Designer using fonts on MacOS? This article is a must-read!

If you use your Mac professionally, you most likely also work with fonts.

Fonts are essential for designs and professional print.

And if corrupt, they can cause issues, even crash applications upon launch. Or change your output.

One of the best articles I have ever read, summarizing font usage, font management and how to solve font issues is this article by Kurt Lang. I feel it is a must-read for everyone:

http://www.jklstudios.com/misc/osxfonts.html

Kurt has been a frequent poster on Apple’s forums and is constantly updating his article. If you benefit from his article, please consider making a small contribution via PayPal.

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.

What is the QuarkXPress Upgrade Plan?

As you know, QuarkXPress is subscription-free.

QuarkXPress does NOT force you to rent software: You decide whether features in a new version are worth the upgrade price. If you are happy with your current version, just continue to use it as long as you want without ever paying anything additional.

Feedback from the majority our customers is, that subscriptions are unfair. And that YOU want to decide whether a new version is worth the upgrade price (and not want to be forced to pay regardless of what features are offered).

QuarkXPress is always rent-free, no subscription!

However sometimes you prefer to pay a yearly fee and not worry about upgrade prices and when upgrades are being released. You just want to be current.

Therefore for over two decades Quark has offered an optional maintenance plan for QuarkXPress, which continues to be available. It’s called “QuarkXPress Upgrade Plan”

QuarkXPress Upgrade Plan explained

When you purchase a new license or when you upgrade you can optionally add a QuarkXPress Upgrade Plan.

There are two variants of the Upgrade Plan, one that runs 12 months and one that runs 24 months.

As long as your Upgrade Plan is valid, you will receive all updates AND upgrades (major version jumps) for free.

At the end of the Upgrade Plan period, the Upgrade plan does not auto renew. A few weeks before Quark will also remind you about the Upgrade Plan due to expire. You have two options:

  1. You can either purchase a new Upgrade Plan (via Quark direct or an authorized reseller), for 12 or 24 months.
  2. Or you do not renew the Upgrade Plan. Your software will continue to run.

For example:

August 2015: You purchased QuarkXPress 2015 as an upgrade from QuarkXPress 9. You add the optional 12-month QuarkXPress Upgrade Plan.

May 2016: QuarkXPress 2016 is released. Your Upgrade Plan is still valid, so receive the upgrade of QuarkXPress 2016 FOR FREE.

July 2016: You are being reminded to renew the Upgrade Plan. You buy a new 12-month QuarkXPress Upgrade Plan via a reseller.

May 2017: QuarkXPress 2017 is released. Your 12-month Upgrade Plan is valid, so you again receive the upgrade of QuarkXPress FOR FREE.

July 2017: You are being reminded to renew the Upgrade Plan. You decide to not renew the QuarkXPress Upgrade Plan. Your software continues to run.

September 2018: Your software (QuarkXPress 2017) will continue to run.
If there’s a new version of QuarkXPress available, you can always upgrade, however you will NOT get it for free.

December 2018: Your software (QuarkXPress 2017) will continue to run.

If you do not renew the Upgrade Plan, your software will continue to run “indefinitely” (as long as you have hardware and an operating system still allowing to run your current version). At any point in time you can decide to upgrade to the current version of QuarkXPress. Optionally you can add an Upgrade Plan again.

QuarkXPress Upgrade Plan pricing

A 12-month Upgrade Plan costs $169 (plus tax if applicable), so approx. $14 per month.

An Upgrade from QuarkXPress 2016 to QuarkXPress 2017 costs $185.

There are more benefits of the Upgrade Plan, please see here: http://www.quark.com/Buy/QuarkXPress_Sales/Maintenance.aspx

Upgrade Plan for Free?

In January 2018 & February 2018 Quark is offering you a 12-month Upgrade Plan for free when you buy a new full license of QuarkXPress 2017 or an upgrade to QuarkXPress 2017.

So when you buy QuarkXPress 2017 now and Quark releases a new major version of QuarkXPress in 2018, then you will receive it FOR FREE!

QuarkXPress Upgrade Plan Promo
QuarkXPress Upgrade Plan Promo (Jan & Feb 2018)

Bottomline

You decide:

  • Whether you want to pay annually and receive upgrades for free.
  • Whether you want to look at features first and then decide if you want to spend money for the next major version.
  • Or if you want to continue to use your current version and not pay anything.

The choice is yours. Always.

 

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.

Text shading done right (no workaround needed!)

For years QuarkXPress users asked for the ability to shade text (highlight text). As QuarkXPress didn’t offer this feature, there were many workarounds used, either using a custom underline style, anchor a box or by using a rule (above/below) to highlight text.

Unfortunately there can be downsides when using such a workaround. The example above cannot be done with a rule or an anchored box, as a) the highlighted text is at several places and b) breaks across lines.

Therefore in QuarkXPress 2017 we added the ability to to text shading properly. No need for workarounds.

Have a look, it’s maybe a hidden gem, as most people zoomed in on the more obvious highlights of QuarkXPress 2017 such as non-destructive Image Editing, Column split/span, responsive HTML5, free iOS app creation etc.

And probably more powerful than any other page layout application.

Powerful Text Shading in QuarkXPress 2017

In QuarkXPress 2017 there are two methods of Text Shading, for text (character) and paragraph.

Even better, additional to the “shade” you can also give it a frame.

And of course you can add text framing and text shading to style sheets.

And you can use them in a Conditional Style (for automatic formatting, e.g. highlight all instances of “today”.

Examples of Text Shading (character)

Shade any character (or word). You can use solid colors, semi-opaque colors or even multi-color gradients to highlight.

Examples of Text Shading (paragraph)

You can also add paragraph shading (and combine that with character shading).

Paragraphs can be shades as wide as the text runs, within indents or span the column (irrespective of indents).

Built-in intelligence (watch GIF)

When two paragraph shades are consecutive and have the exact same definition, QuarkXPress 2017 joins them automatically. No need for you to adjust manually.

When definitions slightly differ (as in the example below, once opacity differs), then the two shades are not joined automatically.

Examples of automatic shades (via Conditional Style)

Of course you can automate that (using Conditional Styles) to automatically highlight a specific word:

And of course it works with irregular shapes

Have boxes that are not rectangular? Just tell QuarkXPress 2017 whether it should ignore the shape of the box or automatically “clip shade to box”:

And more?

Yes, there is more, you can also add Text Framing. But that’s another story (post)…

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.

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.

QuarkXPress 2017 is a single bundle… sorry what?

As you may have read, QuarkXPress 2017 on MacOS will be supplied as a single bundle.

What does that mean?

A single bundle is a special “file” on MacOS that appears as one file, though it is really a folder containing many things.

Have a look at QuarkXPress 8 thru 2016 please and how it differs from QuarkXPress 2017. You can see that MacOS lists QuarkXPress 2017 as an “application” (and not a folder) and also doesn’t show the “uncollapse” icon:

What are the advantages of QuarkXPress 2017 being a single bundle?

A few notable advantages are:

  • Users can install, relocate, and remove bundles simply by dragging them around in the Finder.
  • Bundles are less susceptible to accidental user modifications, such as removal, modification, or renaming of critical resources.
  • Bundles are less likely to suffer from permission issues.

What does that mean for you, as a user?

Besides that it is easier to install and will have less issues? Hardly any difference.

Only when you install XTensions (plug-ins) or scripts there is a difference.

Creating Global Preferences

By default, the Preferences folder of QuarkXPress  are stored in the user folder. That’s where they should be and have been for several versions of QuarkXPress.

They reside in a sub folder that is named after the main version, so that they do not clash if you have several versions of QuarkXPress installed.

However sometimes you need to create a global Preferences folder, meaning all users on your Mac will use the same preferences. That can cause issues, still some users prefer that (mostly when they are the only user using the Mac).

With previous versions of QuarkXPress you could create a global preferences folder by creating it inside the application folder of QuarkXPress. This is not possible anymore, so now you need to create a folder called “Preferences” on the same level as the QX2017 bundle (so e.g. in Application folder).

If you do not like having a Preferences folder in Application folder, just create a subfolder “QuarkXPress 2017” and put the application (bundle) and Preferences folder in there.

Installing XTensions

If the XTension (plug-in) you are installing has an installer, then you do not need to worry about this.

If you need to manually install the XTension, then you need to be aware that QuarkXPress 2017 will load third party XTensions from the following two locations:

a) ~/Library/Application Support/Quark/QuarkXPress 2017/XTensions (so “Library” in your User folder)
b) /Library/Application Support/Quark/QuarkXPress 2017/XTensions (the main “Library” folder on your Macintosh folder)

Notes:

  • If the XTension is placed in the main Library path, it will be available to all the users on that Mac.
  • If deployed in the user’s library path, the XTension will only be available to that particular user.
  • If the same XTension exists in both these locations, then the one in User’s Library location will get the preference.

This means that for the first time you can install different XTensions for different users on your Mac.

Installing Scripts

Same is true for Scripts, QuarkXPress 2017 will load scripts from the following two locations:
a) ~/Library/Application Support/Quark/QuarkXPress 2017/XTensions/Scripts
b) /Library/Application Support/Quark/QuarkXPress 2017/XTensions/Scripts

Notes:

  • If a script is placed in the main Library path, it will be available to all the users on that Mac.
  • If a script is deployed in the user’s library path, the script will only be available to that particular user.
  • If the same script exists in both these locations, then the one in User’s Library location will get the preference.

 

“Single Bundle” is a feature provided by MacOS and therefore not possible on Windows.

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.