Feature – Planet Quark http://www.planetquark.com by Quark users for Quark users Fri, 27 May 2016 12:30:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.3 The Faces of Quark: An Interview with Dan Logan, QuarkXPress Product Manager http://www.planetquark.com/2012/05/30/the-faces-of-quark-an-interview-with-dan-logan-quarkxpress-product-manager/ http://www.planetquark.com/2012/05/30/the-faces-of-quark-an-interview-with-dan-logan-quarkxpress-product-manager/#respond Wed, 30 May 2012 12:00:26 +0000 http://www.planetquark.com/?p=6712

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.

]]>
http://www.planetquark.com/2012/05/30/the-faces-of-quark-an-interview-with-dan-logan-quarkxpress-product-manager/feed/ 0
Nicest app so far? http://www.planetquark.com/2012/01/06/nicest-app-so-far/ http://www.planetquark.com/2012/01/06/nicest-app-so-far/#respond Fri, 06 Jan 2012 12:40:47 +0000 http://www.planetquark.com/?p=5947 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? ;-)

 

]]>
http://www.planetquark.com/2012/01/06/nicest-app-so-far/feed/ 0
QuarkXPress 8: Tricks for Text http://www.planetquark.com/2008/11/10/quarkxpress-8-tricks-for-text/ http://www.planetquark.com/2008/11/10/quarkxpress-8-tricks-for-text/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2008 17:02:12 +0000 http://planetquark.com/?p=999 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.

]]>
http://www.planetquark.com/2008/11/10/quarkxpress-8-tricks-for-text/feed/ 12
Everything you ever wanted to know about “Dividing A Box” in the Scripts menu http://www.planetquark.com/2008/10/31/need-to-align-a-bunch-of-photos-to-a-grid-in-quark/ http://www.planetquark.com/2008/10/31/need-to-align-a-bunch-of-photos-to-a-grid-in-quark/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2008 16:07:40 +0000 http://planetquark.com/?p=950 Need to align a bunch of photos to a grid? Here’s another really useful built-in script for Mac users…

If you’ve ever had to make a grid of pictures in QuarkXPress, perhaps to produce the “man on the street” section of a newspaper, you need to read this.

If you’re dragging in guides to align images, and then importing pictures one at a time through the File menu, you’re doing way too much work!

Even if you’re clever and use the Guide Manager in Quark 6 or 7, the new Guides palette or Grid Styles palette in Quark 8, or simply use Step and Repeat to accomplish this task, you’d still be working way too hard!  Let me show you how to work smarter…

As a continuation of my Scripts series, I’d like to show you how Dividing a Box can help.

Instead of the 6 different ways you could accomplish this task, let me propose to you a seventh…

Here is the task at hand: you need to make a grid of images that are aligned to each other. Instead of using any of the aforementioned tools and palettes, consider using a Script that has even been available since Quark 4! You’ll find it under Scripts> Grid> By a Dividing Box. (The Scripts menu is that scroll-looking icon at the right end of Quark’s items in the menu bar.)

To make a Grid, simply draw a box. This box is the box that will automatically be divided into rows and columns as the Script generates new boxes and guides in your Layout.

You can use either the Text Box Tool or the Picture Box Tool to create the box to be divide. The tool you use determines what kind of boxes will be generated. If you wanted to have multiple linked text boxes in a grid, this Script actually asks you if you would like to link boxes together at the end of the script. For this exercise, I would like to concentrate on Picture boxes. 

The first step is to create a box. In this exercise I will create a picture box to define the outside edges of the Grid of Picture Boxes that I want.

Draw a picture box.

Then choose Scripts> Grid> By Dividing a Box. The Script is launched.

The first question the Script asks is how many columns you would like. I chose 3.

The next question asked was how many columns I would like. I chose 3 again.

You can choose any number you’d like — they just need to be whole numbers (obviously!).

Chose your Column Gutter Measurement.

This is the space that will appear vertically between your picture boxes. It’s too bad there is no preview checkbox or apply in this window. Hopefully this will become a Menu command in Quark 9!

Chose your Row Gutter Measurement.

You may want to leave enough room to make your caption boxes. So think this one through. If it’s wrong, you can always delete these boxes and start over.

Chose whether you want Guides attached to the boxes.

Even though Quark is aligning these boxes perfectly for you, you may want to make guides just so it makes it that much easier to see if the boxes have moved, or if you need to align caption boxes later on.

And there it is: a Grid of perfectly aligned picture boxes ready for you to import pictures into. Now, if you have any version of Quark prior to Quark 8, unfortunately you will have to import each image separately.

But if you are one of the smart ones who has upgraded to QuarkXPress 8, I’d like to show the two easiest ways to import these images.

The first is using Adobe Bridge. If you have any professional application from the Adobe on your computer, you can use Adobe Bridge to navigate to the folder full of images you would like to place inside your newly formed picture boxes in QuarkXPress 8. The best part is that all you need to do is drag an image and drop it directly over an existing picture box in Quark to either fill the box, or replace an existing picture. You will see the picture box highlight in blue, so that you know which box you are dropping it into. And if fitting has already been applied to the box, that fitting will stay.

You may want to click in the upper right hand corner of Bridge and choose> Switch Bridge to Compact Mode. When in this mode Bridge becomes a palette floating over your Quark Project. You can drag and drop the images as needed.

Using Bridge to drag-and-drop images.

But, let’s say you don’t have Bridge. In QuarkXPress 8 you can now drag these images directly from a window on your desktop into your QuarkXPress project or into existing frames. (For further information on drag-and-drop in QuarkXPress 8, see this story at PlanetQuark.com)

To use drag-and-drop in earlier versions of QuarkXPress, download the free XTensions mentioned in this story at PlanetQuark.com. 

Choose your items visually using View> Show items as Icons in Mac OS X 10.5

Drag your images directly into Quark Picture boxes.

Once the items are dragged in they come in at 100%.

This is what the images look like dropped in at 100%.

You can instantly fit an image to its box in any of three ways: by pressing Command-Option-Shift-F, or by choosing Style> Scale Picture to Box, or by Control-clicking or right-clicking on the picture box and choosing Scale Picture to Box. Then you can Shift-drag the corner of the image to resize it within its box, while keeping its proportions correct.

Fit the image.

Once one image is fitted, you can drag and drop the rest into their boxes.

The final result. box.

The Scripts menu in Quark is full of very powerful features. Explore thy Scripts!

]]>
http://www.planetquark.com/2008/10/31/need-to-align-a-bunch-of-photos-to-a-grid-in-quark/feed/ 2
The Faces of Quark: Joshua Duhl on Dynamic Publishing http://www.planetquark.com/2008/10/24/the-faces-of-quark-joshua-duhl-on-dynamic-publishing/ http://www.planetquark.com/2008/10/24/the-faces-of-quark-joshua-duhl-on-dynamic-publishing/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2008 15:46:59 +0000 http://planetquark.com/?p=858 It’s no secret that Quark in recent years has been expanding dramatically into the world of enterprise publishing. (Boy, I dislike that word: “enterprise”. The only place I want to hear Enterprise is in a Star Trek franchise. Come to think of it, I don’t like “franchise” either. The creative part of my brain attaches both words to Big Business and brings up images of white men chasing immediate profits. I digress, but I’ll get back to this in a minute.)

So why is Quark tackling enterprise publishing when other solutions already exist? That’s the question I put to Joshua Duhl, Quark’s Director of Enterprise Product Marketing. Oddly enough, his answer got me thinking about Apple. 

If Apple has a success model, it’s that they identify a market that’s being woefully underserved by clumsy and complicated products. Then they create a smarter and more elegant solution for that market (witness the success of the iPod, iPhone, iTunes, Mac OS X, etc.). 

Quark appears to be doing the same thing with enterprise publishing. Their strongest user base suffers under an unnecessarily complex and support-heavy mish-mash of products cobbled together to facilitate the relatively straightforward task of storing assets and publishing them to various media. Kinda like what Apple saw with digital music a few years back.

But Quark’s focus is on creating software that make it easy to publish pictures, text, layouts, and stories in newspapers, magazines, websites, Flash presentations, catalogs, directories, guide books, brochures, sell sheets, advertisements, (shall I go on?) — in multiple languages. So what if they automated some of the process and called it “Dynamic”? That’s right, Dynamic Enterprise Publishing. And hey — now that this label has three words, it can be an acronym: DEP. Ah, that’s better: DEP fits in alongside CMS, DAM and XML, which is much more comfortable for people who love acronyms. I am not one of those people.

I’m making light of all of this because many creative people I know hate acronyms and run screaming from terms such as Enterprise. But here’s the deal: Enterprise Publishing becomes really sexy when you add the word Dynamic to it. Seriously! As a designer, wouldn’t it be great if you could be assured that:

  • The corporate image and branding that you worked so hard to create will be uniformly applied everywhere the company exists in visual form?
  • The graphics and clever slogans developed to work seamlessly within one campaign will be used as intended, even within other, unforeseen campaigns?
  • When you change a graphic, slogan, caption, name, location, or any other vital bit of information, that change ripples through all campaigns, everywhere, instantly?
  • Your team was freed to engage in more creative projects, instead of babysitting and correcting projects mangled by those who just don’t “get it”?

Do I have your attention yet? I hope so, because that would mean that maybe I’ve done half as good a job introducing Quark’s Dynamic Enterprise Publishing direction as Joshua Duhl did in explaining to me. Joshua is Quark’s Director of Enterprise Product Marketing. In a recent interview, I asked Joshua about why he came to Quark, where he came from, and what direction Quark is taking with Dynamic Publishing.

Before joining Quark earlier this year, Joshua spent more than 20 years in the industry, with 10 of them as an analyst for International Data Corp. (IDC). While there, he wrote several seminal reports on market segments, including the first market analysis of Dynamic Enterprise Publishing. For further details, you can read Quark’s biography for Joshua below.

It’s clear that Joshua is an expert in the dynamic publishing market. As a result of his experience, he’s come up with a simple rule of thumb when evaluating enterprise publishing solutions:

  • Does it solve the problem?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • Is it scalable?

He’s studied the main players for many years: Arbortext, Adobe, Quark, StreamServe, eXstream, and other XML authoring software packages. I think it says something important about Quark’s vision that when Joshua met with Ray Schiavone, Quark’s CEO, he came away excited enough to spearhead Quark’s direction in this area. Joshua said the meeting convinced him that only Quark has products that fulfill his three requirements.

The Quark Publishing System (QPS), with QuarkXPress as its user interface, fits the bill. Based on open standards (heck – it’s written in Java!), QPS can work within existing publishing workflows, taking advantage of existing content management systems (CMS) and digital asset management (DAM) systems. Its scalability extends from QuarkXPress at the desktop to small workgroups and on up to large worldwide enterprise uses. 

What is Dynamic Publishing?

Dynamic Publishing can mean a range of things, depending on its use. Quark focuses on four key ideas:

  • Content first: Focus on authoring the content first, independent of the context, formatting or media in which it will ultimately appear.  Today most content is written for a specific media (e.g., Print, Web, etc.) often with the formatting included. This makes it difficult or impossible to repurpose without significant additional manual work.
  • A single source of content: one large database of smart text components, graphic elements, and other files related to projects. Uniquely, this repository contains your active projects as well as your archived projects and elements.
  • Multiple output channels: only Quark’s solution guarantees consistency in branding and messaging across all publications, media and languages. It also allows simultaneous publishing to multiple media – for example, newspapers may publish to the Web first and then to the print edition; or marketing departments that need both printed and PDF brochures, and also need the same content on their website.
  • Automation: generates documents with minimal human interaction, customized for different audiences, markets or media. This is now a common need when disseminating information, in one or multiple languages.

How And Why It’s Useful For Designers

Imagine being able to create designs that can be quickly or automatically populated with appropriate information for a specific audience or media or geography – designs that maintain brand consistency while allowing contextual variation.

Imagine being able to immediately find the current version of any text, picture, caption, or combination (“story”), and instantly pull it into a project. Not just in QuarkXPress, but in other applications as well.

Then imagine that later, “downstream” users such as marketing departments could reuse the pieces of your projects in their own projects. And they always grab the current version. (!)

What Makes Quark’s Solution Successful

According to Joshua, designers, publishers and corporate communications people have similar needs, often within the same company. Earlier in this story, I mentioned designers and publishers, but corporate users have different challenges:

  • Delivering consistent internal communications to workers
  • Communicating with customers, outside dealers and partners
  • Localization of content, either regionally or internationally
  • While appearance is certainly important, the sheer volume of information flow creates a different kind of problem for tracking and consistency
  • Scalability is key because of potential growth factors
  • In regulated industries, product labeling and product statements need to be universally controlled and tracked

He points out that from his meetings with publishers and corporations worldwide, Quark’s solution is being chosen over other products for several reasons:

  • Quark has a vision that is clearly understood because it aligns with the needs of companies.
  • Quark’s Dynamic Publishing Solution (Quark DPS) engages at a higher level in the organization – a strategic level that encompasses broader aspects of the business.
  • Quark’s solution can be easily integrated into existing solutions such as Microsoft Sharepoint – far more easily than competing solutions.
  • Quark’s solution can output to a wide variety of formats, not just Adobe’s formats or Microsoft’s formats. For example, Quark can output to Flash and SilverLight, PDF, Microsoft Word, XML, HTML, DITA (widely used for documentation), PRISM, NewsML and SPL (Structured Product Labeling, an initiative of the U.S. FDA).
  • In contrast, Adobe’s solution focuses only on publishing: newspaper, books and magazines.
  • Content can be authored in Microsoft Word. Earlier this year, Quark acquired a company named In.vision Research Corporation so that users can author XML in Microsoft Word for immediate use in Quark Publishing System. According to Joshua, this produces completely structured XML, not just the formatted text that Word 2007/2008 is capable of exporting. In essence, it provides XML authoring for average users, in an add-on for Word named Xpress Author. (Note to Quark: since you’re all about brand consistency, why not uppercase the P and make it XPress Author?)

Surprises For The Future

Given the flexibility and openness of Quark’s software, I wouldn’t be surprised if they ventured into even greater territory with it — vastly greater territory. They’ve already embraced Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash, PDF, Microsoft SilverLight, Word, and XML authoring… watch for some news next week that will put this story into a very different perspective. ;-)

Joshua Duhl, Director of Enterprise Product Marketing

Joshua Duhl, Director of Product Management

Joshua Duhl, Director of Enterprise Product Marketing

Joining Quark in early 2008, Joshua Duhl guides the product direction and marketing of Quark’s enterprise products. Duhl comes to Quark with over 20 years of marketing, product management, market analysis, software engineering, and consulting experience. He was most recently Vice President of Product Management and Strategy at ClearStory Systems, a digital asset management (DAM) software vendor, where he led the company’s product strategy, roadmap and rollout. Duhl was Director of Research for IDC’s Content Management and Rich Media software service, covering the content management, DAM, authoring software, dynamic publishing and digital rights management markets. He was selected by IDC’s clients as one of three 2003 Global Research Advisory Council Analysts of the Year. Prior to 2003, Duhl ran Stillpoint Consulting, an independent consultantcy providing strategic marketing, product planning and positioning guidance to a variety of software companies. He holds a bachelors degree in Computer Science from Haverford College

]]>
http://www.planetquark.com/2008/10/24/the-faces-of-quark-joshua-duhl-on-dynamic-publishing/feed/ 6
Everything you ever wanted to know about “Box Tools” in the Scripts menu http://www.planetquark.com/2008/10/22/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-box-tools-in-the-scripts-menu/ http://www.planetquark.com/2008/10/22/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-box-tools-in-the-scripts-menu/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2008 15:11:16 +0000 http://planetquark.com/?p=834 It looks like a scroll, it’s in the menu bar, and you’ve probably never used it.

If you use a Macintosh, it’s about time you realize how many hours of work this feature will save you — and could have been saving you since QuarkXPress 4. You’re gonna love this once you realize all the things these scripts can do. I want to compare the Scripts menu in Quark 4, 5 and 6 to the Scripts menu in Quark 7 and 8, just to show that you could have been doing these things years ago. As I explored this menu, I literally cried — I couldn’t believe I never tried to see what this cryptic little menu does. This strange white parchment at the right side of the menu bar could have saved me many late nights in Quark. In my next few entries I’d like to show you how to use each one. Commander Riker, let’s begin with the Box Tools. Engage!

A short digression to set the stage…

When a movie is released, certain scenes never make it to the final cut. The scenes that tell the story and guide the plot are the ones that survive. It’s usually the scenes that really enhance the story that end up on the cutting room floor. Programs are no different. When a newer version of a program is released, the programmers try to include all the new feature requests that users want (I would like to think.) Certain requests that would enhance the program are not always added to the actual program, because of time or resources, and they are then added as scripts. If a script is successful, it can only hope to one day make it into the Directors Cut (Quark 8.)

Take for example the Jabba the Hutt scene of Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope. Lucas didn’t have enough time or money to include it in the movie (program) the way he wanted so he waited till a later release. (Click here to see what I mean.) What I think about updating movies vs. updating programs is for another blog…

Here’s what Quark left on the cutting room floor…

The Box Tools Scripts Menu in Quark 4, 5 and 6.

The Box Tools Scripts Menu in Quark 7 and 8.

You will notice that there were many more scripts in Quark 4, 5 and 6. The reason why they are not there in Quark 7 and 8 is because those functions were added to the program itself.

Add Crop Marks

This is a great and necessary feature for anyone whose printer has ever asked for crop marks. Instead of manually drawing crop marks for the printer, you can use this feature — which has been around since Quark 4!

Let’s say you need to print an ad with crop marks. Just select the outside box of your ad, then choose Scripts> Box Tools> Add Crop Marks.

Adding Crop Marks to a box.

Center Box on Page

This little gem of a script disappeared in QuarkXPress 7 after Quark added “Item Relative” and Page Relative” to the alignment options in the Item> Space/Align menu, and in the Measurements palette.

If you have an item in Quark 4, 5 or 6 that you need to center on the page, you can choose Script > Box Tools> Center Box on Page.

Here is the script at work in Quark 6.

Ever since Quark 7 you can find the command right in the Measurements palette. And I may add that Quark had this command NINE YEARS before InDesign CS3 did.

Here is the menu command in Quark 8.

Drop Shadow

This one is pretty basic, though I admit it would have been helpful to know about. Before QuarkXPress 7, you needed a commercial XTension called Shadowcaster to get a true drop shadow effect. Quark 7 and above have built-in drop shadow effects, but if you want to try Shadowcaster in Quark 7, you can get it for free at: http://labs.quark.com/projects.aspx.

Here are the Drop Shadow options in the Measurements palette.

In Quark 4, 5 or 6, you could apply this script to all your selected boxes, including Picture Boxes, Text Boxes or None Boxes. When it runs, the script asks you for offset amounts, and whether or not to Overprint the shadow.

The first Drop Shadow script window.

The second Drop Shadow script window.

The third Drop Shadow script window.

The final drop shadow.

It wasn’t much: it was a black box offset with a 30% shade. There was no feather back then, but it was still a huge timesaver.

Easy Banner

For at least one full year of my life, I created car ads for newspapers in Quark. Day after day, I would insert new cars where old cars once existed. I would constantly be asked by sales people to insert a banner in the top left corner of the ad that read “New” or a price of “$2000.” Then there were the real estate ads. These images needed descriptions such as “Just Listed” or “Priced to Sell.” At first I would always hand draw each banner with the pen tool. At print time, these quick solutions never lined up the way I wanted. I eventually drew them correctly and save them as items in a Library, which made my job easier. However, I still needed to resize them, and depending on the layout they sometimes looked disproportionate. Then, there I was again editing the banner with the pen tool. If I had known this script existed in Quark 4, 5 and 6, I wouldn’t have told anyone. I would have let everyone think I was the Banner Master.

Banner Master pointing to his work.

Easy Banner is located under Scripts> Box Tools> Easy Banner. It literally makes a banner for you!

The first window asks you “What should the Banner say?” The banner really doesn’t say anything. Since this banner is for print, the question should be “What should the Banner read? But I’m just splitting hairs…

The second window asks you to “Select a Text Color.” Do it.

The third window asks you to “Select a Box Color.” Do this also.

Then a whole lot of really quick magical things happen. A shape is created, text is added, its suddenly rotated, and then it is clipped to the shape of the picture box! Amazing! Use as needed…

Make Caption Box

These last two scripts still have a home in Quark 7 and 8. If you work for any kind of publication where you are constantly making caption boxes under photos, you need to know this exists. Instead of making a text box under each box, then somehow getting the caption, I’ve got a nice little workflow for you. Select the image that needs the caption. Choose Scripts> Box> Tools> Make Caption Box.

Here’s where you can enter the caption.

The empty caption window appears. Now here’s a good idea… If you have photographers who are saving the photos for you somewhere on the server and giving you a separate text file or Word document for the captions, stop doing that. Once the photographer is done making their masterpiece in Photoshop, have them go to File > File Info in Photoshop and type or copy the caption into the Description section.

Now you can use Bridge to locate the photo you need and even drag and drop that image onto your Quark page in Quark 8. When you need the caption info, simply right click the image in Bridge and choose File Info. You will see the same File Info they inserted in Photoshop.

You can right-click a photo in Bridge to get file info.

The Bridge File Info Window.

Copy this Info and paste it into the empty caption window.

The placed caption.

You have no control over the size of the caption‘s text box (although you could alter the script). So, why not make yourself an Item Style in Quark 8 and apply it once the box is created? Then apply a paragraph style as needed. Or… since the caption text is automatically assigned the “Normal” paragraph style, you could change your Normal style to whatever you want the captions to look like. You could also potentially redefine the preferences of the text box tool before you use the script, to control the runaround of the caption box.

Shrink or Grow at Center

I actually could have used this one for a couple of the posts I’ve made at PlanetQuark.com. Here is the most perfect example I can think of: let’s say that you normally create a box to use as an outside frame, and then you create another box that is inset exactly 9 pt from this frame. The outside box could be any size, but the inside box is always 9 pt away from the edge of the outside box. Here‘s what to do: Copy your first box and Paste it in Place. (Edit> Paste In Place) Now use the Shrink script to shrink your box proportionately by 18 pt. You now have a box that is smaller and exactly 9 points away from the outside box.

Here is another example:

In this example I drew a box around the picture and the text. My goal is to create a larger box that surrounds the picture and text.

Draw a box around whatever you’d like to surround.

I gave the box a black frame. I then chose Scripts> Box Tools> Shrink or Grow at Center.

Enter the amount to Shrink or Grow.

If your box has a picture in it, there are all kinds of ways to scale it — I encourage you to try each one.

Scale it in whatever manner seems fit.

After I grew this box I sent it to the back and gave it a blue color.

The final result.

So there you have it… Those are the Box Tools scripts in Quark 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. I urge you to try these tools whenever you have a chance and try to fit them into your everyday workflow. They could really save you a lot of time. Just don’t tell your boss, and spend a little bit more time exploring Planet Quark for me…

]]>
http://www.planetquark.com/2008/10/22/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-box-tools-in-the-scripts-menu/feed/ 8
Quark Announces Version 8 of Everything: Quark Publishing System 8, QuarkCopyDesk8 and QuarkXPress Server 8 http://www.planetquark.com/2008/09/26/quark-announces-version-8-of-everything-quark-publishing-system-8-quarkcopydesk8-and-quarkxpress-server-8/ http://www.planetquark.com/2008/09/26/quark-announces-version-8-of-everything-quark-publishing-system-8-quarkcopydesk8-and-quarkxpress-server-8/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2008 15:07:26 +0000 http://planetquark.com/2008/09/26/quark-announces-version-8-of-everything-quark-publishing-system-8-quarkcopydesk8-and-quarkxpress-server-8/ It seems that Adobe is not the only company rolling out new versions of Big Software. Today, Quark announced Quark Publishing System 8, QuarkCopyDesk8, and QuarkXPress Server 8, all of which work seamlessly with their recently-released QuarkXPress 8.

What are these things?

Simply put, they’re the other pieces of Quark’s publishing workflow system. (Apologies to Quark: this is my simplified view of what these pieces do…)

Quark Publishing System 8: an editorial system that manages stories and other assets, so that many people can work at the same time, using the same assets, when publishing various editions of printed or website publications. Writers write, editors edit, layout people lay out pages or websites, and artwork editors create and edit artwork. All the while, everything is available in real time to anyone with the permission to use them. It can even output in Flash format.

For a bit more info, check out our stories on the previous versions at Quark Releases Quark Publishing System 7 and Quark Publishing System 7.4 Adds Support for Leopard, Safari, LDAP, Full Text Search, Russian and Polish.

QuarkCopyDesk8: a limited version of QuarkXPress, with additional features dedicated to editing and tracking changes to stories. A layout artist in QuarkXPress decides which page elements should be available for editing by a copy writer/editor, and then that writer/editor can work in real time on the same layout. If allowed to, they can also tweak pictures using Quark’s powerful image-editing features.

You can read more about how QuarkCopyDesk works here, Quark’s Word Processor.

QuarkXPress Server 8: a publishing engine that can generate pages in HTML, PDF, QuarkXPress and other formats, based on either user input or rules that combine images and text and places them on the page.

You can read more about how some folks are using QuarkXPress Server at Seemingly Magical Ad Production.

How do they compare to Adobe’s tools?

Many experts agree that Quark’s system is much easier to implement than Adobe’s server tools, saving lots of setup time and expense, as well as lower ongoing support costs. Here’s a report that explains what I mean:

“Report Analyses Quark Publishing System 7, Smart Connection Enterprise, and K4”
Quark’s press release goes so far as to say this:

“QPS is the most flexible and easy-to-use workflow system available today. Unlike Woodwing’s Smart Connection Enterprise and Softcare’s K4, only QPS offers XML-based Job Jackets technology to evaluate design and content accuracy in order to prevent errors early in the production process. Only QPS offers ready-made integration with Alfresco Enterprise 2, the leading open-source content management system. In addition, it is the easiest workflow system to set up because it is configured through a graphical user interface instead of a browser interface or text-based configuration scripts. QPS also works with more desktop applications than Smart Connection Enterprise and K4.”

What’s this Alfresco thing?

Alfresco Enterprise 2 is the leading open source content management system, allowing users to store assets in a single repository and view and update content in real-time. The “open source” bit is particularly important: all of Quark’s publishing tools use open standards, so you’re never locked in to one company’s vision of how you should do your work.

What else is new?

In QPS 8:

  • User interface support for 13 languages including Japanese, as well as hyphenation and spell checking for more than 30 languages, enabling advanced international collaboration. Just like in QuarkXPress 8, you can publish in every major language and share the same document with users in every nation.
  • Improved asset management through QPS Connect Client, including multi-page preview, multiple asset check-in, metadata tagging, custom grouping, and full text search functionality. QPS Connect Client is an application for Mac or Windows that lets users manage and contribute content from anywhere with Internet access.
  • QPS Web Hub support for East Asian languages, including the support for Rubi and Group Characters. QPS Web Hub lets you use a Web browser to view assignments and write, edit, and copyfit text. Managers can monitor publications and projects, as well as track and adjust user workloads — all using a Web browser.
  • Support for native Adobe Illustrator file formats. Enough said.

In QuarkCopyDesk8:

• Adopts QuarkXPress 8’s new intuitive interface, advanced typographical control, and support for East Asian text.

• Adopts the other poweful new features of QuarkXPress 8, including drag-and-drop from any application, media browser, Adobe Bridge, or the desktop.

Availability

Quark says that Quark Publishing System 8, QuarkCopyDesk 8 and QuarkXPress Server 8 will be available in Q4 2008. They’ll be demonstrating it at IFRA Expo on October 27–30, and at Graph Expo on October 26–29.

]]>
http://www.planetquark.com/2008/09/26/quark-announces-version-8-of-everything-quark-publishing-system-8-quarkcopydesk8-and-quarkxpress-server-8/feed/ 1
From Synchronized Text to Shared Content http://www.planetquark.com/2008/09/08/from-synchronized-text-to-shared-content/ http://www.planetquark.com/2008/09/08/from-synchronized-text-to-shared-content/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2008 15:32:40 +0000 http://planetquark.com/2008/09/08/from-synchronized-text-to-shared-content/ And a somewhat unconventional approach to using Shared Content

The Shared Content palette appeared in QuarkXPress 6 as the Synchronized Text palette. If you’ve never used it before, I’d like to explain what it can do for you, and what you may have never thought it can do for you. Let’s start with the basics…

The Synchronized Text palette that appeared in QuarkXPress 6 lets you synchronize text, such as an address, so if you need to use the address again, you can drag the content onto another location, or even an entirely different layout within a project. If you then change the address in one of the instances, all of your synchronized text will update across all of your layouts within the project.

The Synchronized Text palette in QuarkXPress 6 is located under Window> Show Synchronized Text. Once you open the palette, you can synchronize the entire contents of a text box. Let’s consider a scenario where you have a job producing collateral material for a hotel. They need a brochure, letterhead, envelope, and a postcard. Since Quark 6 lets you create multiple layouts within a Project you could design all four documents within one project by selecting Layout> New. Instead of typing the address four times, once for each document, you type the address in once, then make it Synchronized Text. You do this in Quark 6 by selecting some or all of the text and clicking the Synchronized Text button in the top left of the palette. The first dialog box that appears asks you if you’d like to “Synchronize the entire contents of the box?” You really don’t have a choice here, its OK or Cancel. OK makes Synchronized Text from the entire content of the text box, and of course Cancel stops this whole process. Choose OK and accept it. You might even just check the “Do not show this warning again” checkbox. This somehow makes me feel empowered.

This is the first dialog box that appears.

After you click OK, another dialog box appears that asks you to name the item. Give it a name that is relevant and click OK.

Name your Synchronized Content.

You can now see the content listed in your Synchronized Content palette.

Your new Synchronized Content is now in the palette.

To use the Synchronized Content, make another text box either on the current layout, or on another layout. Then drag and drop your Synchronized Content into the new text box.

Dragging Synchronized Content into the new text box.

The content should now appear inside your new text box. You can do this as many times as you like. It almost acts like a text macros out of Microsoft Word. Anything that you find that you need to type over and over again, you can make into Synchronized Content.

Another benefit is that if the text should have to change because it was typed incorrectly, or because you are now doing the same campaign for another hotel with a different address, you an change one instance of the Synchronized Content, and each one updates.

Updating one instance of Synchronized Content automatically updates all instances.

Then along came QuarkXPress 7…
QuarkXPress 7 really added a whole bunch of new options to the Synchronized Content palette, and because of Collaboration Setup (which lets you place or share a Quark layout inside another layout) and the fact that you could now synchronize or share pictures, it was now named the Shared Content palette. There are three approaches to sharing either a picture box or a text frame. You can share just the content of a text box, just like you could do by using Synchronized Content in Quark 6. But now in Quark 7 you can share the content of a picture box, which means that if you change the Shared Content of a logo inside a picture box then all the other boxes where you used that Shared Content will also update. Or you can share the Attributes of the content as well as the Content itself. This means that if you change the font or increase the text size of one Shared Content instance, they all change. And finally you could also Synchronize the box attributes, which means it would remember the box size, its frame, and any other box attributes. Let’s take a look at how these work.

The Shared Content palette in Quark 7 and Quark 8 is located under Window> Shared Content. Whether you select a text box with the Item or Content tool, it will still let you make a new instance of Shared Content. Once you have either a text box with some text in it or a picture box selected, you can either click on the New Shared Content icon in the top left of the palette, or use the double-arrow drop-down menu in the top left of the palette and select New.

Creating new Shared Content.

It is within the Shared Item Properties dialog box that you can choose exactly which properties you wish to share with the Shared Content.

The Shared Item Properties.

If you choose Content Only, and don’t check Synchronize Box Attributes, this feature will work exactly how it worked in QuarkXPress 6 with Synchronized Text.

If you choose Synchronize Content and have both Content and Attributes checked, it will remember what the text or picture attributes are (font, size, color, etc.) when the content is used elsewhere in the Project.

Choosing Shared Item Properties.

Once you have defined the new Shared Content, it appears inside your Shared Content palette. Since this type of content is only the content of a box, it cannot just be dragged onto a page — you must first create a new text or picture box. Then you can drag the Shared Content into the box. Notice how it remembers styling of the type. If you were to change one instance of the Shared Content, they would all update.

Synchronizing both Content and Attributes.

To take it a step further you can also synchronize the attributes of the box itself. By checking Synchronize Box Attributes in the Shared Item Properties dialog box, Quark will not only remember the text, and how the text was styled, but it will also remember the attributes of the box containing it (frame, background color, alignment, inset, etc…). Now that you have synchronized the box attributes you can simply drag the box out of the Shared Content palette and use it within any of your layouts, and it will retain the same look! Then, if you update one instance, they will all update. Synchronizing content in the Shared content palette inside Quark 7 and 8 can be a huge timesaver for any universal changes you need to make to documents. So think it over, where could this tool help you in your current workflow? Once you find a place to use it, USE IT!

Synchronizing both Content and Attributes.

While exploring the boundaries of Shared Content I found a somewhat unconventional way to using this feature. Follow me on this one…

Let’s say you have a “Tip” box of information that uses three or four different text styles. In the old Quark (or the newer ones) you could drag that text box into a Library for later use, and then drag the text box onto any page as needed. (Window> Library) You would then type in the new “Tip” info. You could also set up each style to have a Next style, so that as you typed, the text would automatically be formatted in the Next Style. If you also wanted to have a “style sheet” for the box itself, you could use an XPert Item Style in Quark 7 or an Item Style in Quark 8.

But let’s say you don’t use Libraries, even though you should! Why? Because an item stored in a Library is so easy to drag and drop onto the page! And let’s say you don’t use any Styles…. I won’t even comment on that one. But let’s just say…

Instead, you could make the “Tip” box a piece of Shared Content. This way you could just drop it on the page. Just be sure not to synchronize the Content when you add it to the Shared Content palette. Essentially, you would be using the Shared content palette as a Library – but with more features. This also saves you from having to applying Styles. (However, if Styles were applied, they would be remembered.)

Using Shared Content like a Library.

Either way you slice it, Shared Content can help you synchronize your content at any level you choose.

]]>
http://www.planetquark.com/2008/09/08/from-synchronized-text-to-shared-content/feed/ 1
A Competition to Re-color the QuarkXPress 8 Interface http://www.planetquark.com/2008/08/21/a-competition-to-re-color-the-quarkxpress-8-interface/ http://www.planetquark.com/2008/08/21/a-competition-to-re-color-the-quarkxpress-8-interface/#respond Thu, 21 Aug 2008 15:12:38 +0000 http://planetquark.com/2008/08/21/a-competition-to-re-color-the-quarkxpress-8-interface/ The other day, I received an email from Dave Walsh about QuarkXPress 8.

My favorite quote:
“I love QXP 8 but hated the big green move tool so, I changed it. :-)”

Here’s Dave’s take on it:

For reference, here’s the original design in QuarkXPress 8:

I think his design is pretty good… I like how it would seem familiar to Adobe users and yet Quark users wouldn’t be confused by it.

Of course, the interface team at Quark has been working on these tiny details for a couple of years now. I imagine it went through zillions of reviews before being decided upon, so they’re probably not too excited about reviewing another design.

And then I thought: Wouldn’t it be great if Quark let you “skin” XPress? I’ll bet there’s a place somewhere in the application code that calls to a graphic for use in the toolbox. With some surgery, you could maybe grab their graphic, make it the way you like it, and then save it back to its original location.

And guess what? They have (sort of). It turns out that can change the colors of the interface by changing values in a plain text file. The explanation was posted here. As an example, he provides this color scheme:

For those of us who enjoy a Dreamsicle every now and again, Michel Lemieux posted this scheme:

Quark’s Matthias Guenther is even holding a competition to find the best color schemes. The details are in his post.

But hurry: the Matthias Color Competition ends Aug 31, 2008.

]]>
http://www.planetquark.com/2008/08/21/a-competition-to-re-color-the-quarkxpress-8-interface/feed/ 0
QuarkXPress 8: WYSIWYG Font Menus http://www.planetquark.com/2008/08/19/quarkxpress-8-wysiwyg-font-menus/ http://www.planetquark.com/2008/08/19/quarkxpress-8-wysiwyg-font-menus/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2008 15:18:35 +0000 http://planetquark.com/2008/08/19/quarkxpress-8-wysiwyg-font-menus/ Adding on to Rob Underwood’s fantastic post yesterday about fonts in QuarkXPress 8, QuarkXPress 8 New Font Features below is a little bit more on how the WYSIWYG font menu works, courtesy of X-Ray Magazine. (This is an excerpt from “QuarkXPress 8: a Suite Response.”)

Just another pretty face

Another Dan Logan-titled finally feature: font names displayed in their own typeface by default — in every place that font typeface options are displayed. You will find WYSIWYG fonts in the style menu, the character dialogue box, and even the measurements palette.

I think every QuarkXPress user on the planet has requested this feature, but in case I misread the poll, you can press SHIFT before choosing a font list to temporarily disable this feature. Turn it off altogether in the application preferences.

Oh, and one more thing: font formats are easily identified by the icon to the left of the name O for OpenType, TT for TrueType, and so on. Red icons indicate PostScript and green icons indicate TrueType. These icons also extend to the family menus where you will now be able to easily identify when you have mixed font formats — and choose whether or not to mix them up in your document.

 

A WYSIWYG font list may be the most requested feature.

Along with the new font list, QuarkXPress 8 also logically sorts the entries. East Asian fonts (e.g., Korean, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese) are not just thrown into an alphabetical listing. They are now divided into common-sense groups. It is also OS sensitive so that if using a Japanese OS, those fonts would list higher in the category rankings.

]]>
http://www.planetquark.com/2008/08/19/quarkxpress-8-wysiwyg-font-menus/feed/ 5