Photo optimization within Xara
Are images resized when imported?
On importing an image we size it to 500 pixels on canvas, so if your image is larger than that, its dpi will be higher because it has been scaled down to the 500 pixel screen resolution. This is true when importing an image in to your current document. Selecting to open an image or dragging and dropping an image from Windows Explorer onto the programs title bar will cause the image to be opened in a Photo Document, in which case it will not be resized.
How do I view my image at its actual size rather than an 500 pixels?
Select the image, click on the Photo Tool and select the Enhance Photo tool. Select the option to scale photo to 100% from the Photo tool infobar.
Can I import my images at the dpi specified in the image file or scaled at 100%?
Yes, this is supported in both Designer Pro and PGD. Select Utilities followed by Options and click on the View tab. You will see three radio buttons below the subheading 'Bitmaps'. Select the required option and click on the Apply button. The options available are:
Are photos optimized when being imported into the program?
when large photos are imported into web documents they get optimized down to HD (1920x1080 max) resolution automatically. That’s because it’s highly unlikely that users will want larger images than HD in a web document. In print documents, a prompt is displayed allowing you to select whether you wish to optimze the photo. No optimisation is applied when importing or opening a photo within a photo document.
Why do you advise that I optimize all my images if they are being optimized on import?
With the ever increasing resolution of digital photos, and the corresponding increase in file sizes, embedding many photos into a Xara document can dramatically increase the .xar or .web files sizes, and the RAM memory required by that document. The size of your file in Xara will be the size of the original images plus a small amount for text and shapes used within the document. ( Note, only 1 instance of the original image is saved within the file, all instances used within the document are generated on the fly.)
If you had around 80 images, each at 5MPixel then your web file will be the size of the original images + a small amount for text and shapes used within the document. This would require around 1.2 GB ram to complete the export.
Even though images are optimized down to HD on import, its unlikely that the image is used within your document at this high resolution. Version 8 therefore introduced A new ‘Optimize all images’ feature (Utilities menu). This will scan through the whole document and reduce the resolution of images to screen res (which is all that’s required for web documents) as well as cropping unseen parts of photos, and automatically converting, where appropriate, images from an raw bitmap format into JPG format.
We recommend saving the file, closing it and re-opening it after completing this operation in order to ensure pre-optimized bitmaps are not held in memory.
Note: This is a destructive one-time operation, in that it will permanently reduce the resolution of photos and permanently crop off invisible parts of photos. So it’s recommended that you only use this when you are happy with the size of photos in the document.
Can I optimize images individually?
Yes, simply select the image followed by Utilities -> ‘Optimize photo’ operation. Clicking on the settings button should you wish to change the resolution or image format, Alternatively click the Optimize button to complete the operation. You may wish to change the resolution if you are wishing to print or export your document to PDF. For print or PDF documents, you probably do not want to optimize all images down to screen resolution (96dpi) but may want a higher resolution such as 150dpi (which is fine most print docs, 300dpi is maximum needed for the highest quality print documents).
Are there any other checks to help to ensure my images are imported in the right format and optimized accordingly?
There are cases where photos can be imported in the wrong format. For example copying a photo from another application, even a web browser, will often paste that image as a raw bitmap or PNG and not a JPG (this is partly the fault of the OS, partly that some web browsers are not smart). Additionally some Xara features such as the Panorama Maker and Perspective correction tools will generate a raw, uncompressed image, resulting in very large files. These photos would be better compressed in JPEG format which can typically reduce the file size by 5:1 or a lot more.
Version 8 therefore check the image format both on import and when selecting to optimize images from the utilities menu. Images will be converted from RAW bitmap format to a JPG format during the optimize operations. This operation now intelligently determines whether images are better converted to JPG format. For example a simple screen-grab would not normally be converted to a JPG unless it was a screen grab of a photo) and most vector graphic style graphics, which are better as PNG format, will remain as PNG format.
Imported images (drag and dropped or imported via the File->Import menu) are examined and can optionally be converted to JPEG format if Designer determines that JPEG is more suitable for the image (a prompt is shown in this case). When pasting in images, they are automatically converted to JPEG if they are deemed suitable for JPEG.
How do I prevent images being converted to JPEG format on import and when optimizing all images?
This can be controlled by a registry setting.
Designer Pro X:
Photo & Graphic Designer MX:
Can I prevent an image format from being altered when selecting to optimize all images without altering the registry?
Optimize all will not convert an image to a JPEG if the bitmap has PNG set from the web image type settings within the image tab of web properties.