Release Notes Photo Text Handling Content Other

Release Notes

V12 Release Notes

You can find full details on all the new features and content in our V12 Release Notes.


Easy Move, Rotate & Scale for Photos

Select a photo in the Photo tool and you’ll see some new handles on the photo, for scale, rotate and crop. It’s a lot easier and more intuitive than using the Fill tool for these simple but frequent actions, and it’s smarter too – ensuring you never see any gaps around the edge of the photo when you move it in its frame or change the shape of the frame. Top Tip – it’s great for horizon straightening!

UPDATED – February 2017: Now as you drag the handles to adjust an image, a faint copy of the full uncropped image is shown behind 

Scale & rotate with the curved arrow and push the photo with the hand. You can change the shape of the frame with the edge handles

New Blend Modes (dodge and burn)

We’ve added two great new transparency blend modes, compatible with the W3C standards: Dodge (which generally brightens) and burn (which generally darkens).

updated - October 2016

Magnetic Lasso

Cutting an object out of your photo is now as simple as clicking along the edge of the object to be cut, and hitting Cut!

Click the Magnetic Lasso icon in the Freehand region tool to discover a much quicker way to cut out objects

updated - October 2016

Photo Effect Painter

Check out the new paintbrush tool on the photo fly out. Now you can simply ‘paint’ on photo effects such as the new dodge and burn. And what’s more you can still edit the values of the effect, or edit the painted region with the Region Painter or Erazer.

A region painted using the Desaturate-medium effect. The ‘marching ants’ dotted outline shows the region is selected and active still.

New Cross Process Photo Effect

Create some dramatic contrast and saturation effects with this new option on the photo enhance toolbar, which simulates a traditional photographic effect created by using the wrong chemicals (digital photo editors such as PGD achieve the same effect by manipulating the red, green and blue channels).

Create dramatic photo effects with the new cross process option

Photo Filters & Overlays

A wonderfully quick and easy way to apply popular effects to your photos.

You’ll find 25 ready-made effects in the Online Content Catalog (image resources > photo filter pre-sets).  Simply select your photo and hit Import!  What’s more you can continue to edit the effects using the Enhance tool or Brightness Levels dialog, and if you replace the photo the effects are retained. See some examples.

NEW - October 2016:  We've added 50 new photo filters and we've also categorized the filters to make it easier to find just the right filter to achieve the effect or ambience you're looking for!

NEW - February 2017: We’ve added another 40 filters, making 115 in total. We’ve also introduced Photo Filter Overlays, which can be applied on top of existing filter pre-sets, such as pattern, texture and transparency Overlays. Filters can now be applied & removed with a handy right click menu option.

NEW - June 2017:  10 new Photo Filter Overlays with camera effects such as burn and flare, perfect if you want to make your social media profile stand out from the crowd!


Just a few of the Photo Filters in the Online Content Catalog

EXIF Tool Improvements

The EXIF tool has been enhanced, so it now supports IPCT and SMP tags.

Text Handling

Symbols & Icons

Check out Insert > Symbol. These are not just useful symbols and icons that you can add to your text, but fully editable vector shapes!

  • The popular Font Awesome collection has been updated, and is now supplemented by a collection of Google Material Design Icons making more than 1500 symbols in total
  • We’ve added a search function for the symbols, eg search on ‘Face’ and it will show you Facebook symbols, smiley faces etc
  • The symbols will be automatically updated as new versions become available
  • Plus there’s improved handling of symbols that have been added to your text (so for example they aren’t affected by font changes to the text)
  • A new right click Replace Symbol option (including symbols in bullet lists)

You can now choose from over 1500 icons and symbols

Improved List Editing

  • You can now select just the bullets/numbers in bulleted/numbered lists, so you can then adjust the color, size or font independently of the list text NEW - October 2017
  • Two separate numbered lists can now be linked (so for example you could have a graphic in the middle) UPDATED - February 2017
  • An extended List Properties dialog for easier list editing NEW - February 2017
  • Further list editing improvements UPDATED - June 2017

Other Text Enhancements

  • Improved subscript / superscript positioning
  • A new rectangular text repelling option
  • Option to change the case of selected text, switching between UPPER CASE, lower case or Sentence case
  • The spell checker menu now allows you to set the language for your whole document
  • An optional extra toolbar for the advanced text options, positioned under the InfoBar by default
  • Improvements to the auto-kerning (now supports kerning between character classes, so many newer OpenType fonts now render with the correct kerning)
  • Better handling of text on buttons (so font and font size changes are synchronized on the mouse off and mouse over state)
  • Delete Style option added NEW - October 2016
  • Option to align text vertically in Text Panels NEW - June 2017
  • Ability to select single objects embedded in or anchored to text NEW - June 2017
  • Ability to hide styles in the Styles menu (Chart labels are hidden by default) NEW - June 2017
  • Improved support for multi-weight fonts NEW June 2017
  • And other minor enhancements

new - June 2017

Ligature Support

Many modern OpenType fonts include typographical ligatures, which allow sequences of consecutive characters in text to be displayed with a single glyph. These are now supported in Photo & Graphic Designer, and they can be used to improve the legibility and presentation of text and to introduce stylistic flourishes.


New SmartShapes

SmartShapes are an amazingly quick and easy way to create and edit some of the most commonly required shapes. There are improvements to the way SmartShapes work (eg improved handles) plus some great new additions to the Online Content Catalog library of these ultra-editable ready-made shapes:

  • 10 new Timeline SmartShapes NEW - June 2017
  • New Chevron SmartShapes NEW - October 2016
  • 15 additional arrow SmartShapes, plus a new handle that makes it easy to change the head and tail design where appropriate NEW - February 2017
  • New Chart SmartShapes for percentage ring, bar chart and column chart UPDATED - June 2017 (now with time-saving chart label Text Style)
  • New Text Panels and Photo Panels
  • A new and more flexible version of the popular Spiral SmartShape
  • Other new SmartShapes include some simple shapes such as a rectangle where you can edit corners individually and custom lines
  • New variants of existing SmartShapes such as arrows and speech bubbles

We will soon be offering a public API for SmartShapes for anyone interested in developing their own (programmed in Javascript). Contact Us.

New SmartShapes include charts, percentage rings, text panels, timelines & chevrons

Other New Templates

  • NEW - June 2017: Essential social media templates such as cover photos, profiles and posts for all the popular sites, including Facebook, G+, Twitter, Linked in and more.
  • A selection of new designs for buttons, cards, invitations, certificates & vouchers
  • Handy placeholder images for common aspect ratios (4:3, 16:9 etc)
  • Some additional photo clipart

View previews of a selection of the templates in the Online Content Catalog.

New templates for key social media sites in the Online Content Catalog

A New Online Content Catalog

An enhanced Online Content Catalog will be included free for one year.  Based on the v11 Content Catalog, this new and improved version will now offer:

  • Fully integrated access to a free library of over 750,000 quality royalty-free photos. UPDATED - October 2016 (can now download higher than HD resolution for print docs)
  • Fully integrated library of over 150,000 royalty-free stock illustrations. NEW - October 2016
  • Regular updates to the templates as part of the Update Service
  • Full keyword search of the entire catalog
  • A new more logical structure to the content offering a better work flow 

The Designs Gallery (now 'Local Designs Gallery') will now be used to display only your current assets (those downloaded from the Online Content Catalog or from the optional back-up CD) making it quicker to access the resources you are already using.

Finding the right content is now easy with the Search feature in the new Online Content Catalog

Photo Grids

These are a cool new way to display your photos. We’ve added both fully editable Smart Photo Grids (Smartshapes) and simple photo grid templates to the Online Content Catalog.

The Smart Photo Grids let you display any collection of photos, even those with different shapes and aspect ratios, in a compact grid on your website. Drag and drop your photo onto the grid and it automatically updates to fit your photo in, no matter what shape it is!

Photo Grids in the Online Content Catalog offer a cool new way to display your photos


Update Service: Access New Features As They Are Developed

We know that many of you find it frustrating that you have to wait a whole year for our next update - knowing that we are working on (and likely finished) new cutting edge features and on-trend content.  We have the answer! For the first time you’ll have access to new features and content as we develop them, at any time during the 365 days after you purchase. You’ll be able to download and use these new features, for no extra charge, in addition to the version that you buy today.

Note: these updates continue to work after 365 days in any installations at the date of expiry, but if you reinstall the software after the Update Service expires (and you don't renew) then these updates will not be included (the software will revert to the version at your date of purchase or registration).

Other Enhancements

  • You can now give individual objects names in the Page & Layer Gallery, to help find objects and to organize your designs
  • Distribute operations have been added to the Align toolbar
  • Improved import of web buttons into print documents NEW - October 2016
  • Option to keep Content Catalog open after selecting an item  NEW - October 2016
  • Option to toggle Magnetic Lasso auto-trace on and off while drawing an outline (so you can manually trace difficult bits) NEW - October 2016
  • Feathering settings preserved and region naming improvements in the Photo Effect Painter NEW - October 2016
  • Paste to multiple pages NEW - February 2017
  • 'Smart' handles are now automatically shown when you select a SmartShape with the Selector Tool NEW - June 2017
  • New 'Change width of all pages' option NEW - June 2017
  • Right click > Replace option for symbols inside groups NEW - June 2017

Import & Export

  • Improved Word import and export UPDATED - June 2017
  • Improved PDF import  UPDATED - June 2017
  • Improved RTF import and export
  • Improved PSD import & export (we now map Xara objects to & from Photoshop layers)
  • Minor SVG import improvements UPDATED - February 2017

new - October 2016

Bonus Photo Management Software

Photo & Graphic Designer now includes a free copy of MAGIX Photo Manager 16, a useful utility for sorting, searching and creating back-ups of your photos (find out more).  The download link will be in your purchase Photo & Graphic Designer confirmation email.