What to look out for when installing High Sierra (and how to revert)

MacOS High Sierra (OS X 10.13), the new version of macOS, is planned to be released on Sep 25, 2017.

The temptation is huge to try it, see what’s new and benefit from the newest features and possibilities of Apple’s newest OS.

Learning from the past?

However there is also a risk: In the past we have seen that some applications did not work well (or at all) on new versions of OS X. With El Capitan, many music applications took months to support it, as Apple changed some underlying technologies needed for them to work.

And though QuarkXPress was certified and officially supported just nine days after the release of El Capitan, some 3rd party XTensions (plug-ins) had some issues.

So to state the obvious: A new OS can potentially stop you from producing/working. Especially with High Sierra, introducing a new file system called APFS.

 

What’s best practice to install/use macOS High Sierra?

It’s quite easy:

  1. If you have a “play system”, use that to test macOS High Sierra and all applications critical for your workflow.
  2. In any case, always have a backup or better a clone available (and create them before you upgrade to macOS High Sierra)
  3. Create yourself a backdoor to be able to revert to your previous macOS:
    http://www.planetquark.com/2015/09/28/how-to-create-yourself-a-backdoor-to-downgrade-os-x/

 

Remember, out-of-the-box there is no possibility to revert to your previous version of macOS, so you either need to create a backup via Time Machine and other methods. Or – better – use the above mentioned tip to create yourself a backdoor, as it is much more convenient by allowing you to work with both setups and revert immediately should you decide to do so.

 

When will QuarkXPress support macOS High Sierra?

Though we do not know of any critical issues of QuarkXPress 2017 with the pre-release of macOS High Sierra, Quark cannot foresee what Apple might still change between the last beta and the final version. Therefore Quark needs to wait until Apple releases macOS High Sierra and then test QuarkXPress 2017 on the release version of macOS High Sierra.

As Apple announced the release of High Sierra for September 25, we have scheduled an Update for QuarkXPress 2016 and 2017 for October 6. These updates will add support for High Sierra to QuarkXPress 2016 and 2017.

Both an engineer and a layout artist, Matthias bridges the gap between technology and people.

Before joining Quark, Matthias pioneered print, Web, and multimedia products for multiple German publishing companies. Since 1997 he has played a central role in shaping Quark’s desktop and enterprise software.
Starting 2003 Matthias has focused on Quark’s interactive and digital publishing solutions. He is an active participant in design and publishing communities and represents Quark in the Ghent PDF Workgroup.

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

QuarkXPress 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.

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/

Both an engineer and a layout artist, Matthias bridges the gap between technology and people.

Before joining Quark, Matthias pioneered print, Web, and multimedia products for multiple German publishing companies. Since 1997 he has played a central role in shaping Quark’s desktop and enterprise software.
Starting 2003 Matthias has focused on Quark’s interactive and digital publishing solutions. He is an active participant in design and publishing communities and represents Quark in the Ghent PDF Workgroup.

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

QuarkXPress supported on macOS Sierra

Good news, both, QuarkXPress 2015 and QuarkXPress 2016 are now supported on macOS Sierra.

sierra

QuarkXPress 8, 9 and 10 – run at own risk

Even better, though QuarkXPress 10 is not officially supported on Sierra, it runs fairly well on 10.12.

And also older versions of QuarkXPress, I briefly tried 8 and 9, run with minor issues on macOS Sierra. However if you need to install fresh, that’s not straight forward and we did hear from some users that they experienced larger issues. So it might be a very individual experience.

Just remember, these previous versions of QuarkXPress are not officially supported on Sierra and therefore not tested by Quark on Sierra.

So you run it at your own risk after intensive tests please. If you are looking for information on which operating these versions were certified, please read here: http://forums.quark.com/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=27713

QuarkXPress 2015 – supported with known issues

If you are using QuarkXPress 2015 on Sierra, which is an officially supported combination of QuarkXPress and operating system, then please be aware that this is supported with a few known Sierra specific issues. You can read about the known issues here: http://files.quark.com/download/documentation/QuarkXPress/2015/English/QXP%202015%20July%20Update%20Known%20and%20Resolved%20Issues_en-us.pdf

So before upgrading to macOS Sierra, please read about the known issues on Sierra, decide then whether running QX2015 on Sierra is what you want to do, first create yourself a backdoor, and then upgrade and test.

QuarkXPress 2016 – fully supported

So just 13 days after the initial release of Sierra, Quark supports Apple’s newest operating system.

QuarkXPress 2016 October Update is fully supported on macOS Sierra. You best find it the update through Auto Update or on Quark’s website.

There are no known Sierra specific issues in the October Update of QX2016, the only restriction is that the new tabbed interface of Sierra is disabled in QuarkXPress.

So first create yourself a backdoor (to be able to revert), make sure QuarkXPress 2016 is updated to the October Update, upgrade OS X to Sierra, and test thoroughly whether all other tools that you need are working fine too.

 

 

And if you plan to upgrade to QuarkXPress 2016, maybe now is a good time, as there’s an attractive offer available until Oct 31, 2016:
http://content.quark.com/productivity-bundle-us.html

 

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.

How to safely install macOS Sierra (and revert if needed)

Yesterday Apple announced the release date of the newest version of its OS, not called OS X anymore, but macOS instead.

The new macOS Sierra (10.12) will be released on Sep 20, 2016.

The temptation is huge to try it, see what’s new and benefit from the newest features and possibilities of Apple’s newest OS.

 

Learning from the past?

However there is also a risk: In the past we have seen that some applications did not work well (or at all) on new versions of OS X. With El Capitan, many music applications took months to support it, as Apple changed some underlying technologies needed for them to work.

And though QuarkXPress was certified and officially supported just nine days after the release of El Capitan, some 3rd party XTensions (plug-ins) had some issues.

So to state the obvious: A new OS can potentially stop you from producing/working.

 

What’s best practice to install/use macOS Sierra?

It’s quite easy:

  1. If you have a “play system”, use that to test macOS Sierra and all applications critical for your workflow.
  2. In any case, always have a backup or better a clone available (and create them before you upgrade to macOS Sierra)
  3. Create yourself a backdoor to be able to revert to your previous OS X:
    http://www.planetquark.com/2015/09/28/how-to-create-yourself-a-backdoor-to-downgrade-os-x/

 

Remember, out-of-the-box there is no possibility to revert to your previous version of OS X, so you either need to create a backup via Time Machine and other methods. Or – better – use the above mentioned tip to create yourself a backdoor, as it is much more convenient by allowing you to work with both setups and revert immediately should you decide to do so.

 

When will QuarkXPress support macOS Sierra?

Though we do not know of any critical issues of QuarkXPress 2016 with the pre-release of macOS Sierra, Quark cannot foresee what Apple might still change between now and shipping. Therefore Quark needs to wait until Apple releases macOS Sierra (on Sep 20) and then test QuarkXPress 2016 on the release version of macOS Sierra. That will typically take 2-3 weeks, though it might be faster (as written, last year it took just nine days). Afterwards Quark can certify and officially support QuarkXPress 2016 on Sierra, which might coincide with a new update of QuarkXPress.

UPDATE Oct 3, 2016: QuarkXPress 2016 is now officially supported on macOS Sierra:

QuarkXPress supported on macOS Sierra

What about the new file system (APFS) of macOS Sierra?

Apple also will feature a new file system in Sierra, APFS. APFS sounds amazing and promises to give features that will help to ensure data safe and speed up operations.

However currently (Sep 8, 2016) Apple lists a lot of restrictions in APFS still and classes it as a Developer Preview:

https://developer.apple.com/library/content/documentation/FileManagement/Conceptual/APFS_Guide/FAQ/FAQ.html

Apple writes there:

What are the limitations of Apple File System in macOS Sierra?

macOS Sierra includes a Developer Preview release of Apple File System. As a Developer Preview, it has several limitations:

  • Startup Disk: An APFS-formatted volume cannot be used as a startup disk.
  • Case Sensitivity: Filenames are case-sensitive only.
  • Time Machine: Time Machine backups are not supported.
  • FileVault: APFS-formatted volumes cannot be encrypted using FileVault.
  • Fusion Drive: Apple File System cannot use Fusion Drives.

Apple further writes: “Apple plans to release Apple File System as a bootable file system in 2017.”

So until Apple doesn’t class APFS as “production quality” and Quark has been able to test a production quality release, for now QuarkXPress will NOT support APFS. Until then, please use a backup when you test APFS in your production environment.

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.