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Click here to download a Zipped copy of

Edited (in the loosest sense on the word) by Gary W. Priester
ISSUE 27 • July 15, 2001

In this issue:

One Person's Summer

Paul Simon, who in your editor's humble opinion, is one of the greatest poets living today—and not a bad musician and songwriter either, once sang, "One man's ceiling is another man's floor." Does this mean your editor is going to open the closet and pull out his 35 year old Guild F-48 acoustic guitar and sing this edition of the WebXealot? No, you can put the ear plugs away for now. It's just that as I started writing this edition, trying to get my attention focused, I was thinking we've passed the Summer Solstice and the days are getting shorter. I can see this when I get up in the morning and put up the coffee. The sun that was shining at 5:30 (05:30 hours) in New Mexico a few weeks ago, now is rising closer to 6:00 AM.

At least it this is so for those of us who live in the upper half of the planet. And this is where Mr. Simon comes in. It's a hard concept for your editor to wrap his mind around that as the days of summer herald the slow march to winter, that for those of you who reside in the southern hemisphere it's winter and the slow march to summer is just beginning.

So what does this have to do with the price of tea in China? Or as a friend of mine used to say, so where are we going with this, Gary? Well you got me. I guess the world is just getting smaller and smaller. In this small community of the WebXealots, we have people from all over the globe. And while we all might speak different languages, have different customs, and styles of government, we all have one thing in common, Xara! I see this every day when I do my moderator thing in the Xara Conferences. People from all over this shrinking planet are present and participating. Helping others, breaking new ground, sharing images, techniques, even a laugh or two. It's a community like one of those described in the early 90s by Howard Rheingold in his book Virtual Community. And I guess what I wanted to say is it pleases me no end to be a part of this great group of people that make up this very special community.

The Xara X Online Manual continues with installment #12. We've pretty much covered the tools and effects, and what's in most of the pull down menus (if I have left anything out, or if there is anything you would like to see covered let me know). One reader wrote just yesterday and requested coverage of the snapping features, Snap to Guilds, Snap To Grid, and Snap to Objects. So I thought we might take an in-depth look at these functions and see if there is anything new to learn here (there always is!). And I'll try to answer the question that is on everybody's lips, what are Xara's Bitmap Effects and do we really need them? Xara's Photoshop compatible Plug-ins support adds to Xara's versatility. What are they and how do they work? And finally the Help menu. There is more here than meets the eye.

TIP of the Month

The new TIP of the Week section, added to the newly redesigned (as of June 1) XaraXone is growing by the week. I promise to add at least one tip a week and more when the TIPs muse strikes or one of you readers sends me one I had forgotten.

Marc from Metrographics in Germany sent your editor this tip: (Marc I tried to respond to your e-mail and the message was bounced back) I just found out, that the scroll bars in Xara X and corresponding arrows aside, behave like in the good old Acorn days of its predecessor ArtWorks. Click the scroll arrow button with the right mouse button to scroll into the opposite direction.

Klaus Nordby, everybody's favorite curmudgeon, sent in this tip, Each node [ control point] which makes up a vector object (and each anchor point for the color fills) takes up a little bit of screen redraw time. When selecting very many and/or very complex objects, this can affect performance. But merely by grouping an object ­ even a single one! ­ you can prevent Xara X from having to display the nodes, and thus speed up the screen redraw.

Insider Information

The Xara patch 2.2 (Xara 1.0d) is available for immediate download on the site. Click here to download the patch. The patch only works with the CD version of Xara X. Do not install it over a non-CD version of Xara X.

In addition to a complete facelift for the XaraXone, I have added two new pages: The TIP of the Week and Fills and Brushes.  I've already addressed the TIPs page. The Fills and Brushes page is going to be a resource for free fills and cool brushes. I've already added some and will have added my next set of Worm Brushes and Bubbles by the time you read this. Check it out.

The Featured Artist for July is Simone Pampado. Simone does things with Xara that will make your head spin. Talk about photorealistic images! And Simone's Science Fiction people show that he is not only a master of all things metallic and precise, but of flesh and blood as well. Be sure to catch this Gallery show.

The July Trompe L'Oeil Room Xara X tutorial, pays another visit to Neon 2001. I covered a neon effect in one of my earliest tutorials. But while recently experimenting with Xara's arsenal of transparency effects, I came up with a technique for creating the appearance of the glass tubing in which the neon gasses do their magic.

The July Guest Tutorial #5 prepared by John Clements explains the basics of Isometric drawing. Isometric drawing uses a limited number of common angles (multiples of 30 degrees) to create a perspective-like image without all those messy vanishing points and confusing lines.

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 we don't get some more talented folks to step forward, your editor is going to have to make a guest appearance.

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.