The WebXealot Page 3

Xara X. The Fill Gallery

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The Fill Gallery , found on the Infobar at the top of the screen, contains a variety of high and low resolution bitmap images that can be used to apply a variety of textures and surfaces to objects and text. There are two primary sources for fills, the Xara X CD (or any previous Xara CD) and Xara's web site. We'll look at how to populate the Fill Gallery in a few moments.

Shown here are a sampling of different fills applied to squares. All fills can be resized, rotated and repositioned.

If you download fills from Xara's web site and then select the Empty Web Clipart Cache, Options > Properties option, you will see four empty gray squares seen in the lower right.

The Fill Gallery is similar to the Clipart Gallery is some ways and different in others. The fill folders are displayed in the Fill Gallery and can be opened by clicking the yellow folder icon on the fill's title bar. Entire Fill sections can be moved by dragging their title bars to the desired location.

Here is a summary of the button functions.

Import places a copy of a selected fill on the page. The fill image is imported at its actual size.

Fill applies the selected fill to a selected object, text object, or group of objects. Fills are initially applied to the actual size of the fill image. If the object being filled is smaller than the fill image, the fill image is centered on the object. If the object being filled is larger than the fill image, then the fill image repeats, or tiles, within the object being filled.

Transp (Transparency) applies the selected fill as a bitmap transparency to the selected object. Once applied the transparency can be repositioned, resized, and modified in terms of Transparency Type such as Mix, Stained Glass, Bleach, Contrast, etc. The object to which the transparency has been applied also becomes transparent.

Get Fills when pressed, and you are connected to the Internet, takes you to Xara's web site and downloads all the current fills, which are also found on the CD, plus any new fills that may have been added subsequently. The actual fills are not download at this time, only a low resolution thumbnail image and the fill description. To access the actual fill, either have the Xara X CD in your CD drive, or connect to the Internet and the fill will be automatically downloaded to your document when you press the Fill or Import buttons.

Background fills the screen page with the selected fill pattern. You can use this function to preview how a small bitmap tile will look when used as your web page background image. If the image is smaller than the page, the image is repeated (tiled). You can also use the Background function for Exporting a GIF image with a transparent background that will appear over a similar background image on your web site. Xara anti-aliases the GIF image's edges to blend into the background.

Remove removes a selected section, or sections, from the Fill Gallery. This does not physically delete the bitmap fill files (say that ten times quickly) on the CD or on your hard drive, if you have installed the fills on your computer, but merely removes their contents from the Fill Gallery . You can also right click on a section's title bar and select Remove from the pop up menu.

Disc Fills... searches for the Xara X CD on your computer and displays the contents of the Fills folder. You can add the entire index of fills by selecting the Fills folder and pressing Add. To selectively add individual fill folders, double click on the Fills folder icon to open the individual fill folders. Select a fill folder and press Add. As with the case of the download fills, only the fill descriptions and thumbnail images are immediately installed in the folder. To apply any of the bitmap fills the Xara X  CD needs to be in your computer's CD drive.

Options opens the Options dialog and offers these options: Add Fills from Disc, (same as Get Disc Fills), Empty Web Fills Cache, which removes all fill thumbnail images from your computer and replaces the images in the gallery with a gray square containing four empty boxes. (To remove all the images and their descriptions, you must Remove the section). In addition there is Find which lets you search for an fill image by name, if you key in wood for example, Find will find all images that contain wood in the image title, Sort, which lets you sort a selected folder using two levels of search criteria, and last but not least Properties which determines how the fills thumbnail images and descriptions are displayed in the gallery.

Stop Loading terminates a download session when you are downloading images from Xara's web site. If you have downloaded half the folders and only half of one image when you stop downloading, Xara will continue downloading the folders and fill images where you left off on your last session.

Help... Still the second best place to get detailed, context-sensitive information (the best is the WebXealot On-line Manual).

You can permanently install any of the fill folders on your hard drive as well as create special folders containing your own fills or fills from other sources. To set up a custom fill folder, (this also includes folders copied to your hard drive) press Disc Fills and browse to the folder on your computer containing the fills. If the folder does not contain a Xara Info sub folder, Xara will inform you of this and ask if you would like Xara to create an index for you. If you say yes, this is nice, please do it, Xara will create an index of all images in the folder including vital information such as file type, file size, title, color depth and so forth, and display this information if requested in the Options > Properties section.