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.

New Facebook Group about QuarkXPress

QuarkXPress’ Facebook Group was founded 3 months ago today.

Here’s some history about it:

A bit over three months ago, customers asked Quark why we don’t create a Facebook Group for QuarkXPress.

Quark already had a Facebook Page for QuarkXPress, so I first was hesitant. The Facebook Page is handled by Quark’s Social Media team and “pushes” out news and information about and around QuarkXPress. Sure, Facebook pages also allow a back channel, via comments or a “post to page” at the side, however both is not very prominent. A Facebook Page still feels dominated by the creator of the page, it feels like a push channel. So I was hesitant to create “just another page”.

When I looked at Facebook Groups, it felt like this could be different. A bit more like forums, more user interaction, as everybody can post on the main page.

So exactly three months ago, on July 21, 2015, I created the QuarkXPress Group on Facebook, a bit of an experiment and to see whether that is valuable for QuarkXPress users and fans.

And it was. Almost 700 members after one month, currently at 870 members and every day another fan or user asks to join. So this Group will stay and has become an important communication method between the QuarkXPress team at Quark and QuarkXPress users. And it also helps QuarkXPress users and fans to communicate with each other.

There are many posts by the members of the group, sharing memories of QuarkXPress 3, asking questions on how to do something in QuarkXPress 10 or QuarkXPress 2015, seeking help or participating in small polls. For example an ongoing Facebook Group poll asked about the best version of QuarkXPress so far, and 66% think that it’s QuarkXPress 2015 (see here). And it feels a bit like a QuarkXPress User Group. Another poll asks which feature is more important and thus directly influencing development at Quark.

And it even spans into the real world, when I presented at a tradeshow in Birmingham last week, five members of the QuarkXPress Facebook Group came to the show to talk to me in person.

 

So if you are a QuarkXPress user, fan or just want to see what’s going on,
why don’t you join the group?
https://www.facebook.com/groups/quarkxpress/

 

QuarkXPressFacebookGroup

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.

Instant Contact Sheets in QuarkXPress

One question I get fairly often goes something like: “I have a boatload of images, clip art, logos, etc. How can I automate the process of creating a book of them, with captions?”

The best solution I know of is the $14.99 ContactPage from Badia Software, which was just updated to support QuarkXPress 10, InDesign CC and Apple’s iWork. So without further ado, below is Badia’s description of it.

(While you’re at their website, be sure to check out their other XTensions, which truly open up possibilities you didn’t know existed.)

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ContactPage5_interface-50

ContactPage is the easiest way to create professional-looking contact sheets of images with captions. Use ContactPage to create picture catalogs, proof sheets, photo books, or anytime you need to quickly browse or print pictures with full descriptive text captions.

ContactPage can then build a PDF, image file, slideshow, or page layout document – using Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress or iWork Pages – with all the necessary pages, backgrounds, images and captions customized to your liking.

ContactPage allows you to choose between several export formats when building the contact sheet. Select a Slideshow to simply browse the contact sheet on-screen. Select PDF to build, save and print a PDF file. Select Images to save the sheet as JPEG, TIFF or PNG, one file for each page. Or choose from any of the most popular page layout software packages for building documents: Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress, or iWork Pages.

The easy-to-follow settings in ContactPage give you complete control to customize the look and contents of the final contact sheet. You can specify margins, page size and background, grid rows and columns, picture fitting, headers and footers, box colors and shapes, strokes, drop shadows, opacities, and more.

And ContactPage comes with an interactive preview that takes away the guesswork by showing you exactly how the contact sheet looks as you change the settings.

ContactPage captions can be made to describe their corresponding images in complete detail. You can not only choose the picture name but several other picture attributes as well: full path, file size, kind, color model, image resolution, creator application, date modified, dimensions, containing folder and copyright info, among others.

To compose the captions, ContactPage brings you easy-to-use placeholder labels represented by blue “tokens” that can be combined with any custom text or special characters. Format the captions by choosing the desired font, color, size, justification and vertical alignment.

What’s New

  • Headers and Footers: Specify box height, text settings (font, color, etc), and variable tokens: page number, date, folder or volume.
  • Folder and Files View: You can now organize, display and sort the picture list by folders.
  • Ability to start a new row or page every time a new folder is encountered.
  • Added “Creation Date” to sort picture list.
  • Sort folders by folder tree, name, modified date, creation date or folder level.
  • Specify resolution for PDF files.
  • Create one multi-page PDF file or one PDF file for each page.
  • Export the contact sheet as JPG, TIFF, or PNG, one file for each file. Specify resolution, quality, compression and color mode.
  • Rotate images and captions to any angle.
  • “Randomize” function allows you to rotate images at random.
  • Drop shadows for containers. Specify angle, offset, color, blur and shadow opacity.
  • Picture container opacity and picture opacity controls.
  • Faster preview rendering.
  • Ability to display in the preview any selected picture.
  • Option to turn on and off icon previews in the file list.
  • Added “Date Created” as a caption token.
  • Redesigned user interface and navigation.
  • Compatibility with Adobe InDesign CC and QuarkXPress 10.

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.

Drag Selections from Photoshop to QuarkXPress

In QuarkXPress 8 and higher, you can drag just about any kind of graphic or text file onto a page, from anywhere you can normally drag a file — the desktop, Adobe Bridge, Extensis Portfolio, iMedia Browser, etc. You can even drag text directly from inside a Word document onto a layout page, or even a selection of an image from inside Photoshop onto a page in QuarkXPress.

Now, I don’t recommend dragging Photoshop selections into a layout destined for print, because dragging a selection from Photoshop creates an embedded, 72dpi picture in QuarkXPress. But it’s a useful trick to know in several situations, such as when you’re mocking up a Web app, or when creating a Web page in the Web space in QuarkXPress.

Unfortunately, once you’ve dragged your selection into QuarkXPress, you can’t just drag that selection back into Photoshop, but you can copy and paste it: get the Picture Content tool from the Tools palette (you can also double-click on the picture to switch to the Picture Content tool, or in later versions of QuarkXPress, press the R key on your keyboard):

PictureContentTool-QXP9

Copy the picture box content (Edit> Copy or Command/Ctrl-C), and then switch to Photoshop. Create a new, empty Photoshop document (just press Command/Ctrl-N: the new Photoshop document will automatically have the exact dimensions as your copied picture), and then paste it in (Edit> Paste or Command/Ctrl-V).

A more flexible way to export this picture or ANY picture on a QuarkXPress page is to choose File> Save Picture.

File>SavePicture>SelectedPicture

You can then choose the file format and other attributes for your new image file — optionally including any image areas that you cropped out in QuarkXPress! The result is a new image file containing what was inside your QuarkXPress picture box:

Picture_Export_Options_dialog

Note: your selection in Photoshop must be rectangular to drag it into QuarkXPress. A non-rectangular selection results in an empty picture box in QuarkXPress.

 

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.

Use QuarkXPress Libraries to Share Pictures

QuarkXPress’s Library feature lets you store often-used objects for later use.

One tricky way to use a Library is as a container for graphics you’re providing for someone who is helping you lay out pages — perhaps your logos, head shots, or other standard items. This is clever because the user of that Library doesn’t need the high-resolution files — when they drag the pictures from your Library onto their pages, XPress remembers the links to your original files and the pictures will print at full resolution back on your computer.

To create a Library, just choose File> New> Library…

You can then populate the Library with pictures by first importing them into picture boxes in QuarkXPress and then dragging those picture boxes into the Library. If you drag them one at a time, they can be dragged out again one at a time. If you drag a bunch in at once, they’ll stay clustered as one item in the Library and will appear in their same relative positions to each other when you drag them back out onto the page.

If you have a whole bunch of pictures to add to a library, one  quick way to import them into picture boxes is to use the ImageGrid feature in QuarkXPress 9 and above (Utilities> ImageGrid…).

ImageGrid_Dialog

 

When you point ImageGrid to a folder of picture files, it will create picture boxes on your QuarkXPress page and import all those pictures into them. (It will even create new pages if necessary!) Then, you can simply drag those picture boxes into the Library.

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.