Instant Contact Sheets in QuarkXPress

Fri, Aug 16, 2013

XTensions

One question I get fairly often goes something like: “I have a boatload of images, clip art, logos, etc. How can I automate the process of creating a book of them, with captions?”

The best solution I know of is the $14.99 ContactPage from Badia Software, which was just updated to support QuarkXPress 10, InDesign CC and Apple’s iWork. So without further ado, below is Badia’s description of it.

(While you’re at their website, be sure to check out their other XTensions, which truly open up possibilities you didn’t know existed.)

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ContactPage5_interface-50

ContactPage is the easiest way to create professional-looking contact sheets of images with captions. Use ContactPage to create picture catalogs, proof sheets, photo books, or anytime you need to quickly browse or print pictures with full descriptive text captions.

ContactPage can then build a PDF, image file, slideshow, or page layout document – using Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress or iWork Pages – with all the necessary pages, backgrounds, images and captions customized to your liking.

ContactPage allows you to choose between several export formats when building the contact sheet. Select a Slideshow to simply browse the contact sheet on-screen. Select PDF to build, save and print a PDF file. Select Images to save the sheet as JPEG, TIFF or PNG, one file for each page. Or choose from any of the most popular page layout software packages for building documents: Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress, or iWork Pages.

The easy-to-follow settings in ContactPage give you complete control to customize the look and contents of the final contact sheet. You can specify margins, page size and background, grid rows and columns, picture fitting, headers and footers, box colors and shapes, strokes, drop shadows, opacities, and more.

And ContactPage comes with an interactive preview that takes away the guesswork by showing you exactly how the contact sheet looks as you change the settings.

ContactPage captions can be made to describe their corresponding images in complete detail. You can not only choose the picture name but several other picture attributes as well: full path, file size, kind, color model, image resolution, creator application, date modified, dimensions, containing folder and copyright info, among others.

To compose the captions, ContactPage brings you easy-to-use placeholder labels represented by blue “tokens” that can be combined with any custom text or special characters. Format the captions by choosing the desired font, color, size, justification and vertical alignment.

What’s New

  • Headers and Footers: Specify box height, text settings (font, color, etc), and variable tokens: page number, date, folder or volume.
  • Folder and Files View: You can now organize, display and sort the picture list by folders.
  • Ability to start a new row or page every time a new folder is encountered.
  • Added “Creation Date” to sort picture list.
  • Sort folders by folder tree, name, modified date, creation date or folder level.
  • Specify resolution for PDF files.
  • Create one multi-page PDF file or one PDF file for each page.
  • Export the contact sheet as JPG, TIFF, or PNG, one file for each file. Specify resolution, quality, compression and color mode.
  • Rotate images and captions to any angle.
  • “Randomize” function allows you to rotate images at random.
  • Drop shadows for containers. Specify angle, offset, color, blur and shadow opacity.
  • Picture container opacity and picture opacity controls.
  • Faster preview rendering.
  • Ability to display in the preview any selected picture.
  • Option to turn on and off icon previews in the file list.
  • Added “Date Created” as a caption token.
  • Redesigned user interface and navigation.
  • Compatibility with Adobe InDesign CC and QuarkXPress 10.
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This post was written by:

- who has written 1638 posts on Planet Quark.

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, 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.

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