Monday, October 28, 2013

Quark XPress 10, quickly

Hello again!

There are many designers who have never tried Quark XPress. For many years Quark was the go-to page layout program for graphic designers. During the late 1990's-early 2000's, Quark the company had a huge falling out with its customers, and designers started using Adobe's InDesign instead. Quark responded—improving its customer service arm and adding features the design community wanted. With each version of Quark XPress, improvements help designers who have grown accustomed to the way it works in print, web, SWF export, and ebook formats.

This post is not meant to start a Quark vs. InDesign war. Pariah Burke covered that famously here. My 30 day trial of Quark 10 was just enough time to view the Quark features I'm most familiar with and to experience its new interface. Let's dive into it.

The New UI
Quark 10 ships with a darker user interface (UI). This is comparable to the Creative Suite/Creative Cloud applications. Anyone who has worked with these panels, layers, and so on will feel right at home.

screen grab of Quark XPress 10's user interface. © Quark, Inc. All rights reserved.
Where did Modify go?
Power users of Quark XPress use the Modify command in a number of ways. The biggest surprise you'll encounter as a long time user is looking for Modify in the Item menu or, using the key command (Command-M, Mac) to bring up the dialog boxes you're used to.

Where did Modify go?
Quark XPress © Quark, Inc. Photo: Isaiah Sheppard Jr.

Of course, Quark didn't leave us in the lurch. The Modify selections are now in the Measurement pallette.

Measurements palette (full) with detail showing Modify list items.
© Quark, Inc. Combined image: Isaiah Sheppard Jr.
While you can position the Measurements Pallette at the bottom of your device screen, it may help to move it to the top of your Workspace, similar to the Adobe CS/CC programs.


Quark XPress 10 modified Workspace. Measurements palette moved to top of image.
Other features
Quark XPress 10 added QR code creation technology to its software. You can create codes for your clients within a project.

QR code added to project layout.
Quark improved its handling of color, and increased the number of image formats that it supports.

Quark XPress 10 improved color handling.

Quark also improved the way it creates and exports projects to PDF. Quark calls it a "deeper understanding" of PDFs.

The layout in this post includes text and images from my last post on Cruising. The QR code on the page takes you to this blog.

With the wonders of modern technology you can view the completed PDF.

Recently, Jay Nelson published an extensive review of Quark XPress 10. It's worth your time to read it.