General notes on exporting and importing

You may want to export Xara documents to other applications, or export them for use on a website. Or you may want to import designs from other sources. For easy transfer, Xara offers a wide range of import and export options.

Firstly, it is important to note the distinction between saving and exporting files:

  • Saving deals with storing your work so that you can open it and work on it at a later date. Xara saves your work in the .xar file format. Think of this as the "master document" format.
  • Exporting deals with converting designs to other supported formats. Exporting allows you to use and distribute your designs. For example, you may want to create a PNG file for a website, or a TIFF or PDF file for a printing company. Exported files are no substitute for saved .xar files because they are not a complete representation of your Xara design, so always save your design as a .xar file too.

Recommended formats

The universal export formats, that can be read by the widest range of programs are the bitmap formats, GIF, PNG and JPEG. These are also guaranteed to look exactly as you see on screen in Xara. PNG is the highest quality and can include transparency support and is recommended for Microsoft Office applications.

PDF is the recommend export format for sharing files to be viewed or exported into Adobe Illustrator. Xara's PDF export (Designer Pro and Photo & Graphic Designer only) is very high quality, vector based, and supports advanced features such as graduated transparency.

Export your document as HTML (Web Designer and Designer Pro only) to export each page as a web page that can be published and viewed using any popular web browser.

Other notes

With EPS and bitmap files you have a range of options on how to translate the data. Some of these options can produce very large files (if, for example, your document has a lot of graduated or radial fills or transparency).

File translation can take some time for a complex illustration.

Please note that other manufacturers can, and often do, change the specification of other file formats. Information is given here in good faith but no guarantee is given that files can be transferred between Xara and any other package. Further, there are often numerous different variations of a given file format, and Xara cannot support them all, especially if they are recent and non-documented formats.

Because other programs do not support all of the features of Xara Designer, for example the advanced fill and transparency types, these have to be simulated, usually by exporting these objects as bitmaps.


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