At the end of 2005, Xara announced they would be releasing Open Source versions of their popular drawing application Xara Xtreme for Mac and Linux. That day has come! The first Open Source versions of Xara LX have been released for Mac and Linux.
For all graphics artists, serious or dabblers, the release of the first Open Source versions of Xara Xtreme, dubbed Xara LX, is great news. As a long-time user of the Windows version who also uses a Mac daily, I know what a treat Mac and Linux users have in store being able to add this program to their graphics arsenal. Xara Xtreme is fast and versatile, handling both vectors and bitmaps with ease and speed. I have no doubt it will offer the same versatility, stability, and speed with the Mac and Linux versions Windows users are already taking advantage of.
The work on these projects is far from over; and the releases are not yet ready for prime time, but the progress they have made so far is amazing and much ahead of the expected first release date. Xara has made the latest files available for download here for those who wish to compile and install them. These files are updated frequently, so check back often. Bugs are being squashed daily.
What Can Xara LX do Now?
As of now, these are the features that work so far in the Open Source Xara LX: This list is from What Can Xara LX Do Now?
The following features are now working or at least partially working in Xara LX, so give them a try:
- Open most XAR files
- Select objects with the select tool
- Drag objects around
- Use the selection handles to scale and shear objects
- Use the zoom tool
- Use the push tool and/or middle mouse button to push the page around
- Group and ungroup (Ctrl-G, Ctrl-U)
- Undo/redo using the toolbar buttons
- Use the shape editor to edit and create shapes
- Draw rectangles using the rectangle tool
- Use the arrange toolbar to change the z-order of objects
- Use the arrange toolbar to slice/join/add/subtract shapes
- Delete objects
- Fill and transparency tools now work
- The shadow and freehand tools partially work
- The color line is now present and you can click on it or drag from it to select colors.
As more and more functionality starts to work there’s undoubtedly many other areas not listed here that work now too!
Text still does not render yet and you can’t save or export designs. However the port is moving quickly now so it shouldn’t be long before these features are enabled too and then it will be a useful tool!