Release Notes 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 2020 (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.

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 2020 (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