), we have switched to the latest Microsoft Edge technology, ensuring a smooth workflow and support for the widest range of widgets.

Extended Support for Numbered lists

Now you can insert more sophisticated numbered lists, including a parent number.

More control over numbered lists

More intuitive Auto-Fit

Auto-Fit is a great time-saving feature that automatically adjusts the font size of text to its container as you type (we also offer Shrink Text on Overflow, that only fits the text to its container when it runs out of space).

Based on user feedback we've changed the behaviour, so that if you try to change the font size of text with Auto-fit or Shrink Text on Overflow on, it is automatically switched off and the font size change applied.

Better Mobile

We've made some changes that will improve the user experience for your all-important mobile visitors:
  • page animations have been improved on pages with vertical scrolling
  • a vertical swipe will no longer change page on pages with vertical scrolling
  • a swipe will no longer change pages if there is text selected (since the viewer is probably trying to change the selection not the page)

Improved Page Number Display

Now you can show total pages alongside current page, for example Page 3 of 44.

Show readers where they stand, with current page / total pages

Other Improvements

As with every Pro+ update we've included a host of small but useful enhancements and fixes. In this release that includes:
  • Some characters missing from web export due to self-hosting of Google Fonts. Fixed
  • Serious error merging in List Styles on paste/import. Fixed.
  • CID font Noto Sans causes serious error. Fixed.
  • Can’t interact with form that has reveal animation applied. Fixed
  • Wrong miter on imported SVG. Fixed
  • WebP export fails after exporting a low bpp PNG. Fixed

9 March 2022 (v21.8)

Self-Hosted Google Fonts

A fast turnaround on this new version in response to the latest legal developments in Europe, which cast doubt on whether calling Google to display Google Fonts complies with GDPR.

No-one wants to give up their Google Fonts, so Designer Pro+ will now automatically publish the fonts to your own web space and no longer reference Google, offering instant compliance. You don't need to do anything other than re-publish your website.

What's more, with the great font support in modern browsers the balance of advantage has been moving in favor of self hosting, so you could also benefit from speed improvements for your web page, with all the SEO benefits that brings. Double win!


Other Improvements

As with every Pro+ update we've included a host of small but useful enhancements and fixes. In this release that includes:
  • The font menu now always opens with the handy Used Fonts section in view
  • Fixed some reported issues with the font menu on HiDPI displays

17 Feb 2022 (v21.7)

Building Better Websites with SVG

Modern web browsers offer great support for SVG, so since 21.6 we've been steadily building the types of graphical object that Xara automatically exports to the web as SVG. In 21.7 we add elliptical fills, wall shadows, mix and multiply transparency. We've also improved support for exporting groups as SVG.

Bottom line: It’s now possible to build graphically rich websites and web documents that have no bitmap images to download at all, and that means your pages load faster. That's great news for usability and for SEO, since faster pages bring better page rank. Bonus: your content will look a lot sharper as SVG.

Sharpen your images with SVG (just one of the advantages!)

Other Improvements

As with every Pro+ update we've included a host of small but useful enhancements and fixes. In this release that includes:
  • TIFF import: Support for zip compression added.
  • PDF Import: Better results with imported shapes.
  • Default photo optimization resolution increased to 300dpi for print documents.
  • Serious error importing an AI file with missing data. Fixed.
  • Opacity mask group on Live Copy rendered wrongly after Live Copy edit. Fixed.
  • Resize of photo filled shape changed shape to rectangle. Fixed.
  • Serious error on starting text edit due to mis-handled font. Fixed.
  • Serious error with repeating objects on guides layer. Fixed.

Faster Websites

In addition to the SVG changes, we’ve made some refinements to the exported code that will significantly improve page load speeds, for the benefit of your SEO. In our tests mobile page load speeds were 15% faster!

Shape Tool

A nice improvement for vector illustration, with the introduction of an easy way to maintain the angle of the bezier curve when you drag its handles to change its length in the Shape Tool.

Extra control in the Shape Tool

6 December 2021 (v21.6)

Wider SVG Support

We can now export more types of graphical object to web using SVG, to fully take advantage of the great support for SVG among modern web browsers. Flat, linear graduated and circular graduated fills all now export as SVG.

That means there are fewer bitmap images to download, so your websites load faster - with all the usability and SEO benefits that brings. What’s more, your content will also look sharper as SVG.


Multi-Line SmartFields

SmartFields are another great time-saving feature of Xara Designer Pro+, offering an efficient way to deal with commonly used text phrases that you want to insert in multiple places in your document.

In this release we've increased your opportunities to benefit from SmartFields by adding support for multi-line SmartFields, postal address being a common example.

Other Improvements

As usual with Pro+ updates we've included a host of small but useful enhancements and fixes. In this release that includes:
  • Improved AI import, including support for more recent AI versions.
  • Wrong font sometimes applied to text in PDF export. Fixed.
  • PDF form field import/export fixes.
  • Spelling dictionaries updated.
  • Web publishing (sFTP). Compatibility problems with some external hosting services solved.
  • SVG file with linear gradient failed to import. Fixed.
  • Overlapping text in exported SVG. Fixed.
  • Error sometimes shown moving mouse pointer over text inside shape. Fixed.
  • Clipped Opacity Mask Group incorrectly rendered after move. Fixed.
  • Dead accent key handling fixed, when working on text inside smart components.
  • Canonical links in conventional websites now reference the correct page filename.
  • rel=”noopener” can now be stripped from a web link with a blank target by applying the name “opener”.
  • WebP web export option could sometimes be auto enabled when saving a template after applying a page background. Fixed.

New Live Copy Options

Live Copies allow you to create multiple copies of any image that can be updated simultaneously with a single edit (similar to Repeating Objects, but more flexible since you can have multiple Live Copies on a single page and they don’t have to be in the same position). It’s a valuable time-saving feature for illustration and document creation.

We’ve made numerous improvements, which will make working with Live Copies easier and more flexible, you can find full information in the Release Notes.

Flexible new options for Live Copies include splitting into Live Copy sets

Online Help

The Help file has been moved online, which will allow us to update it between software upgrades, and integrate it with the online knowledgebase articles, to create a more comprehensive and up to date help resource.

3 August 2021 (v21.5)

To Help With SEO

When it comes to SEO a great position is built on a mountain of small improvements - and here's a few more that are worth working on!
  • You can now set Canonical tags to deal with the problem of duplicate content
  • There's a new option to quickly set the original photo filename as the Image Name
  • noopener and noreferrer attributes are now added to any target="_blank" links

Other Improvements

As usual with Pro+ updates we've included a host of small but useful enhancements and fixes. In this release that includes:
  • 21 new Google fonts offering new and interesting typography options 
  • PDF, Powerpoint and Word import improvements
  • Fixed an issue with AI files in the Online Content Catalog
  • When pages are re-ordered, page breaks are now added to prevent text moving between pages
amongst others, you can find all the details in the Release Notes.

Improved on-screen Colors

The 'Show Printer Colors' options has been replaced with 'Show Profile Colors', so onscreen color (HSV and RGB) will vary with the color profile selected, and should more closely match the colors in your PDFs.

24 June 2021 (v21.4)

Improve Your Web Presence with Open Graph

Present the best possible image for your site on social media by adding an Open Graph image, title and description. They'll be displayed when sharing your link on social media, so you can be sure that viewers will see an image, title and description of your choosing, rather than an automatically generated one that might not do you any favors!

Don't forget to include your keywords in the title and description to help your page rank!

We've included 15 Open Graph image templates to help get you started if you're new to Open Graph.

Shape Editing Improvements

Some additional controls in the Shape Tool which will bring happiness to anyone who likes to mess with the bezier curves.  Details in the Release Notes.

Other Improvements

As usual with Pro+ updates we've included some minor enhancements and bug fixes. In this release that includes PDF, Web and Word export, PowerPoint import and some Selector Tool improvements. You can find details in the Release Notes.

27 May 2021 (v21.3)

Advanced Object Locking

We've introduced some flexible new locking options, perfect for situations where you are creating documents in Designer Pro+ that are edited by other members of your team in Xara Cloud. Now you can avoid any accidental brand breakages by restricting editing rights!

More info in the Release Notes.

An image with Size & Position locked (no resize handles) and with Aspect ratio locked (no width & height handles)

Other Improvements

As with every Pro+ release, we've introduced other minor enhancements and bug fixes, in particular in this release for Word export. You can find details in the Release Notes.

18 May 2021 (v21.2)

WebP Support

With the addition of WebP import we've completed support for this interesting new high-quality, small-size web image format from Google (WebP export arrived in 21.1, see below).

Designer Pro+ now supports both import & export of WebP

Other Improvements

As usual in Designer Pro+ updates, we've included a selection of other minor improvements & fixes. You can find details in the Release Notes.

New Smart Diagrams & Timelines

Smart Layouts offer an ultra simple way to customize graphical components to your exact need, with edit handles that let you add, remove and re-order the internal elements of your component without ever breaking the whole.

We've added 30 new Smart Layouts to the diagram and timeline component categories of the Online Content Catalog, so that's 30 new opportunities to add some visual excitement to your business and marketing documents!

A typical smart diagram. The 3 handles make it simple to edit the pillars without breaking the design

22 April 2021 (v21.1)

WebP Export

The new WebP image format developed by Google promises both top quality images and small file sizes. And with page load speed being an important factor in page rank (especially with the imminent release of Core Web Vitals) that's just what you need!

Designer Pro+ can now export WebP images, either individually or for the whole site.

You can find more info in the Release Notes.

Check out the SEO benefits of WebP

Other Improvements

As with every Pro+ release, we've introduced other minor enhancements and bug fixes, in particular in this release for PDF and Word import. Find details in the Release Notes.

10 March 2021 (v21.0)

Smart Duplication

A quick and easy way to create multiple copies of objects or components, horizontally or vertically, with a single click-drag, and a really simple way to handle object spacing. 

The new Smart Duplicate feature will help you cut down tedious repetition in your design work, and make experimention easy!

Drag on the Smart Duplication handles to create multiple copies. Adjust the spacing with the Spacing Handle

Other Improvements

  • New typographic options with 40 additional Google Fonts
  • Further PDF editing improvements
  • Selection Tool improvements
As with every Pro+ release, we've introduced other minor enhancements and bug fixes, find details in the Release Notes.

1 Feb 2021 (v20.8)

Expanded CMYK Color Controls

With this update we're giving you much greater control over the profiles used to display CMYK colors on screen and for PDF export, to ensure you get exactly the color you're aiming for.

Now you can either choose from one of the bundled industry standard profiles (refreshed for this update) or upload and select your own custom profile.

Other Improvements

  • If you decide to include a downloadable PDF in your web documents, that PDF is now automatically given the same name as the web document
  • Selector Tool handles are now visible even for very small objects, by popular request!
  • Further PDF import and export updates to improve your PDF editing workflow
Plus as usual in Designer Pro+ updates, a selection of other minor improvements & fixes, details in the Release Notes.

16 December 2020 (v20.7)

Updated CMYK Color Profile

A small surprise Christmas present - a much requested improvement to the display of CMYK colors on screen, and in any export formats that require the conversion of CMYK to RGB. A change to the default color profile means you will see a more accurate representation of CMYK colors on screen.

Other Improvements

As usual, a selection of other minor improvements, details in the Release Notes.

2 December 2020 (v20.6)

Enhanced PDF Editing

We've made a significant improvement to the way that missing fonts are handled in imported PDF documents, plus a host of more minor accuracy improvements. It's another step up in Designer Pro's already great PDF editing capability!

Other Improvements

As with every Pro+ release, we've introduced other minor enhancements and bug fixes. Details in the Release Notes.

November 20205 (v20.5)

Enhanced Web Export Options

The Web Export options have been moved into the Web Properties dialog, alongside all other web settings  - a more logical arrangement that will improve your workflow - and we've added some new controls:
  • Firstly you now have a finer level of control over transition effects, with separate controls for transition effect and transition direction, giving you scope for all sorts of new and interesting transition effects.
  • We've also added greater control over the new features introduced to Supersites in the past few releases, so you can choose separately whether you want to display the PDF download option, page navigation panel and Xara logo next to your presentations or print Supersites.
  • When you preview a website it now opens in your default local browser instead of the internal preview window, for a faster and more reliable preview.

New Content Type: Headers

We've added 10 professional new header designs to the Online Content Catalog, ideal for presentations and the perfect place to get started with a blank document. They're set to 'repeating' by default and automatically size and position themselves at the top of the page on insertion. A great time saver!

Some of the new header templates in the Content Catalog

New & Improved Handles - Continued

We've continued the work to modernize and simplify the handles, to give a cleaner and more productive workspace:
  • The Shape Tool has improved handles, similar to the ones recently introduced in the Selector and Quickshape Tools
  • And we've simplified the handles for QuickShapes

New Shape Tool handles

Other Improvements

As with every Pro+ release, we've introduced other minor enhancements and bug fixes, including PDF and Word improvements. Details in the Release Notes.

October 2020 (v20.4)

Useability Enhancements

We've introduced several UI improvements requested by frequent users that will enhance your working experience:
  • We've made rotating objects around a center point much more intuitive. Simply select the Show Rotation Handles icon on the InfoBar, and then drag the center marker to reposition the center point around which all objects will rotate. The marker will now remain visible, even when you change tools or select other objects.
  • The QuickShape handles have been updated to match the new Selector Tool and SmartShape handles introduced in September.
  • The size and offset of the selection bounding box now automatically increase in size on very small objects, making them much easier to select. No more zooming in, just to select small objects!

It's now easier to select small objects

Other Improvements

As with every Pro+ release, we've introduced other minor enhancements and bug fixes, in particular with PDF import and export. Details in the Release Notes.

New Content Type: Diagrams

Add impact to your reports with this new range of diagrams that will make your data visual. You'll find the first templates in the Online Content Catalog.

A range of useful business templates including SWOT diagrams, T Charts and more

New Content

There's a bumper addition to the Online Content Catalog including website and presentation templates, and the first designs in our new Diagrams categories:
  • 2 multi-page websites (Jewelry Online Shop & Creative Portfolio) in Websites > Modern Business Websites
  • 10 new presentation templates in Presentations > Presentation Themes
  • 9 new diagrams in Components > Print & Web Components (*New category)
  • 6 new text panels in Components > Print & Web Components
  • 5 new tables in Components > Print & Web Components
  • 5 new photo frames & Photo Panels in Components > Image Resources
  • 38 new Facebook templates in the Social Media category
  • 40 new Instagram templates in the Social Media category

September 2020 (v20.3)

New & Improved Handles

We've updated the text and object handles to give a more modern and less cluttered look to the workspace:
  • Handles on SmartShapes (tables, charts, shapes, text panels, etc.) are now more consistent and match those used in Xara Cloud.
  • The selection handles in the Selector Tool have also been updated. 

New & improved handles when you select single or multiple objects in the Selector Tool

Other Improvements

  • We've added 40 new Google fonts to increase your typographical choices, see the Release Notes for a full list. You can now access over 900 Google fonts, right within Designer Pro+.
  • There is now an option to import images at original full size into web documents (where previously they were automatically reduced to full HD size), use with caution!
  • Plus other minor enhancements and bug fixes, details in the Release Notes.

New Content Type: Footer Designs

We've added some professional new footer designs to the Online Content Catalog. They're set to 'repeating' by default and automatically size and position themselves at the bottom of the page on insertion. A great time saver!

Smart footer designs, new in the Online Content Catalog

3 August 2020 (v20.2)

Improved Tables

Now you can use the tab key to move backwards and forwards between the cells, and to add new rows. Quicker, easier and more intuitive!

Other Improvements

  • New Demo Mode: If your free trial of Designer Pro+ has already expired you'll now still be able to try out new features in Demo Mode (no save, print or export)
  • Plus other minor enhancements and bug fixes, details in the Release Notes.

Tab Leaders for Table of Contents

For table of contents with page numbers you now have finer control over the tab leaders (the character between the tab stops) with fully customizable characters and spacing, for a more professional looking table of contents. Make sure your first page creates a good impression!

Simple table of contents with two-size dot leader for level 2 & 3 headings

25 June 2020 (v20.1)

High DPI Support

Get the most from your screens with the new high DPI support. Pin sharp resolution for 4K monitors and devices like Surface Pro tablets, but a bonus even for lower resolution screens.

Other Improvements

  • A much requested workflow improvement: Pro+ will now keep your current settings and options when updating between minor versions (eg 20.0 to 20.1).
  • In response to feedback on the 20.0 Supersite improvements (see below 4th June 2020), we've added extra flexibility with an option to enable or disable both the top bar (full screen and PDF download) and the bottom bar (navigation options and zoom).
  • There are also some bug fixes and minor enhancements, you can find details in the Release Notes.

4 June 2020 (v20.0)

Workflow Improvement for SmartShapes

When you insert SmartShapes in a document we now select the Selector Tool (instead of the QuickShape Tool), for a more efficient workflow.

New Web Document Options

Designer Pro+ Web Documents (such as presentations and print supersites) now have the same cool options that were recently added to Xara Cloud 'Share to Web' documents.

So for example you can add an option for viewers to download a PDF version of your presentation or SuperSite. They'll also see some handy new ways to step between the pages of your document, zoom in or out, or set it to full screen view.

New page & zoom controls at the bottom of the page, and PDF download & full screen options at top

Requested change: SVG Import

As requested by frequent SVG users, SVG graphics are no longer scaled on import, they retain their original size (except Pixabay images).

Other Improvements

There have also been some bug fixes and minor enhancements, you can find details in the Release Notes.

March 2020

Paragraph Borders & Backgrounds

Some great new styles, perfect for headings or highlighting paragraphs of text. You can have borders  either with or without backgrounds. Includes control over border style, color and width and background color.


A couple of the many new styles possible: title underline (left) and 4 sided border (right)

Photo Panoramas

Some handy improvements to the built-in panorama tool.

See the Release Notes for details.


Combine multiple photos into one impressive image. Now is a good moment to try it!

InDesign Import (BETA)

An important first step in support for import of InDesign .idml files, one of the few significant formats that Designer Pro didn’t already support.

It's a great bonus for anyone using Designer Pro for document design. See the Release Notes for details of what is and isn’t supported at this stage.

Other Import / Export Filters

Improvements to the key existing import and export filters:
  • PDF import and export
  • Word import and export
  • PowerPoint import and export
  • SVG import and export

See the Release Notes for details.

 

Tab Leaders

Support for tab leaders (at last!) to make your table of contents, menus and programs look that little bit more professional


Some examples of tab leaders in Xara documents

Web

A number of changes that will help your SEO efforts:

  • Better handling of graduated fills mean smaller file sizes, and that means faster websites - a definite plus factor in Google ranking.  And you’ll benefit from faster preview and publish times too!
  • A new ‘No follow’ option in the Link Dialog (prevents passing on ranking credit, often recommended for things like testimonial pages and product listings)
  • The option to add an image filename (include keywords in your filename to optimize your position in relevant image searchs).

Other Text

  • You can now move embedded objects round in text by simply dragging them – a small usability improvement that will be a great time saver.
  • 42 new Google Fonts offer new and interesting typography options (top 3 Lexend Giga, DM Sans and Crimson Pro).

New Content

The latest additions to the Online Content Catalog include two new website templates and some new options for your marketing team:
  • 40 Facebook templates in the Social Media category
  • 5 new templates in the e-book category
  • 1 multi-page website (Non-Profit) in Websites > Modern business websites
  • 1 single page website (Portfolio) in Websites  > single page websites

New content includes 2 new web themes