thinking outside the box
Photo Editing Guide Part 1 - The Basics
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Size and Re-size

While you’re in the Selector Tool the InfoBar provides size information, and a way to resize your image either by entering the required dimension, or as a % size change. This is the Selector InfoBar when you have a photo selected. So if you want your image to be, say, exactly 500 pixels wide, just type 500 into the width field and press Enter. The height will change in proportion so the image is not squashed. The other way to change the size, is to simply drag the bottom right corner control handle using the Selector Tool. As you do this you’ll see the pixel width and height values change. So the whole sequence to save a resized version of a photo is this: Open the JPG as described above. In the Selector Tool type a new width or height dimensions in the W or H field shown above Select File > Save or Save As...

The Photo Enhance Controls

When you select this Camera tool, it provides access to the main photo enhance controls - these adjust things like brightness and contrast levels, color controls such as saturation, color tinting, sharpen and blur and others. Here are the main controls on the Photo Enhance Tool (in three sections): The left end of the InfoBar: The right end of the InfoBar: The center part of the InfoBar is a set of manual enhance controls: To adjust any of the values, click the right arrow and drag the slider control. Or just enter a numeric value into the field. Most of these controls should be self-explanatory, but we will cover them in more detail in future tutorials (see the bottom of this article for more details). For now, just experiment if you’re not sure what they do. Remember you have infinite undo in Xara so you can always get back to an earlier state.

Before / After comparison

Click the Compare button to revert the image back to its original un-enhanced value. Click again to restore your settings.


The Enhance button does an automatic adjustment of some of the values to try and improve the levels, in particular the brightness. This is great as an instant enhance, but very often you can do a better job yourself by making manual adjustments after the auto enhance.

Next & Previous

It’s a common requirement to go through a folder full of images, one after another, opening, perhaps adjusting and then saving. This is where the Next and Previous controls are used. If you’ve opened a photo into a Photo Document (see top) rather than added it to the page of another document, these controls move to the next or previous image in the folder, prompting you to save the current one if you’ve made any edits.
Warm / Cold
Sharpen / Blur
Color Tint
Rotate the image 90°
Next or Previous photo
Manual enhance controls
Color Tint Control
Color Select
Sharpen & Blur
Manual enhance controls
Compare before / after toggle
Levels dialog
The Width and Height of your photo in pixels. Enter new values to change the size.
Enter a new % value to adjust the size.
Make sure this lock-aspect is always on to prevent images being squashed.