Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0

Speedy and cheap graphics editing

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0
  • Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0
  • Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Fast, cheap, extrude tool

Cons

  • No pixel-editing tools

Bottom Line

Fast and inexpensive, Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0 is an excellent choice for print and web designers on a budget — or a deadline.

Would you buy this?

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 PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

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.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?