QuarkXPress 2017 Now Available

New Version of QuarkXPress Introduces Non-Destructive Image Editing and Adds the Ability to Create Responsive HTML5 Publications and “Unlimited” iOS Apps; Continues to be Available as a Perpetual Lifetime License – No Subscription Necessary!

Quark Software Inc. announced the official availability of QuarkXPress 2017, the newest version of Quark’s fully-integrated graphic design and desktop publishing software for professional print and digital production.

QuarkXPress 2017 introduces new graphics and image editing capabilities, such as non-destructive image editing, and extends text and typography features, such as text stroking and shading. The new version includes a range of the top user-requested features and continues to be sold as a perpetual license.

New Features Delivered
Hundreds of thousands of users around the world who value quality and performance choose QuarkXPress as one of their primary design tools based on its performance, stability, sustainable pricing structure, and consistent feature innovation. QuarkXPress 2017 delivers on all counts with new powerful features that span image and vectors, typography and text, digital publishing, and many new customer wish list features.

Major Highlights
Just a few of the many new features in QuarkXPress 2017 include:

  • Non-destructive Image Editing: Edit images by adjusting levels and curves, changing brightness and contrast, applying gamma correction and much more. All adjustments are non-destructive, so original images stay intact.
  • Adaptive Layout Conversion for Print and Digital: QuarkXPress supports the rapid conversion of print layouts into digital media or even from one print layout to another. Adaptive conversion lets designers duplicate a layout and automatically resize all design elements, even if the layout is converted to different aspect ratios.
  • Responsive HTML5 Publications (Multi Device Output): QuarkXPress 2017 can export multiple digital layouts of different sizes as a single HTML5 package. For example, designers can create a layout for an iPad (vertical and horizontal orientations), duplicate the layout using Adaptive Settings for an iPhone and adjust it accordingly.
  • Convert to Native Objects Enhancements: With the introduction of this game-changing feature, QuarkXPress is the first layout application to convert almost any third party content and layout such as PDF, Adobe Illustrator, EPS, InDesign and Microsoft Office files to native, editable QuarkXPress objects. Based on user feedback, this capability has now been greatly enhanced. For example, converted images can optionally be saved to disk and linked to the QuarkXPress layout, keeping their resolution, color model, and color profiles.
  • “Unlimited” Free iOS Apps: Use the QuarkXPress digital layout capabilities to create innovative interactive experiences, all 100% based on HTML5. Now designers can create as many single iOS apps as they would like. No subscription, no per-app fee, all done directly from within QuarkXPress 2017. ˚‡

These are just a few of the many new features included in QuarkXPress 2017. For more information please visit: www.quark.com. For a comprehensive overview of QuarkXPress 2017, check out the What’s New video. Download the free Trial Version for a fully-functional test of the new version.

QuarkXPress 2017: Switch, Upgrade, or Purchase a New License
To purchase or upgrade to QuarkXPress 2017, visit the Quark eStore, call Quark Telesales, or find an Authorised Quark Reseller.

Upgrade or Purchase: Users on any previous version of QuarkXPress (versions 3-10 and 2015) can upgrade to version 2017 for $399/£345/€399. QuarkXPress 2016 users can upgrade to 2017 for only $185/£159/€185, and new licenses are available for $849/£709/€829. Education licenses are available for $79/£69/€79.

Switch with the New Competitive Upgrade Offer: For a limited time, users of alternative graphic design software products who want to switch or add QuarkXPress to their workflow can purchase a full new license of QuarkXPress 2017 (Mac/Win) for just $399/£345/€399.

With eligible proof of ownership of a qualifying competing product, any designer can get a new full QuarkXPress 2017 license for the low price of an upgrade. Eligible products are: InDesign®,  FrameMaker®, Lightroom®, PageMaker®, Photoshop®, Capture One® Pro, CorelDraw®, Microsoft® Publisher, and Serif PagePlus®. All versions of qualifying products are accepted including, perpetual and subscription licenses, single products, or licenses that are part of a Creative Suite or Creative Cloud®. To learn more about the competitive upgrade offer please visit: http://content.quark.com/switch-to-quarkxpress-us.html.

˚ Restrictions apply
‡ Own Webserver/Domain is required

Using Threshold in QuarkXPress 2017 for image masking

QuarkXPress 2017 introduces transparency blend modes as well as reintroducing image effects and adjustments. The combination is, in publishing terms, golden, provided that you remember that things should only be done in QuarkXPress when they make the most sense to do so. QX2017 is not attempting to replace Capture One, Affinty Photo, Adobe Photoshop or your other favourite RAW developer or editor.

That said, there are an awful lot of image management processes which ought to be done in layout, and doing them earlier in the process is a messy compromise which requires numerous round trips. The most obvious example is Output Sharpening: easy in QX2017, a tedious nightmare previously. However, it will be hard to show the power of output sharpening on screen, so let’s look at another, equally tedious, problem: image cutouts.

Now, we all know that you can cut an image out in QuarkXPress or competing, bundled, software, but we also know that this is a relatively rough-and-ready process. Alternatively, we can go to Photoshop, perhaps using OnOne or Vertus to assist us. We know we are going to spend a long time cutting out, and, if the requirement changes, or the client decides that they preferred one of the alternative images after all, we are going to have to do the whole thing again. And, with cutting out in Photoshop, there’s always the nightmare situation of a cutout which looks totally clean on screen, but prints yellow splodges with hard edges at production.

What if you could do the whole thing in one minute, without leaving QuarkXPress.

Cutout and Shadow in a minute

Ok, here is a problem image taken at the British Museum: 

This one is straight out of the camera, supplied as JPEG, and it’s Hercules (or Herakles) on the right that interests us. You couldn’t possibly use that image, marred as it is by bad exposure, bad colour temperature, and reflection on the glass.

First, let’s crop it and blow it out using Levels. You’ll notice that we’re setting the transparency mode to Multiply. We’ll come back to that in a moment.

A bit of colour balancing in the Highlights enables us to get rid of some yellow splodges which we will not want.

Next, let’s use Threshold to give us a good black mask, which we’ll invert with Invert. You’ll notice we’re setting this to Lighten as a transparency mode.

Our final piece of image adjustment is to use Threshold again with Gaussian Blur to give us the shadow. For this, we’ll go back to our original image with its adjustments as a basis. We’re going to set the transparency of the shadow to 50%, and give it a white background.

As you can see, adjustments and effects in QX2017 stack, non-destructively, executing the top one first, then the second, then the third. Additionally, we’ll distort the image to suit. We can keep playing with this as we develop the document. I’ll make sure that I expand the box the shadow is in, with its white background, to the size of all the other elements.

Finally we are ready to composite.

Here goes:

Now, this is not perfect, but we have spent a total of one minute on it, and, since everything is done non-destructively, we can now refine to suit our task. In most publications this image would be relatively small, perhaps a marginal illustration. We would want to take more time if it was a main featured image—but, in that case, we would probably also insist on starting with a much better original.

A couple of remarks.

First, the image logic is important here. At the back we have the shadow. On top of this, we have the mask we created with Threshold and Invert, set to Lighten. Its black areas have no impact on the area below, as black + Lighten = nothing. Its white areas entirely knock out the shadow, as white + Lighten = white. The top image is set to multiply. Anything x black = black, and image x white = the original image. The result is that the white areas of the original image become entirely transparent, allowing the bottom shadow to appear, but the imaged areas are opaque.

This might sound complicated, but once you’ve got it, you can do one of these a minute.

Second, the drop shadow is important. Although a cutout onto white was easy here, using levels, the cutout then either appears to float in the air, or else sit two-dimensionally on the paper. You need a shadow, and it cannot be the Dropped Shadow effect, which will reenforce the sense of a flat picture laid onto the page.

Final thoughts

To extract this much quality in terms of a cutout in Photoshop or other software would take you twenty minutes at least. If the client changed their mind, that would be another twenty minutes. You would also need to render the shadow as a separate image—not just a separate layer—in order to be able reposition the shadow so that it works with the layout. Of course, you could use this same technique in Photoshop, rather than doing a laborious manual cutout, but you are still faced with maintaining separate shadow images, and further annoying round-trips if the layout changes.

I’ve already ordered, and paid for, my upgrade to QX2017. It is an intense privilege to be one of the beta-testers. I’m awed by the possibilities that the new version brings. I thought it would be very hard to cap the 2016 seminal release. I guess I hadn’t reckoned with the ingenuity and tenacity of the folks at Quark…

Martin Turner is the author of Desk Top Publishing with QuarkXPress 2016, Desk Top Publishing with QuarkXPress 2017, and presenter on the video series Desk Top Publishing with QuarkXPress.

The Faces of Quark: An Interview with Dan Logan, QuarkXPress Product Manager

Dan Logan, QuarkXPress Product Manager

 

The people at Quark are remarkable. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Dan Logan, the product manager for QuarkXPress, about where he came from and what drives his passion for QuarkXPress. He also provided some insight into how Quark has changed since last year’s acquisition by Platinum Equity, how Quark deals with new versions of Mac OS X, and how they develop new versions of QuarkXPress. Dan also gives some surprising career advice for budding designers.

To keep up with Dan, follow him on Twitter at @danlogan

Here’s how our conversation unfolded (my questions are in italics):

————————

Let’s talk about Quark — the company. In which countries is Quark most successful?

Besides the U.S., we’re most successful in Europe — especially Germany and the UK. Quark is all over the globe, with development centers in Denver, Florida, New Jersey, Dublin and India.

Quark is much more than QuarkXPress — Quark has enterprise-level products such as Quark Publishing System, QuarkXPress Server, Quark Dynamic Publishing Solution, and Quark Brand Manager. How does QuarkXPress fit into this mix, and how do designers fit into it?

All these automated solutions require designers and problem-solvers. And they’re all based on QuarkXPress, which is itself a dynamic publishing solution!

What do you like most about working at Quark?

I feel that software development ultimately is a creative endeavor. I definitely enjoy the creative problem solving of software development. I like arguing with my peers about the best way to tackle a problem. My passion is to help  designers who are more talented than me do their work so that I can continue to enjoy their work, which I love.

What did you do before joining Quark?

After finishing school in Denver, I began a career as a photographer, moved to Los Angeles, and worked as freelance camera assistant. Soon, I was drawn into a busy photography and design studio, working on every kind of project you can imagine. I did editorial photography for magazines, and our firm created all kinds of publications, including coffee table books, corporate branding and collateral materials for major companies. While I used QuarkXPress to produce many of these projects, I was actually not formally trained in using QuarkXPress!

I had planned to spend just two years in L.A., but after six years I moved back to Denver, where I had gone to school. I did freelance work, but didn’t like the “promotional” aspect necessary to maintain that kind of work.

How did that bring you to Quark?

In 1998 I heard Quark was hiring, and I got job in technical support for QuarkXPress 4. It turned out I was “a natural” — I’m known for being patient and helpful, so by the end of my second year I was one of the senior technicians.

And then you moved into program management? 

Exactly. I joined Program Management to implement the Product Management team’s direction and build the features of the product. My job was to connect Product Management with our programmers to make the new features work, because I understand how designers think and can communicate well with both programmers and Product Management.

I imagine that you learned a few things by moving from technical support to actually helping build QuarkXPress!

Oh yes! I spent two years in Program Management, tweaking existing features such as Books and Indexing. I definitely learned how difficult it can be to implement even the smallest changes in such a complex, multi-lingual application as QuarkXPress.

So, what was the first version you had serious input into?

I was “Technical Product Manager” for QuarkXPress 6, as a graphics and layout specialist. I worked on the Multiple Undo feature, among others.

In QuarkXPress 7, I managed all the Transparency features, which required rewriting the entire graphics engine. I also created the Quark Vista feature, which lets users transform and add effects to pictures, and also export pictures in different file formats. Vista and PSD Import together helped us win a Macworld Eddy award for version 6.5, fulfilling a childhood dream for me.

Quark has frequently invented and named new technologies and features, such as DCS (Desktop Color Separation) and PDF (Printer Description File). After years of using PDF as the official name for files that let QuarkXPress know which features a specific PostScript printer supports, Adobe co-opted that acronym for their new “Portable Document Format”. Did Microsoft’s use of “Vista” for their newest version of Windows cause a problem for you?

Yeah, Microsoft announced Windows Vista about six months after we released Quark Vista as a free XTension for QuarkXPress. That was a little inconvenient, but it all worked out. The most visible parts of Quark Vista are now found under the Window menu as Picture Effects and under the File menu as Save Picture.

What was your involvement with QuarkXPress 8?

I became Product Manager for QuarkXPress 8. Product Management’s job is to design the functionality — all the way through to the user interface — and then work with R&D to implement those specifications, and with Quality Assurance to ensure that these features are working as planned.

What was your role in developing QuarkXPress 9?

Besides continuing my role as Product Manager, I designed the Conditional Styles feature, the EPUB features, the Blio e-book features, and App Studio (with help from our technology partners). I also worked on migrating the best features from the Gluon products that we had acquired.

So, what Big Feature has you the most excited right now?

App Studio is most exciting, especially since I’ve seen so many customers actually using it! We try to design a feature to be the most flexible as possible — we don’t know how customers will use it, and customers find ways to use it that we haven’t thought of. That’s the proud moment of any product manager — how a user took the technology, slightly tweaked it for their needs, and produced something we didn’t foresee. For example, one customer created a functional two-state button out of a slide show! I hadn’t thought of that.

Is there a small feature you’re proud of, that you’d like more people to know about?

For years, I’ve tried to get “Update Style Sheets” into QuarkXPress. I saw people with notepads on their desks to write down changes to text, so they could enter those changes into the Edit Style Sheet dialog. Starting with QuarkXPress 8, they can simply click on an icon in the Style Sheets palette to update a Style Sheet from the currently selected text.

Also in QuarkXPress 8, we added Option/Alt-Drag to duplicate items.

I also wish people knew more about all the modifier keys for resizing and moving boxes. It creates a flowing design experience that wasn’t possible before. I think of it as “learning how to drive.” For me, the optimal process when designing is to keep one hand on the keyboard and the other on the mouse. In fact, I would like to see MORE keyboard shortcuts, for things like frame width, for example.

And what are you working on in QuarkXPress 10?

Ha! I can’t comment on specifics of future releases and besides, we still have some things to look forward to in QuarkXPress 9 including a new update this week. But overall I’m working with R&D teams to ensure that we’re implementing new or updated functionality, based on what we call a “user model”.

What’s a “user model”?

Essentially, we ask: “How does the user, without any additional information, assume a feature will work?” Then we try to make it “intuitive” based on users’ current experience and expectations. This involves assigning keyboard shortcuts, adding new behaviors such as drag-duplicate, and so forth. Our goal is to implement all features in a way where non-technical users can embrace it without a bunch of training.

I also work with Quality Assurance to balance quality with scope, to decide when to do a maintenance release. Then at shipping time, my role transitions to “go to market”. This means training technical support people, sales people, media and analysts on the new features. After that I go into a User Evangelist role to show people on-site how to use the latest features.

I imagine this gives you some unique insight into what’s causing trouble for people.

Definitely. By evaluating user success, I can see where we succeeded in our implementation of a feature, and where we need to make adjustments for future versions. For example, our EPUB features were updated in version 9.2 because of this. I like to call this process “The Circle of Innovation”, an expression coined by Apple describing how they iterate with outside developers to put the most value into Mac OS X.

It sounds like Quark has a good system in place for getting customer information to the appropriate decision makers. What does that process look like?

Product Management is the main contact point for customers: we go on the road, meet with customers, present at conferences, present webinars, and so forth. It’s a diverse group, because of the varied interests now at Quark. The management team includes print specialists, automation specialists, enterprise workflow specialists, and small-user specialists. We have product managers with backgrounds in India, Japan, the Middle East, and Europe.

My role inside Quark includes meeting with all the managers to prioritize our goals, and to meet with Quark’s vice presidents to incorporate their goals for customer base expansion and development direction.

OK, then how do you decide which directions and features to implement?

Quark uses a process called Scrum, rather than our earlier Waterfall process where product managers would define functionality down to lowest possible level. We used that process for QuarkXPress 6 and 7, but it was a bit too slow for our current needs. Scrum lets us react faster and reduce overall development time for a major release.

Uh, what’s Scrum?

According to Wikipedia, the term originally comes from rugby, where it refers to the way the players from both teams put their heads together when restarting the game. For us, Scrum is an iterative, incremental, agile method for managing software development.

In our use, the goal is to implement tasks in small chunks, so that each part is ready whenever ship time arrives.

What’s your role in the Scrum?

I represent the customers’ interests in the Scrum.

Since we’re on the topic of your role at Quark, has Quark’s acquisition by Platinum Equity last August changed your role?

Nothing specifically for my role. Platinum supports our dynamic publishing strategy, which essentially means creating next-generation solutions to enable organizations to automate their publishing process and design and publish content to multiple channels from print through to devices such as the iPad. We’re all about helping publishers stay in business! Of course having Platinum Equity as our owners also provides us access to a very experienced mergers and acquisitions team that enables us to do things like our recent acquisition of Mobile IQ, which is hugely exciting for Quark and our customers.

OK, since you represent the customers’ interest at Quark, I’ll ask a question I’ve heard from several QuarkXPress users. Some companies complain that they can’t upgrade to QuarkXPress 9 yet because of older workflow XTensions or other software that doesn’t work yet with QuarkXPress 9. However, earlier versions of QuarkXPress don’t work well with Mac OS X Lion (and presumably this summer’s upcoming Mountain Lion). This creates an impossible situation: if their company is growing, they need new Macs, which can only run Lion, and earlier versions of QuarkXPress aren’t 100% compatible with Lion. What advice would you give them?

Talk to us! Make sure we know what’s keeping you back. Almost always, the other components are available in another way. Sometimes, a larger organization is using a workflow that requires some updated thinking — updating the workflow usually includes the added benefit of making them even more efficient.

Why doesn’t Quark just make earlier versions work on newer operating systems?

It’s impractical for us to go back to the old code base — we keep them available for a year or more and release maintenance upgrades for as long as possible. I know customers often think that software companies make these decisions to try and push users to newer versions but the reality is at some point, it becomes technically unfeasible for us to be tied to the old code base. For us to deploy QuarkXPress 8 on Lion would take more than just fixing the icons.

One final question: what areas would you recommend a creative professional focus on for long-term success?

I don’t think all designers have the same goals in mind. Some want a successful career. Some want to produce work they’re proud of. If a successful career is your most important goal, realize that you probably won’t be designing much — your best shot is becoming an art director. If production is your thing, then become a production manager and study the most efficient ways of using the tools.

I guess it boils down to understanding which type of person you are: “Know Thyself.”

That sounds like great advice that has served you well in your own career. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with our Planet Quark family, Dan!

My pleasure, Jay. I think Planet Quark is a great resource for Quark’s customers, and I’m happy to engage with it.

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.

Nicest app so far?

I have seen many apps and helped a lot of customers to publish their (public and in-house) apps so far and I would have a hard time to choose the “nicest” or best-looking or most interesting app published so far.

So let me introduce you to an App Studio app that I would currently see as my favorite so far when it comes to the user experience and especially its use of interactivity: Quidtap.

My advice, try it yourself (even if you like me don’t understand Italian). If you don’t want to, you might also want to look at an introduction video only: http://www.quidpad.it/

What I like about the usability of Quidtap:

– First, it uses interactivity tailored to a tablet (one of my pleas earlier)
– The usability (what to do when, how to navigate etc.) is explained and clearly indicated (no need to “just tap everywhere to find effects”)
– The interactivity doesn’t get into my way when accessing content (one of the worst things to do, remember “Skip Intro” in the Flash days?)
– The interactivity underlines the message the publication is conveying (photos have callouts that explain areas tapped)
– The interactivity is fun to use

(Is there a better reason than the last one? ;-)

 

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.

Since February 2014 Matthias heads Quark’s Desktop Publishing business unit and is therefore responsible for QuarkXPress.

QuarkXPress 8: Tricks for Text

There are a number of small but helpful improvements in QuarkXPress 8 involving hyphens, invisible characters, spell checking, and indents. Below is an explanation of the small improvements made in the world of text, courtesy of X-Ray magazine. (This is an excerpt from “QuarkXPress 8: a Suite Response“.)

DON’T DASH OFF

In QuarkXPress 6.X, if you added a discretionary hyphen (COMMAND + HYPHEN) at a point in a word, the word would hyphenate where you had inserted the hyphen (if necessary) and ignore any automatic hyphenation. If you placed a discretionary hyphen at the beginning of a word, it would break at that point (in essence, preventing a hyphen within the word itself). In QuarkXPress 7.X, Quark changed this behavior in an attempt to make it more flexible. After customer feedback, they’ve now changed it back to be more in keeping with the behavior style of QuarkXPress 6.X, but with the added flexibility of QuarkXPress 7 — namely word joiner. In QuarkXPress 8, a discretionary hyphen at the beginning of a word will simply kill hyphenation for that word (be it auto hyphenation or discretionary hyphens).

  • A discretionary hyphen placed within the word will cancel auto hyphenation and break the word at the point of the discretionary hyphen.
  • A discretionary hyphen placed at the beginning of a word will cancel both auto and discretionary hyphens within the word.
  • To cancel an automatically inserted hyphen, insert a word joiner at the point of the undesired hyphen.

Figure 41	 Using word joiner, a feature of QuarkXPress 7, you can cancel both auto and discretionary hyphens placed within a word.

Figure 41 – Using word joiner, a feature of QuarkXPress 7, you can cancel both auto and discretionary hyphens placed within a word.

When you open a legacy document, it should not re-flow due to these discretionary-hyphen changes that have been made to each of the last versions of QuarkXPress. However, if you option + open an older document (in short, open the document and flow it using the new QuarkXPress 8 text flow), then any discretionary hyphen you inserted into the legacy text flow will adopt the new QuarkXPress 8 behavior and you might end up with unexpected line breaks. There’s a simple fix: Use the find/change feature to remove discretionary hyphens and enable QuarkXPress 8 handling (find \h and replace with nothing). When a discretionary hyphen is found, it will not be viewable on the screen since discretionary hyphens are a zero-width character, but you can find/change them anyway.

ZOOM IN

Many of the glyphs for invisibles characters have been enlarged for easier viewing on the document page. (You can now safely put away your reading glasses.)

LEARNING TO SPELL

If you are a current user of QuarkXPress, I’m sure that you have felt the frustration at some time in the past when the spell checker insisted on stopping to check every URL and email address. Since QuarkXPress 7.31 you have been able to set preferences for whether or not the spell checker will bother with such words. I include it here because I just discovered it, and figure others have not yet. It’s quite simple to change:

  1. Choose QUARKXPRESS > PREFERENCES > SPELLCHECK.
  2. Set the options.
  3. Click OK.
Figure 43

PUT A DENT IN IT

If your body copy design calls for a text indent at the start of the paragraph, you can now add an em space width in the first paragraph indent field as opposed to typing an em or en space character for the indent.

Figure 43 – As a nice side benefit, when you use these percentages of an em to indent your paragraph and you later change the text point size, the indent is scaled as well.

Later, if you change the design of your style so that an indent is no longer desired, you will not have to search and replace to remove them all. Simply set the indent here to zero.

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.