We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Graphic design & publishing software Reviews
15,670 Reviews PC Advisor Gold Award

Xara Xtreme 3.2 vector illustration program

£53 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Xara

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

Xara Xtreme 3.2 belongs to an increasingly rare breed: it's a vector editing alternative to Adobe's dominant Illustrator.

Xara Xtreme 3.2 belongs to an increasingly rare breed: it's a vector editing alternative to Adobe's dominant Illustrator. But Vista-compatible Xara Xtreme 3.2 not only costs a fraction of Illustrator's price, it sacrifices few features in doing so.

Xara Xtreme 3.2 contains the drawing tools you would expect, housed in an intuitive layout with tools in easy reach and a handy bar showing options for the currently selected tool. We found Xara Xtreme 3.2 simple to use, with Bezier paths particularly easy to work with. Even better, Xara Xtreme 3.2 is the fastest vector illustration program we've seen. It didn't hesitate even on complex illustrations with hefty gradient fills.

Unusually, Xara Xtreme 3.2 can work with bitmap images as well as line drawings. These can be edited in a window that contains simple tools such as red-eye removal, auto enhancement and crop and rotate functions. Xara Xtreme 3.2's picture editor tracks the edits you make, so you can return to earlier versions even after saving. If you need more power, you can now link to an external editor. When changes to the bitmap element are saved in that application, your Xara Xtreme 3.2 document is automatically updated.

Xara Xtreme 3.2 bundles a basic Flash animation tool. It works like a standard GIF animation tool, even sharing the same interface. It's feature-limited, but for many standard Flash illustrations it should offer all you need. Xara Xtreme 3.2 now imports and exports rich text files from other applications, with fonts, margins and line spacing intact. This goes some way to make up for what is otherwise skeletal text handling. Certainly, if the standard version of Xara Xtreme 3.2 offered multipage features, we could see this being used as a budget layout program.

Xara Xtreme 3.2 Expert Verdict »

200MHz Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon processor
Windows 2000/XP/Vista
100MB hard disk space
  • Ease of Use: We give this item 9 of 10 for ease of use
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 9 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

Despite its new features, Xara Xtreme 3.2 remains intuitive and speedy. The standard version offers excellent value.

  • Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0 review

    Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0

    Xara Xtreme Pro is a graphics program with something to prove. This latest release – faster and more powerful than its predecessor – deserves more of the spotlight.

  • Xara Xtreme Pro

    Xara Xtreme Pro

    While Xara Xtreme may appear to be a vector-based application, it can easily be turned towards creating content for the web and exporting simple Flash or GIF animations.

  • Xara Photo & Graphic Designer MX 2013 review

    Xara Photo & Graphic Designer MX 2013

    Xara Photo & Graphic Designer MX 2013 is the new name for Xara Xtreme, a competitively priced and comprehensive graphics package for editing photos, bitmap and vector images.

  • Xara Designer Pro X review

    Xara Designer Pro X

    Xara Designer Pro X is a photo editor, vector-based designer, and all-round MVP rolled into one. Read our Xara Designer Pro X review to find out more.

  • Toon Boom Studio 4.0

    Toon Boom Studio 4.0

    Toon Boom Studio offers many advanced features for animation, particularly among the vector-drawing tools used to create the scenes. It’s here where the majority of enhancements in version 4.0 occur.

IDG UK Sites

Windows 10 release date, price, features UK: Staggered release with PCs coming first this summer -...

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

How to get a job in design

IDG UK Sites

MacBook Pro 15in preview: better battery life, faster storage and a new discrete graphics chip may...