Over the past few weeks, we’ve been reporting about Adobe’s move to subscription only software. The subscription only software, referred to as Creative Cloud, has angered users due to rising software costs. Because of this, competitors are eager to gain those customers unhappy with the changes. One company, Xara has just updated its design suite. While the products between both companies are not identical, Xara may be a good substitution for users looking to switch to new software.
This new image editing, illustration, and layout software from Xara is an alternative to the Creative Cloud. Last week, the company released the new version 9 of Xara Page and Layout Designer ($299 or $99 for the upgrade) and version 9 of Xara Designer Pro X9 ($90). The software is only available for Windows, however it can be bought through a perpetual license (something that Adobe doesn’t offer). Xara also offers other products such as Xara Web Designer for web site design and Xara Photo and Graphic Designer for photo editing.
Xara can’t match Adobe’s market penetration, and their products are not considered industry norm. However, with as much as Adobe has angered customers this year, it’s possible that Xara will see a huge increase in sales due to users making the switch. While Xara’s products are not identical to Adobe’s in terms of ability, there are a number of newer features in Xara Designer Pro V9 that are worth noting.
Cnet.com’s Stephen Shankland covers some of the new features in his blog post.
Some new features include:
- A photo healing brush
- A background erase tool
- Eleven new photo filters
- Multi-column text layouts and page-flow support
- The ability to export layouts as formatted Web pages.
- Beta support for importing files stored in Microsoft Word’s .docx format
- Support for newer HTML and CSS standards for Web page creation
- The ability to create Web pages that automatically display in high-resolution versions
- New Web page themes, page layout templates, and logo designs
While some may feel that Xara’s products don’t have as much power and capability as Adobe Photoshop, they still may be a good alternative to those looking for substitutes. Visit Xara’s site to explore their products in more detail.