Welcome to Xara Online Designer

Welcome to Xara Online Designer


Here’s a short tutorial to get you started…
Editing text is easy - just click or tap on your text to place a text cursor, and a slide-in panel of text controls will appear. Click and drag to select text in the usual way. You can hide and show the side-panel by clicking the ‘Properties’ icon on the top bar   Swipe right to hide the panel or just click or tap on an empty part of screen. Pressing Esc on the keyboard works as well. For narrow screens, such as tablets, the side panel does not automatically appear - tap the properties icon to make it appear, or disappear. The text controls allow the selection of Text Styles and  the usual range of text editing controls. The yellow  Hi  applies a yellow highlight color (text background).   The text editor controls the following functions… Select a Text Style Bold Italic Underscore Strike-through Link Highlight Superscript Subscript Text Color Text Background Color Alignment Lists and Indents If you want to choose an alternative text style, then choose from one of the Text Style schemes. Tap on the Text Style field and then scroll down to see the available styles. It is not yet possible to create your own text styles in the Online Designer.

Selecting and positioning text items

When you place your text cursor in a text item, the outer edge of the text item is shown with a dashed line and a soft blue outline.                                    The bounds of the text item are shown with a dashed line and blue highlight. This is a text column because it has only side handles to adjust the column width. If it was  a text box (frame) it would also show resize handles top and bottom. The status line will also tell you what type of text object is selected. You can also perform operations on the whole text object, by tapping on the blue edge. In this case the outer edge becomes a larger blue highlight to indicate the whole thing is now  selected.                                   Click on the text edge to select the whole text object. A context menu is shown. Once you have selected the whole text item, you can perform operations on the whole  thing, for example: To position a text item: Drag on the blue edge of the text frame. To change the column width: Drag either of the blue handles at the side To Copy, Duplicate or Delete the whole text item: Click the edge of the text, it becomes a darker blue, and a context menu will appear with the Copy, Duplicate, Delete options. To change the style of all the text: You can select all the text in the frame or column in  the usual way (Ctrl+A), or you can select the whole text object by clicking the edge. Now any Text Properties applied from the properties panel will be applied to the whole object.

Character and Paragraph Text Styles

Where a Text Style is included within the document - the Text Style menu includes Character Styles (marked with an a symbol)  along with Paragraph Styles (marked with an  symbol)                                                                                      Text Style menu with Paragraph/Character Styles Just place the text cursor anywhere in the text and select a Paragraph Style from the style menu, the whole paragraph will take on that style. Paragraph Styles apply to whole paragraphs, and are also typically used for headings. It's not possible to apply a Paragraph Style to a smaller section than a paragraph, so you cannot, for example, apply a Paragraph Style to a single word within a paragraph. If you try, then the whole surrounding paragraph will take on this style. Character Styles, on the other hand, can be applied to any selection of text, from a single character upwards.

Spell Checker

The spell checker automatically works as you type - enter your text, make a mistake and the typo is underlined. Tap on the typo to flag up alternate spellings from the context menu. And tap on the context menu to choose more spelling suggestions from the properties panel.                  You can change the dictionary - the language of the spell checker, by choosing Document language from the Document properties panel and then choosing a language. This is useful if you have a document containing a mixture of languages. So I might have a document in English with a passage of German which I wish to spell check - just switch languages in the spell checker and it’s done. Two more features - Ignore word and Add to dictionary will come in a later update. To see the Document properties panel make sure you have nothing selected (Tap an empty part of the workspace or hit Esc on your keyboard) and then tap the Properties button).

Adding comments

Highlight some text that you wish to apply a comment to, and the context menu shows an Add comment option. Tap the option and a comment box appears to the right of the workspace. Tap in the text field to add comments. Tap the box itself to bring up a context menu with a Reply or Delete option. The comment remains locked to the text and you can you can drag it around wherever you like. You can resize, as well as changing color, font size and all the usual attributes through the Properties panel.  Tap the speech bubble to minimize the comment box. Collaborators sharing the document can easily see which comment applies to which text - as you select a comment so the comment text subject appears in a bolder highlight. You can also add a comment box as a stand alone item - maybe you want to add a comment without it being hooked up to a piece of text. In this case just tap on the + (Add) button and then the Comment icon from the Insert panel.

Now we have an easy way to inform collaborators, or document owners, that the document

has been edited or comments have been added.

Collaborator email notifications 

If you have shared the document then the context menu on the comment box shows an

Email collaborators… option.


As does the Share button


The option sends an email to everyone who shares editing rights for the document -  note that the option won’t appear until it has actually been shared. The email will contain a link to open the shared doc. You can also include a message as well.