We study the dependence of the peak power of a 1.5 Å Terawatt (TW), tapered x-ray free-electron laser (FEL) on the transverse electron density distribution. Multidimensional optimization schemes for TW hard x-ray free-electron lasers are applied to the cases of transversely uniform and parabolic electron beam
distributions and compared to a Gaussian distribution. The optimizations are performed for a 200 m undulator and a resonant wavelength of λr=¼1.5Å using the fully three-dimensional FEL particle code GENESIS. The study shows that the flatter transverse electron distributions enhance optical guiding in the tapered section of the undulator and increase the maximum radiation power from a maximum of 1.56 TW for a transversely Gaussian beam to 2.26 TW for the parabolic case and 2.63 TW for the uniform case. Spectral data also shows a 30% – 70% reduction in energy deposited in the sidebands for the uniform and parabolic beams compared with a Gaussian. An analysis of the transverse coherence of the radiation shows the coherence area to be much larger than the beam spotsize for all three distributions, making coherent diffraction imaging experiments possible.