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Version 17.0 Release

Date: 16th March 2020

We've just released an update for Designer Pro, bringing it up to version

Release notes:
Download link:
What's new:

All updates are free if your update service is active. Xara should ask you to update on startup, if not you can manually check by going to Help > Check for Updates.

New Features

Paragraph Borders & Backgrounds

Designer 16.3 added support for Paragraph Backgrounds. Now in 17.0 you can also set Paragraph Borders, with or without a paragraph background. These offer some great new choices for heading and paragraph styles (they are also quite a common style in Word documents, so improve the success of Word import). 

You can access this dialog by either selecting the whole text object, or by inserting your caret into the paragraph, then right-click > Paragraph Border & Backgrounds... 

Tab Leaders

With Tab Leaders you can choose any character to fill tab spaces. Here for example the tab space between the first and second column has been filled using a “.” character.

Please see this article on how to setup Tab Leaders.

Moving Embedded Objects

Now in Designer 17 you can move embedded objects around in text just by dragging on them, a usability improvement that should be a great time saver. As you drag an embedded object over text, a blue rectangle is shown to indicate where the object will be re-positioned if you release it at that position. The position of the top of the blue rectangle determines the line into which the object is inserted:

Go ahead and try it in the introduction document!

Graduated Fill Optimizations

Some older browser versions did not support graduated fills and so Designer has always had to create images so that such fills would appear correctly in all browsers. Depending on the design, those images can be large and so can add substantially to the overall size of a published document/website, increase the publish time and even preview speed, due to the time needed to create the images. Those older browser versions are now rarely used and so Designer no longer generates these images, relying on the browser to show the fills correctly. That means a reduction in size which results in faster rendering of your web pages (a factor in Google ranking) and faster publish/preview times with designs where graduated fills are prevalent


This is a new option added to the Link dialog. When this is turned on for a link, it tells search engines encountering the link not to pass any ranking credit to the link target site. Typical usage is on testimonial or review pages, product listings and the like, and it’s intended to enhance the credibility of your content, reduce links to spam content and improper manipulation of the search results. Exactly how search engines use this information varies with search engine and may change in future.

Image filenames

You can now control the filename with which any image is published in a website or web document, which can help SEO and your position in image search. Select the object and open Utilities > Web Properties > Image tab. In the Image section of the dialog you can set the preferred filename to be used. If the filename is not unique within the current website/document, Designer will append a number to the name to make it unique. 

Please see this article for more information.

NEW InDesign Import (BETA) (Designer Pro X only)

Designer Pro 17 introduces the first beta version of an InDesign document importer. This does not yet support import of all InDesign features, so most documents will need to be manually corrected in Designer Pro after import. Please give feedback on your experiences with this importer, via the forum, to help us improve it in future updates

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  1. Robert Turner

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