The WebXealot  Page 5

Xara X. The Infobar (Continued)

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Moving to the right again we are at the far, top right of the Infobar:

a. The Galleries continued. The Galleries are covered in detail in WebXealots 22, 23, and 24.

b. Change Size of Feather Region (do you think Feathering as a title might have done just as well?). Feathering is a filter that softens the edges of a selection without softening the inside of the shape (unless extreme amounts of feathering are applied). Feathering may be applied in two ways: using the slider, or by entering a value in the Change Size of Feather Region text entry box.

The top row of shapes have varying amounts of feathering applied. A modest amount of Feathering can be used to create a softer, more natural look to illustrations as few things in nature are as razor sharp as most vector objects.

As with many Xara tools and features, there are Profile settings for  Feathering too. The results, although subtle, are shown on the bottom row. These are just the four preset Profile shapes. You can use the two sliders to create thousands of possible Profile combinations.

a. Create New Names Last but not least, is Create new Names. This is a shortcut to the Name Gallery and a quick way to select an object, or group of objects, and assign a name to them. One would expect that you could then select an unformatted object, select the object in the Name Gallery, press Apply, and have all the attributes of the named object applied to the selection. But, noooooooooo! It does not work like that. Maybe in the next version?

This last feature is not officially part of the general Infobar and is really a context- sensitive function of the Shape Editor Tool that I overlooked when I covered the Shape Editor Tool, earlier. It is easy to overlook because it looks just like the View Quality and Feathering slider.

The E-shape on the left is a line with an Existing Stroke Shape applied. In this state, it has five control points. Convert the Line to Shape (Arrange menu) and zowie, look at all those points! Control points can make your file size gain weight in a hurry. Each control point is described by it's location on the page, plus a description of how it connects to the next control point. Selecting the shape, then selecting all the points (or some of the points if you prefer), with the Shape Editor Tool, then adjusting the Smoothing slider (on the bottom right side of the Infobar), in this case all the way to 100%) reduces the points remarkably without compromising the integrity of the shape.