Blacklining XTension

EMS’s Blacklining ($380) is an XTension for QuarkXPress (any version) or InDesign CS4/CS5/CS5.5 that retains a complete audit trail of all changes made to the text of a QuarkXPress document — essential for certain kinds of legal and financial documents, and useful in editorial workflows.

Insertions and Deletions are marked in different, user-defined colors. You can view or print the document with or without the revision marks. Blacklining can even read and convert the tracked changes in an imported Microsoft Word document.

With every change, Blacklining records several pieces of data: user name, machine name, date and time of change, and the revision level active at the time of the change. It also generates a unique checksum value every time the document is printed or exported, effectively time-stamping the document in its current state. Each editing session is considered one revision level, so to simplify the list of revisions you can merge multiple revision levels at any time.

A document’s entire edit history can be displayed in a history palette, or in a standard QuarkXPress text box. It can also be exported for use in other tracking applications.

Blacklining has been refined for more than 14 years to include many clever and efficiency-enhancing features requested by users.

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.