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Edited (in the loosest sense on the word) by Gary W. Priester
ISSUE 32 • December 15, 2001


Happy Holidays from Placitas, New Mexico, USA.
Snow on the ground provided by mother nature.
Falling Snow effect provided by
(You need to be connected to the Internet to see the image)

Click here to download a Zipped copy of

In this issue:

What a Year!

Can you believe we are wrapping up another year? My how time flies! Looking back on the past year a lot has happened in the world of Xara (not to mention in the world at large).

This time last year we were still anxiously awaiting the final shipping date for Xara X! Can you believe that? And this time last year I was wondering what was going to be the upshot of Getty's buyout of (the previous host of the XaraXone). And I was a bit concerned what would be the future of the XaraXone? And the WebXealot? The Tutorials? The works! It was a time of mixed apprehensions.

Sadly, is gone as is Getty's EyeWire, as many of you may remember, was a collaboration between Adobe and the former Image Club Graphics. Image Club Graphics was one of the first companies to provide high quality affordable type fonts and clip art both via their catalog and later via the Web. Their catalogs were always fun to browse and there was always something new to desire. All of that went by the wayside this year. (Xara's fonts are just as good and not nearly as expensive!)

I'm left pondering what is it with these giant corporations like Getty, Inc. who buy up smaller successful companies that are providing a valuable resource to the community, and then after spending obscenely large amounts of money to purchase them, pull the plug leaving behind a void, (not to mention leaving a lot of very good people on the street, and on the dole). I know I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I don't get it. The one thing I am fairly sure of is the idiot who suggested buying these companies is probably still gainfully employed. It's the old Peter Principle: You rise in business according to your level of incompetence.

The good news is Xara X was released after what seemed like a lifetime, and Xara Ltd., stepped forward to sponsor the XaraXone (formerly hosted by and the all the contents. And with their support the XaraXone has expanded to provide more support for the Xara users community. The Xone was redesigned twice and with luck, design #3 will be in place by January 1, 2002. So while it has been an up and down year, the ups have far outweighed the downs. Xara is going great guns and gaining a lot of worldwide attention and sales, and I am happy to say (touch wood) so is the XaraXone.

My 7 page review of Xara X (I said lots of nice things by the way) appears in the December issue of Communication Arts Magazine, THE magazine read by the entire professional design community. Furthermore, the December issue is the Advertising Annual issue and one of the most read and retained copies of this most excellent publication. And while most of the readers use the other computer platform, it can never hurt exposing our favorite application to the professional design community.

TIPS of the YEAR

The TIP of the Week section was added to the XaraXone earlier in the year. I had also been adding TIPs to the WebXealots before starting the On-line Manual 16 issues ago. So I thought for this issue, since we have pretty near covered all there is to cover in the On-line Manual, I have assembled some of the best TIPS from the past year or so.

I also have provided a step-by-step tutorial for creating some very cool images (like the one shown above) using Xara Modules.

Insider Information

I was speaking about, which many of you remember was Chris Dickman's web site. Well, Chris is back with a new Web site called I'm not linking to it here for a reason. Chris has added a TOP Graphics Sites page with listings of the, what else? TOP Graphics Sites. The sites on the list are determined by the number of clicks that link from these site to The XaraXone has been doing pretty well and was the #1 site for several weeks. Go to the XaraXone, then click the green button that links to, this will add one vote for the Xone for the top graphics site. You will also be adding a larger vote by telling the rest of the Graphics community that Xara is a cool application that has a lot of support and loyal fans. While you are there, check out the Galleries.

Judi Assoni's Christmas Ornament brushes are still available in the Fills and Brushes page (another new addition to the XaraXone in 2001). And there are lots of really cool free stuff in the Shareware Page.

The Featured Artist for December is in fact 29 Xara artists. All of whom have contributed an image for the Xara Gallery Group Show. Some of the featured artists have had their own one-person shows, but most have not. It is very exciting to see the amount of talent and dedication exhibited in this show. For all who participated, thanks. You are all extraordinary Xartists!

The December Trompe L'Oeil Room Xara X tutorial creates a festive Christmas ornament. It is a lot of fun and also revisits the spiral, except this time the spiral is more logarithmic, and my odd technique (which is not to say the spiral creation steps aren't a bit odd themselves) for creating a spherical distortion.

The December Guest Tutorial #10 was prepared by Ivan Louette in which Ivan shares his techniques for using custom brushes to create a very realistic fire and string of pearls effect. This one is a must see tutorial.

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.