How to open older QuarkXPress Documents

How do you open QuarkXPress documents that you have maybe created ten years ago or even in the early 90’s?

If you are using QuarkXPress 9 (or below) that’s not an issue, as QuarkXPress 9 opens all previous files from version 3 to 9.

However with version 10, QuarkXPress has cut some fat and removed the legacy technology (e.g. the non-Unicode type engines) of QuarkXPress 6 and below. Remember, with version 7 QuarkXPress introduced OpenType and Unicode, smoothly rendered type display, glyphs that could hang outside the text box, basically everything you don’t want to miss nowadays anymore.

So how do you open older QuarkXPress documents with QuarkXPress 10 or QuarkXPress 2015?

If your document was last saved with version 7, 8 or 9, it’s no problem you can just open them directly. However, what of you still have documents last saved in version 6 or even v3?

Then the QuarkXPress Document Converter comes to the rescue. It basically is version of QuarkXPress 9 without user interface. It opens older documents, version 3.1, 4, 5 or 6, and resaves them in the version 9 format. And then QuarkXPress 10 and 2015 can open the converted document.

Even better, if you have a bunch of documents, then QuarkXPress Document Converter can batch convert them:
(just use the right button to point it to the folder with subfolders that contains your QuarkXPress documents)

QuarkXPress Document Converter will not overwrite your files, instead it will create a copy, so that your original file stays untouched.

And of course QuarkXPress Document Converter is free of charge and runs on OS X and Windows, up to El Capitan and Windows 10. You can download it here:

Please note that if you are using a file extension to classify your files, then the correct file extension for QuarkXPress 3, 4 and 5 documents is .qxd, for QuarkXPress 6 it is .qxp. Otherwise the QuarkXPress Document Converter might not recognize the file correctly.


  • You are using QuarkXPress 9 (or below)?
    -> You can directly open all documents up to v9.
  • You are using QuarkXPress 10 (or higher)?
    -> You can directly open all documents from version 7 onward.
    -> And for documents last saved in version 6 or below use the QuarkXPress Document Converter first.
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This post was written by:

- who has written 70 posts on Planet Quark.

Both an engineer and a layout artist, Matthias bridges the gap between technology and people. - Before joining Quark, Matthias pioneered print, Web, and multimedia products for multiple German publishing companies. Since 1997 he has played a central role in shaping Quark’s desktop and enterprise software. Starting 2003 Matthias has focused on Quark's interactive and digital publishing solutions. He is an active participant in design and publishing communities and represents Quark in the Ghent PDF Workgroup. - Matthias is a frequent speaker at seminars and conferences worldwide, helping both individual designers and large organizations to uncover the possibilities and implications of digital publishing, including the business considerations, design and technology implications, and business capabilities offered by digital design and publishing tools. - Since February 2014 Matthias heads Quark's Desktop Publishing business unit and is therefore responsible for QuarkXPress.

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