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X a r a  W e b  D e s i g n e r  9  —  F i r s t  L o o k

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More Good Stuff  I have covered most of the really big new additions, but there is so much more. I could go on and on, and you know I can. Smart Tabs A few releases ago, Xara added tabs for all open pages. And this was good because previously you had to peek into the bottom of the Window menu to see if there were any other documents you had open. This still works. But the tabs at the top of the page eliminate the need. A new function has been added to the tabs for this release that builds this usefulness. Right click on any tab and you have the option to Save As..., Close Other Tabs, Discard (delete page), Close All, and Discard All (Delete all open documents). This is so very Xara. Because in Xara, you can right click on almost anything and get an extra set of options. If you want to try this, I’ll wait. See what I mean?
Touch Support WD9 is compatible with all Windows 8 touch devices. Presentations Presentations have been improved to make the process more intuitive. Web Designer no longer auto-deletes empty steps during editing (delete on export/preview/save instead).  The current step is shown in the presentation bar. When you add a new step the new step becomes the current step. And steps above the current step are hidden.
Circular Slideshow
Take Us for a Spin (Mouse Over Images)
New Widgets Above are two new widgets, Portrait Image Gallery (left and probably better for people photos) and Image Circular Slideshow (right). As you can see the mouse over effects are pretty cool on the Portrait Image Gallery. This is one of 5 transitions. There are also Shake, Swing, and Tada! effects. If you want something simpler, select the Scale option which simply enlarges the images. Attention grabbing. Circular Slideshow This is a selfstarting and continuous slide show. You can resize the image and edit the transition and timing. Both Widgets are in Designs Gallery > Page Elements > Photo Elements & Widgets.  Widgets and More Widgets And while we are on the subject of Widgets, let me remind you that Web Designer 9 has tons of widgets. For example: Charts Widgets, a series of charts that you can customize to suit your data, Forms Widgets, an assortment of simple to complex forms, E-commerce Widgets, including Google Checkout, PayPal, ecwid, eBay to Go, Wazala!, and AmazonAssociates, Audio/Video Widgets including YouTube, DailyMotion, MAGIX Online Album, flickr, Picassa and Grooveshark, Social Networking Widgets such as: Google G+, Facebook, twitter, Add This and LOCKERZ share. And Other Widgets which include a whole bunch of Googlel widgets, Embed a Website (this lets you add an outside website page to your own site), Google and Bing Maps, NY Times, BBC, and Reuters news feeds, Quotes, Currency Converter, Skype, WebRSS, Search and Nabble. And I left a few out! Web Designer 9 Premium includes new Widgets that add support for basic tables, easy addition of Google + buttons, and support for Google’s AdSense advertising program. Plus there are 6 new exciting photo slideshow and gallery widgets. Custom Background Patterns If you are wondering if you can use your own images instead of the included Web Background images the answer is on either side of this page. I created a small section of canvas that tiles seamlessly. With the improved HTML5 and CSS3 compatibility, this tile only needs to load once and the browser does the rest. I sincerely hope that nobody is still reading this. With all the excellent new features and expanded capabilities, plus all that free stuff like professionally pre-designed websites, and templates, pre-designed Presentations, cool tiling and gradient background images, clipart, widget extravaganza, and so on and so forth, if I were you I would already be redesigning my website in Web Designer 9 Premium. Or test driving the free, full featured trial versions. For those of you who like bullet lists: Google Fonts Improved website background handling Retina resolution compatible websites Push / Pull (automatic page object repositioning) 64-bit support for large document / website users Direct publishing to MOW, with no setup required (free web hosting, simplified publishing) 100+ Business Specific website designs (voucher from one free theme of the customer’s choice included in the  Web Designer Premium upgrade) And if you are having trouble deciding between Web Designer 9 Classic and Web Designer 9 Premium Click here to see a features comparrison chart. But if you are still reading, I thank you for your patience. And remember, a great product is only great if it offers great support., with it’s member supported forums, can’t be beat for enthusiastic, friendly help and suggestions. When you finish you website masterpiece, be sure to post a link in the Xara Web Design Gallery so we can all see it. If you get stuck along the way, have a question, need an opinion, or need someone to point you in the right direction, you’ll find members from all over the world ready and eager to help you out.
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Gary W. Priester created and hosted the Xara Xone from 1995 – 2012. A native of Los Angeles, California, he now resides in Placitas, New Mexico where he is semi-retired. Priester is the author of 5 books of 3D stereograms and creates custom 3D stereograms for advertising and sales promotion. Visit his website or write him a note.