6. March 2017

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Create as many apps as you want – for free, from your Desktop?

As you might have seen, Quark has introduced QuarkXPress 2017 with the ability to create and export “unlimited”* iOS Single Apps directly out of QuarkXPress.

The advantages of this are:

  •  No need to create a log-in or use a system or portal
  • You create the apps directly from your Desktop out of QuarkXPress
  • You can create the design within your app with the same tool – QuarkXPress – that  you use for print
  • You can even convert Print layouts to digital and show them in your app
  • You can add stunning interactivity
  • All content is 100% HTML5
  • You get the apps delivered to your Desktop as a single delivery, your content is “backed in”
  • You can transfer your app to your test iPad or iPhone
  • You can hand in your app to Apple and – once approved – have it being delivered to your customers via the Apple’s App Store

All you need is QuarkXPress 2017 and an Apple Developer Account. Don’t worry, you won’t have to develop anything, it is Apple’s prerequisite to submit apps to the App Store.

So yes, you can create single apps for iOS directly from your Desktop.

How does it work?

A detailed documentation and video tutorials will be available once QuarkXPress 2017 has been released (in second quarter of 2017).

Here are the steps in a nutshell:

1) Prerequisites

  1. Get a developer account with Apple, which is $99 per year.
  2. Go to Apple’s developer portal and create 4 things, a development & distribution certificate and a development & distribution provisioning profile.
    (On Mac oyu can do that using Keychain, on Windows you will need to install the free OpenSSL)
  3. Go to iTunes Connect, basically the marketing portal for submitting apps to the App Store, and create marketing descriptions etc.
  4. Create an app icon and splash screens for your app

2) Create your app

  1. Create a digital layout in QuarkXPress 2017 (or convert an existing Print layout to a digital one). Optionally add a second layout for the other (vertical/horizontal) orientation.
  2. If you want, add interactivity like animations, audio, video, slideshows (using the HTML5 palette)
  3. Choose File > Export As > iOS App
  4. In the dialog appearing, add the two certificates and the two provisioning profiles. Add all meta data needed, like the app ID provided by Apple in iTunes Connect, the icon and the splash screens you created.
  5. Export your app ( so you need an internet connection then, however no log-in into any system).

3) Test and submit your app

  1. Either wait until the progress bar finishes or let it run in the background. After a while QuarkXPress 2017 will save two apps to your Desktop (or the folder that you specified), a test app and a production app.
  2. On Mac, transfer your test app to your iPad/iPhone, e.g. using iTunes or – my recommendation – “Apple Configurator 2“. On Windows use iTunes please.
  3. Test thoroughly.
  4. If fine, submit your production app to Apple. On Mac, you do that using Application Loader by Apple.
    From Windows you cannot do that, as Apple requires you to use Application Loader, which is only available on MacOS. So you either need to find somebody with a Mac to do that for you or rent a Mac. Here’s an example of a services in the cloud that allow you to rent a Mac for an hour: http://www.macincloud.com/
  5. Wait until Apple approves your app.

Done. And now create the next one.

A video of this can be seen here:

 

 


*Quark’s EULA specifies what “unlimited” means. Basically it is a “fair use” policy, so you can create as many apps as you need for your own use or to create for your customers. Quark e.g. doesn’t allow you to build a system around it, so a service that you pass on to other customers. Also the use is possible as long as QuarkXPress 2017 is the most recent version or the version before the most recent version of QuarkXPress. Afterwards you need to upgrade to a newer version to be able to use app export. All other functionality of QuarkXPress 2017 of course doesn’t have any timed restriction. You need an Apple Developer Account, which costs you an additional fee. And to submit an app to Apple, Apple requires you to use a Mac.

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1. March 2017

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Quark today introduces QuarkXPress 2017

Quark introduced today QuarkXPress 2017, the next major release of Quark’s fully-integrated graphic design and layout software for professional print and digital production. It is scheduled to be released in the second quarter of this year.

What’s New in QuarkXPress 2017

The new features and functionality designers will find in QuarkXPress 2017 fall into three major categories:

1) Images and vectors,

2) Typography and text, and

3) Customer wishlist items.The wishlist items have been prioritized by users of QuarkXPress.

And for the ones publishing digitally, there’s one more thing:
QuarkXPress offers digital publishing functionality that is unique, like responsive HTML5 Publications and “unlimited”* app creation for iOS.

1) Images and Vectors

QuarkXPress already provides Bezier editing so designers can remain in one application for page layout and vector drawing. With the new image editing features it’s now possible to stay in QuarkXPress to perfect images too. Here are the highlights of the new image and vector capabilities:

  • Non-destructive Image Editing
  • Transparency Blend Modes
  • New Shape Tools
  • Enhancements to Multicolor Gradients
  • Item Format Painter
  • and more

2) Text and Typography

QuarkXPress has always provided powerful typographic tools such as the still unmatched ability to apply horizontal AND vertical kerning as well as editing kerning pairs. QuarkXPress 2017 adds powerful new possibilities (highlights):

  • Text Stroking
  • Text Shading
  • Column Spanning
  • Column Splitting
  • Smart Quotes

 3) Wishlist items

It is standard practice for Quark to implement the most frequently user-requested features into QuarkXPress. Many of the following features were developed for QuarkXPress 2017 based on customer feedback. Here are the highlights:

  • Enhancements to Convert to Native Objects
  • Adaptive Layout Conversion for Print
  • UI Enhancements on Mac and Windows
  • Cursor Key Increments/Decrements
  • Non-breaking Text Attribute
  • Merge Text Boxes
  • Line Between Columns
  • Proportional Leading
  • Enhanced Word Import
  • Most Recent Fonts

4) Digital Publishing:

QuarkXPress is optimized to export high-quality output to a variety of print and digital output formats such as certified PDF/X4, ePUB3 (eBooks), HTML5 Publications (e.g. flipbooks) and even mobile apps for iOS and Android (via AppStudio) .

New features bring even more power and flexibility to digital publishing from QuarkXPress 2017, including:

  • Responsive HTML5 Publications
  • Adaptive Layout Conversion for Digital
  • “Unlimited”* Free iOS Single Apps Creation

System Requirements

QuarkXPress 2016 and 2017 both support the newest three operating systems from both MacOS and Windows.

Mac: Yosemite (OS X 10.10), El Capitan (OS X 10.11) and Sierra (MacOS 10.12)
Windows: Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 (64 bit only, with latest updates)

Please note that QuarkXPress 2017 may work on older operating systems, however these are not supported or tested by Quark.

 

Special QuarkXPress 2017 Pre-Order Offers

From March 1, 2017 until QuarkXPress 2017 is officially available, Quark is offering special pre-order offers. With the Buy QuarkXPress 2016, Get QuarkXPress 2017 offer, users who purchase a full new license or upgrade to QuarkXPress 2016 from any version now will receive a free copy of QuarkXPress 2017 when it becomes available. Quark is also offering current QuarkXPress 2016 users to preorder a QuarkXPress 2017 upgrade.

These offers are valid for all license types except Education and NFR. To learn more www.quark.com/2017.

To take advantage of the special offers please visit the Quark Store, contact the Quark Telesales Team, or work with an Authorized Reseller.

 

*The app creation functionality is subject to certain restrictions. And you will need to create your own Apple Developer ID which is subject to Apple’s terms and conditions. Please see the QuarkXPress End User License Agreement for full details.

 

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28. February 2017

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How to see previews of QuarkXPress documents – even without having QuarkXPress running or installed

QuickLook / Quick View images and other files

Often you need to see a preview of documents that you have on Mac. With images that’s easy, by setting the right preferences MacOS / OS X will show you thumbnails of images and even previews when you select an image and hit the spacebar.

That’s possible because Apple built an interesting technology into MacOS / OS X called QuickLook.

QuickLook can either create or extract previews in certain file types and present them to you, so that it is easier to find out whether it is the right file.

JPG, PDF, movies, audio files, text files and many more.

What about QuarkXPress documents?

You might not have QuarkXPress running or need to visually see a QuarkXPress document on a Mac where you do not have QuarkXPress installed.

On Macs, where you have QuarkXPress installed, this is easy, just hit the spacebar. As QuarkXPress will have installed a QuickLook plug-in on first launch, Finder can show you thumbnails and previews of QuarkXPress documents.

On Macs, where you do not have QuarkXPress installed, you can install a free QuickLook plug-in (made by Quark) to also see previews and thumbnails of QuarkXPress documents. Here’s an extract of an article on forums.quark.com:

Free QuickLook plug-in to preview QuarkXPress projects
This will allow you to see thumbnails of QuarkXPress Projects (.qxp) in Finder and also provide a QuickLook preview.
This works for .qxp files created with QuarkXPress 7, 8, 9, 10, 2015 and 2016; regardless whether you have QuarkXPress installed or not.

1. Download the zipped QuickLook plug-in: Click to download QXP QuickLook plug-in

2. Unzip it.(Unzip by double-clicking the downloaded file.)

3. Navigate to folder /Library/QuickLook/(That’s the main ‘Library’ folder on your Macintosh HD.)

4. Put the QuickLook plug-in into this folder.(So copy the file ‘QuarkXPress.qlgenerator’ there. Finder will probably ask you for permission. If you already find one in there, replace it.)

5. Log off and log on again.

(To test whether it works, you can download a sample QXP file: Click to download sample QXP)

And what about “exotic” file formats?

If you have other file formats that you often need to preview and out-of-the-box MacOS doesn’t handle them, then have a look at the following great site, it lists all known QuickLook plug-ins – free and commercial – available for MacOS / OS X:

http://www.quicklookplugins.com/

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17. February 2017

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10 Do’s and Dont’s When Using QuarkXPress

Jay Nelson, author of the new “QuarkXPress for Dummies” book has posted ten Do’s and Dont’s for QuarkXPress.

These include useful tips & tricks, for example to use the built-in calculator and why not to scale images below a certain resolution.

Please see here for the complete post: http://www.dummies.com/software/other-software/10-dos-donts-using-quarkxpress/

Jay has written more blog posts about QuarkXPress there, all interesting reads. Enjoy!

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