3. July 2017


5 steps how to convert InDesign designs into an iOS Single App (using QuarkXPress 2017)

Since Adobe has shut down their DPS (Digital Publishing Suite) SE for Creative Cloud users, InDesign users are looking for an alternative on how to create designs in InDesign and convert them to an iOS app. At a reasonable price.

Problem: Reoccurring costs of App Publishing Services

There are many “App Publishing Services” that allow InDesign users to use InDesign to create designs, overlay interactivity, and then export the design into an app.

The problem with most (all?) “App Publishing Services” is: cost. Have a look at the costs of an arbitrary app publishing service (screenshot) that allows publishing from InDesign.

It’s not important which app publishing service this is, notable is that to create unlimited “single-issue apps” it will cost you $850. Per year. Every year.

Sure, this Service can do more than iOS Publishing. But what if you just need that?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just pay $399 ONCE and create as many iOS apps as you like?

QuarkXPress 2017 offers such a service: iOS publishing for single apps is and doesn’t even require a log-on or any other kind of service. All you need is an Apple developer account ($99 per year).

Five steps to use QuarkXPress 2017 to publish Single Apps for iOS
(though you are using InDesign)

  1. Get an Apple developer account.
    There is no way around it, if you want to publish to Apple’s App Store. Apple requires you to have that, regardless which tool you use to create iOS apps.
  2. Copy InDesign elements to a digital layout in QuarkXPress as editable objects.
    QuarkXPress 2017 can convert PDF to native QuarkXPress objects. That can be a PDF created with MS Excel or Adobe InDesign.
    Even easier, QuarkXPress can also convert InDesign objects to editable, native QuarkXPress objects using the clipboard. So create a Digital layout in QuarkXPress and then just copy & paste objects (or a page) from InDesign to QuarkXPress.

    And then in QuarkXPress you can continue to edit objects copied from InDesign, e.g. change the text or the font size of a text box.
  3. Enrich the layout with interactive elements (optional)
    If you want to add interactivity to your former InDesign objects, just use the “HTML5” palette in QuarkXPress and add interactivity (some people call them enrichments). That can be a slideshow, an animation, a video, a sound, a button and so on.
    Of course, if you prefer, you can also leave your layout static, however then the chances are higher that Apple might reject your app.
  4. Create the necessary meta data and other files
    For submission to the App Store, you need to create and specify some meta data like splash screen, add some certificates that Apple’s portal gives you and so on. So first head over to developer.apple.com, create the profiles and certificates Apple requires, create some good looking splash screens etc.
  5. Export as iOS (out of QuarkXPress)
    Export a Single iOS App using the “Export As iOS App” menu in QuarkXPress. QuarkXPress will ask you to specify the meta data created in step 4. Then – after a while – QuarkXPress will show two apps on your Desktop, a test app (to test on your iOS device) and a production app (which you can submit to Apple). Both have your content (that came from InDesign and was enriched in QuarkXPress) baked-in.

Bonus: Publish to HTML5 as well!

And of course you can additionally create a web app (app-like behavior), which is 100% HTML5-based and runs in all modern browsers without need of a plug-in. QuarkXPress calls this HTML5 Publication:

As an HTML5 Publication is based on the same technology for content, static and interactive content will look the same as in your iOS app. And of course you could also make the HTML5 Publication responsive.

Creating an HTML5 Publication will not cost you anything extra, all you need is a webserver to host your HTML5 Publication.

What will it cost me? (as an InDesign user)

Good news for InDesign users are that you can upgrade to QuarkXPress from InDesign CS/CC (and CorelDraw, Lightroom, Photoshop and many others).

So to use QuarkXPress 2017 to convert your InDesign layouts into an app, will cost you:

QuarkXPress 2017 Competitive Upgrade: $399 (one-time fee)
Apple Developer Account for App Store submission: $99 (per year)


Start creating unlimited iOS apps:

So, InDesign users, upgrade to QuarkXPress 2017 now and start creating iOS apps:



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30. June 2017


Where is the free QuarkXPress Document Converter?


QuarkXPress Document Converter is a small application that converts documents created by QuarkXPress 3, 4, 5 and 6 to the version 9 format, so that QuarkXPress 10 and higher can open documents last saved by one of those versions.

In other words, you only need it if you have documents older than QuarkXPress 7 and want to open them in a modern version of QuarkXPress. You can find more details and more reasons why you need QuarkXPress Document Converter here: http://www.planetquark.com/2016/08/15/what-is-the-free-quarkxpress-document-converter/


Download the free QuarkXPress Document Converter here:

QuarkXPress Document Converter is a free download. The newest version is always available here:


And when you are using QuarkXPress 2016 or 2017, no need to remember the URL:

You can easily access the download link by choosing the Help menu.

Download once and then use it any time you need it. Remember, the QuarkXPress Document Converter can even batch convert complete disks and folders to the newer v9 format.

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21. June 2017


Largest community college newspaper is designed with QuarkXPress

Campus News, the largest community college newspaper in the world, is designed using the professional desktop publishing software QuarkXPress.

It’s a wonderful program,” publisher Darren Johnson, who also is a college communications faculty member, said. “I teach Adobe InDesign, but prefer QuarkXPress in my professional life. It’s faster, more intuitive and creates a perfect PDF. Campus News wouldn’t have survived for so long without it.

Campus News is an award-winning publication that hits 37 campuses in the Northeast, proving print isn’t dead among younger people.


Continue reading here please:


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14. June 2017


Are you using a dongle? – Are subscriptions the new dongles?

Back in 1997 QuarkXPress introduced a dongle. A dongle is small piece of hardware that controls the legitimate use of the software. It wasn’t a good idea. Therefore Quark stopped using dongles in 2002.

And legitimate users hated dongles, as didn’t appear to be fair. The main reasons probably were:

  • If your dongle broke or there was any technical issue with the connection, you could not use the software anymore.
  • If you didn’t have the dongle, you were locked out of your work, what you created, what you own. As the software wouldn’t start anymore.
  • If there were technical changes in the environment, e.g. when Macs and PCs changed to USB, you could not use your software anymore.
  • If years later you wanted to access your archive, you probably couldn’t, as there was no way to connect the dongle anymore.
  • If you lost your dongle, years later you could not open your work anymore, as the software vendor didn’t offer new dongles anymore.
  • If you switched machines, you had to take your dongle with you.


Nowadays several software vendors praise subscriptions (basically a rental model) as the best model for users.


Is there a difference between subscriptions and dongles?

A software subscription seems to do have the following issues:

  • If your connection to the internet brakes or your computer has other issues connecting to the subscription server, you cannot use the software anymore.
  • If you do not have the subscription anymore (e.g. as you switched to a better, different product) and you want to access your work (what you created and own), you cannot open the files.
    You are locked out (sure, you could just renew your subscription)
  • If there are price changes in the future, e.g. double the price for the subscription, you are forced to accept. Even if there are no additional features.
  • If years later you want to access your archive, you need to pay the subscription again to open your work.
  • If the software vendor (offering the subscription) decides to discontinue a product, you are locked out of your work and have to learn a new product.
  • If you switch machines, you have to log on to a new machine. If you logged on too many times, you cannot use your software. And probably your EULA says that if you use the software with several people on the same machine, every user needs to have a license.
  • You need to continue to pay, even if the software that you are using is in maintenance mode (and doesn’t get any additional new features).


What’s your take please: Are software subscriptions today’s dongles?


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