Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0
Speedy and cheap graphics editing
- Fast, cheap, extrude tool
- No pixel-editing tools
Fast and inexpensive, Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0 is an excellent choice for print and web designers on a budget — or a deadline.
Price$ 259.00 (AUD)
Often overshadowed by better-known applications, Xara Xtreme Pro is a graphics program with something to prove. This latest release — faster and more powerful than its predecessor — deserves more of the spotlight.
Xara Xtreme 4.0 — which comes in Standard and Pro versions — mixes vector illustration, bitmap editing, animation and Web design tools. Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0 now sports an integrated Photo Tool that lets you make basic edits in the main document window rather than a separate editor window.
And while Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0 isn't a straight replacement for a program such as Photoshop — it lacks pixel-editing tools for starters — it has big advantages. The changes you make are non-destructive so you can go back and edit them later. In a way it's like Photoshop's Adjustment layers, but easier to use. Resulting file sizes are smaller too.
But what's striking about Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0, whether working with vectors or bitmaps, is its speed. It's hard to accurately measure the developer's claim that it's up to 10 times faster than other graphics software. But it's certainly more responsive than Illustrator, which can get bogged down on detailed illustrations. Performance was helped on our test machine by the fact that the Pro version of Xara Xtreme 4.0 supports multicore processors.
Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0's speed is put to use in a new extrude tool that can press out text or objects by dragging on their side, with the preview adjusting in real-time — it's ideal for basic 3D work if not full modelling.
Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0 is also a functional page layout editor. While again not a match for dedicated applications — we found it difficult to manage multiple-column layouts and there's no way to manage styles — it does at least support pro-level features such as text kerning and you can now flow around shapes easily by setting the object to repel text below it. While Xtreme Pro has long been able to create multipage documents, this capability now extends to the standard version too.
Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0's new Web-editing tools can turn such multi-page documents into an HTML website. It makes a good job too. CSS styles are used to replicate the positioning of page elements and while the underlying code created isn't the cleanest, reproduction is accurate. For small sites that you need to produce quickly, this could be a godsend.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 3 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 4 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft apologizes after a rogue Windows 10 preview build causes chaos
- Skype's major redesign prioritizes helpful bots and a smart camera over traditional video chats
- All-electric satellites are ushering in zippier in-flight internet access
- Microsoft shows the power of its Pen with a new Whiteboard app and other upgrades
- Windows 10 S will not run Linux, even though it's a downloadable Windows app
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
- Ring Video Doorbell review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTJunior Java developer. Work Location - CanberraACT
- FTSupport AnalystOther
- FTIT Field Services ManagerOther
- TPTest AnalystSA
- TPSenior Java Developer - Mulesoft IntegrationQLD
- FTEPAS Technical Support OfficerOther
- CCIT Helpdesk Support OfficerVIC
- FTSenior Business Analyst, BankingOther
- TPTest ManagerVIC
- FTProject Implementation ManagerOther
- FTIT PMO OfficerOther
- FTInfrastructure Engineer - End User ComputingOther
- FTPresales Solution Architect - NetworksVIC
- FTSEO Specialist/ SEO ConsultantNSW
- FTProgramme ManagerACT
- CCSenior Infrastructure LeadQLD
- FTSAP Fiori Java Script DevelopersACT
- CCApplication Architect - CloudVIC
- FTeCommerce Project ManagerOther
- FTData Analyst/DeveloperNSW
- FTProject CoordinatorSA
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTIT Support EngineerNSW
- FTApplication Solution ArchitectOther
- FTeCommerce Solution ArchitectOther