Product terminology

This section describes some of the common terminology used in Xara.


You can think of a document in Designer as you would a conventional sheet of paper. Like a sheet of paper, you can draw lines and curves on it, place objects like shapes, clipart and photos and write and erase text. You can save the document for later use, or print it, or export it for the web, or for a variety of other uses.


This is the white area in the document. You can place objects on the page margin, on the page, or overlapping both. However, only objects on the page are printed. A document can contain one or several single pages or double page spreads. A double page is like two separate sheets of paper placed next to each other.

Lines, shapes, and objects

These are all lines

A line can be straight, curved or a mixture of both. A line must have a start and an end, thus it is always open. You can apply a thickness and color to a line.

These are all shapes

A shape is a solid or closed object. The difference between a line and a shape is that a shape has no start or end. Because a shape is a closed object, you can fill it with a color or leave it empty with no color. You can apply a thickness and color to the line around the shape.

These are all objects

Object is a general term. This user guide uses it to describe lines, shapes, bitmaps, photos and text.

Many operations in Designer apply equally to a single object or a collection or group of objects. "Object" can refer both to one object and/or several objects.

In Postscript terminology, a shape is a closed path. But Designer sometimes uses "shape" as shorthand for "line or shape".



The various characteristics that describe the look of objects on the page, such as color, line width, fill style etc are all called Attributes of the object.

The Attributes of objects can be copied and pasted between different objects using the Paste Attributes menu command. See Current Attributes for more information.


There are three types of bars: the Main toolbar, the InfoBar, and then various other button bars which are sometimes just referred to as control bars, e.g. the Gallery button bar.


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