Xara Xtreme

Xara Xtreme (formerly Xara X) is a 2D vector graphics editor created by the British software company Xara.Xara Xtreme was originally developed for Microsoft Windows and the commercial version currently runs only on Windows.

Image:Xara Xtreme LX.png

Supported platforms

Xara Xtreme was originally developed for Microsoft Windows and the commercial version currently runs only on Windows.

Xara Xtreme for Linux (formerly Xara Xtreme LX or Xara LX for short) is the open source version for Linux.

Development history

  • The predecessor of Xara Xtreme, called ArtWorks, was developed on the Acorn Archimedes and Risc PC 32-bit RISC computers running RISC OS.
  • The first version developed for Microsoft Windows was initially called Xara Studio, but before widescale public availability it was licensed to Corel Corporation, and from 1995 to 2000 was released as CorelXARA. Corel returned the licensing rights back to Xara in 2000.
  • The first version under the name Xara X was released in 2000 directly by its original owner.
  • In 2004, the next version Xara X¹ was released.
  • Xara Xtreme was released in 2005.
  • In October 2005, The Xara Group, Ltd. announced the plans to open the source of Xara Xtreme under the GPL and to seek community help in porting it over to Linux and Mac OS X.
  • In November 2006, an enhanced version of Xara Xtreme, Xara Xtreme PRO, was released.
  • In May 2007, Xara Xtreme 3.2 and Xtreme Pro 3.2 was released. 3.2 Pro began inclusion of Xara 3D6 and more robust typography are features in both Xtreme versions
  • In April 2008, Xara Xtreme 4.0 was released. Major features include extended text-area handling, tighter integration of bitmap handling and HTML export.



Xara Xtreme is notable for its usability and fast renderer . Xara Xtreme is also notable for being among the first vector graphics software products to provide a fully anti-aliased display, advanced gradient fill, and transparency tools, features now common to many vector graphics editors.

Among vector editors, Xara Xtreme is considered to be fairly easy to learn, with similarities to CorelDRAW and Inkscape in terms of interface. In recent versions, attempts have been made to render the application appealing to web designers by adding tools for popular effects such as drop shadows, bevels, and navigation buttons. Xara Xtreme also includes tools for manipulating bitmaps.



Versions for Microsoft Windows
  • Xara X (commercial version) - released 2000
  • Xara X¹ (commercial version) - released 2004
  • Xara Xtreme (commercial version with commercial plugins) - released 2005
  • Xara Xtreme XS (a light version of Xara Xtreme without plugins and no bevel/shadow/outline tools, commercial version) - released 2006
  • Xara Xtreme PRO (commercial version with enhanced functions) - released 2006
  • Xara Xtreme and Xtreme PRO 3.2 (Pro includes Xara 3D6) (improved typography) - released May 2007
  • Xara Xtreme and Xtreme PRO 4.0 - released April 2008

Open Source Development

Xara Xtreme for Linux (or Xara Xtreme Linux Edition) is the open source version of Xara Xtreme. Formerly, it was called Xara Xtreme LX or just Xara LX; the abbreviation LX stands for Linux. The "LX" name is retained in some places (for example, the executable is still called "xaralx").

The first version was released for Linux in October 2005, and Xara Group Ltd announced it will release the source code of the trimmed down version under a free software licence, the GPL, and seek community help in porting it over to Linux and Mac OS X using the wxWidgets toolkit.

At the opening of the Libre Graphics Meeting 2006 in Lyon, France, Xara released most of the source code of Xara Xtreme for Linux in an updated website with details on how to access the sources. According to the Xara Xtreme for Linux homepage, the released source code contains "the majority of the Xara Xtreme source code".


Xara Group Ltd did not intend to release the rendering engine, and never said that it would. statement Xara Group Ltd's CEO, Charles Moir, confirmed on 15 Feb 2007 on the Xara developer mailing list why CDraw source code wouldn't be released: "For a number of reasons, one significant reason being commercial risk outlined earlier" where "earlier" refers to discussion on said list. There has since been some (but yet incomplete) progress towards porting the application to use Cairo as the backend, to workaround the problems of non-portability and the obvious GPL incompatibility with the binary-only static link-library CDraw.


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