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Edited (in the loosest sense on the word) by Gary W. Priester
ISSUE 24 •  April 15, 2001

In this issue:

The past few weeks have seen much excitement and creative energy in the Xara Conferences (Xara X, Xara 2, Xara 3D, and The Xara Gallery conferences). The subject of the April tutorial came from Brendon Carr who innocently asked how to recreate Apple's OS X Aqua gel buttons effect. Brendon had discovered an on-line Photoshop tutorial for this, which proved to be a classic case of make the hard ones look easy and the easy ones look hard. (The Xara solution accomplished in five or six small steps what the Photoshop solution accomplished in about two dozen steps!) This set off two threads filled with how to mini-tutorials, major improvements on Apple's design, and ultimately to the April Xara tutorial.

Then philendry posed the question how to illustrate a brass or copper disc. This too set off several threads of solutions and improvements with your editor getting swept away time and time again. Eric Bramhill, who may have been inspired by your editor's glass disc, initiated a thread in the Xara Gallery conference in which he wowed the visitor's with his photo-realistic rendering of two cut glass drinking glasses. And on and on it goes. If you have for some reason, been off the planet for a while and have missed these incredibly creative forums, by all means get over to the Xara Conferences, sign in, and join in the fun. The creative energy is inspiring as well as catching.

The Xara X Online Manual continues with this month's installment in which we conclude our coverage of the Xara X Galleries . We'll look at the Clipart, Bitmap and the Names Galleries. And remember, every Xara tool is covered in exacting detail in the Help pull down menu.

TIP of the Month

Your editor (sheepishly he responds, that's me) has misled you readers time and time again by proclaiming there is no way to have both arrows or both heads on a single line. Well I'll hold out my hands and Jason Collins-Webb can rap my knuckles with a wooden ruler. Jason wrote your editor to report that one can most assuredly place two arrowheads or two arrow tails on a single selected line. According to Jason here is the technique: select the line, double click on the desired arrowhead or arrow tail to apply the first head or tail. Now, hold down the Ctrl key and double click on the desired head or tail for the opposite end. And as quick as you can say Roberto es su tio (Bob's your uncle en Español) you have a two headed or two tailed line.

Insider Information

The Featured Artist for April is Ross Macintosh who not only can draw, and very well at that, but can render up a storm. Ross has also been a source of creative energy and exploration in the Xara Conference (where he is also a moderator), with his exploration of Xara's new Contour Tool, among others. There is always cool new things to find and download in the Shareware Page . Just added is Sean Sedwards' xPort CMYK, a free plug-in utility that lets you convert Xara RGB TIFF images into CMYK TIFF images. Brian Etherington has made available to all Xara users XPal, his nifty freeware palette creating utility that lets you create custom palettes with up to 256 colors. Bitmaps can be imported and their colors used to create a new palette. You can also use the eyedropper tool to sample colors and add them to your palette. Palettes can be named and saved and Imported into Xara. An added benefit is XPal creates palettes which are compatible with PaintShop Pro so you can exchange palettes between applications.

The April Trompe L'Oeil Room Xara X tutorial, as mentioned in the first paragraph, generated a tremendous amount of responses and commotion. The tutorial was written for users of all levels and demonstrates how to recreate Apple's Aqua interface gel capsule effect. Of course not being hampered by Photoshop and all it's dozens of steps needed to accomplish what can be accomplished in Xara in two or three steps, creating this effect in Xara is a piece of cake.

If you have a web site you've created with Xara, let your editor (yep, old you know who) know and we'll add your site to the list of sites in the Xara Links page.

And last but not least, your editor is always looking for new talent to showcase in the XaraXone Featured Artist page. If you think you have the right stuff (10-12 really cool images—created with Xara, or created mostly with Xara), drop me a line and if possible send me an URL where I can see your images. The world is waiting to see your images, so don't be shy. OK?

©2001 Gary W. Priester, All rights reserved. No portion of this publication, including the illustrations contained within, may be reproduced in any way without the express written permission of the author.