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.

QuarkXPress 2016 now supports 77 OpenType features (plus 5)

stylistic-font

Here’s a list of all 77 OpenType features supported by the user interface of QuarkXPress 2016 (12.2), both Run based features and Glyph based features:

  1. aalt – Access All Alternates
  2. afrc – Alternative Fractions
  3. c2sc – Small Capitals From Capitals
  4. calt – Contextual Alternates
  5. case – Case-Sensitive Forms
  6. clig – Contextual Ligatures
  7. cpsp – Capital Spacing
  8. cwsh – Contextual Swash
  9. dlig – Discretionary Ligatures
  10. dnom – Denominators
  11. expt – Expert Forms
  12. frac – Fractions
  13. fwid – Full Widths
  14. halt – Alternate Half Widths
  15. hist – Historical Forms
  16. hkna – Horizontal Kana Alternates
  17. hngl – Hangul
  18. hojo – Hojo Kanji Forms (JIS X 0212-1990 Kanji Forms)
  19. hwid – Half Widths
  20. ital – Italics
  21. jp04 – JIS2004 Forms
  22. jp78 – JIS78 Forms
  23. jp83 – JIS83 Forms
  24. jp90 – JIS90 Forms
  25. kern – Kerning
  26. liga – Standard Ligatures
  27. lnum – Lining Figures
  28. locl – Localized Forms
  29. nlck – NLC Kanji Forms
  30. numr – Numerators
  31. onum – Oldstyle Figures
  32. ordn – Ordinals
  33. ornm – Ornaments
  34. palt – Proportional Alternate Widths
  35. pnum – Proportional Figures
  36. pwid – Proportional Widths
  37. qwid – Quarter Widths
  38. ruby – Ruby Notation Forms
  39. salt – Stylistic Alternates
  40. sinf – Scientific Inferiors
  41. smcp – Small Capitals
  42. smpl – Simplified Forms
  43. ss01 – Stylistic Set 1
  44. ss02 – Stylistic Set 2
  45. ss03 – Stylistic Set 3
  46. ss04 – Stylistic Set 4
  47. ss05 – Stylistic Set 5
  48. ss06 – Stylistic Set 6
  49. ss07 – Stylistic Set 7
  50. ss08 – Stylistic Set 8
  51. ss09 – Stylistic Set 9
  52. ss10 – Stylistic Set 10
  53. ss11 – Stylistic Set 11
  54. ss12 – Stylistic Set 12
  55. ss13 – Stylistic Set 13
  56. ss14 – Stylistic Set 14
  57. ss15 – Stylistic Set 15
  58. ss16 – Stylistic Set 16
  59. ss17 – Stylistic Set 17
  60. ss18 – Stylistic Set 18
  61. ss19 – Stylistic Set 19
  62. ss20 – Stylistic Set 20
  63. subs – Subscript
  64. sups – Superscript
  65. swsh – Swash
  66. titl – Titling Alternates
  67. tnam – Traditional Name Forms
  68. tnum – Tabular Figures
  69. trad – Traditional Forms
  70. twid – Third Widths
  71. valt – Alternate Vertical Metrics
  72. vrt2 – Vertical Writing
  73. vhal – Alternate Vertical Half Metrics
  74. vkna – Vertical Kana Alternates
  75. vkrn – Vertical Kerning
  76. vpal – Proportional Alternate Vertical Metrics
  77. zero – Slashed Zero

QuarkXPress 2016 also supports 5 OpenType baseline tags through Character Alignment feature:

  1. icfb – Ideographic character face bottom edge baseline
  2. icft – Ideographic character face top edge baseline
  3. ideo – Ideographic em-box bottom edge baseline
  4. idtp – Ideographic em-box top edge baseline
  5. romn – The baseline used by simple alphabetic scripts such as Latin, Cyrillic and Greek

To see what these features mean and to see an explanation of the four-letter-code, please refer to the OpenType reference:

https://www.microsoft.com/typography/otspec/featurelist.htm
and
https://www.microsoft.com/typography/otspec/baselinetags.htm

 

Need more? Please let us know!

 

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.

Charts on the fly: FF Chartwell opens new doors

Chartwell

FF Chartwell is a pi font with a difference, enabling users to create on-the-fly bar, line and other charts without having to go back to Excel or Illustrator every time the numbers change. It’s marketed as requiring Open Type Stylistic Sets, which QuarkXPress 2015 doesn’t currently support. However, what isn’t in the marketing blurb is that all of the Stylistic Sets features are available as Discretionary Ligatures—which QuarkXPress 2015 does support. For Quark users, Chartwell is ready to go.

Could Chartwell be useful to you? In this article we unpack what it does, look at the power of on-the-fly charting more generally, and consider the longer-term impact of Open Type new features.

The scenario

So, you’re working on a long document with lots of numbers. It could be an Annual Report, a Public Health Report, or anything where you want the reader to take in a lot of information relatively painlessly. The number crunching people have given you a pile of Excel documents with charts in them, all of them formatted differently. You’re about to start diligently recreating them to export as EPS files, when a thought strikes you: are these the final numbers? You make a phone call. “Oh,” says the chief number cruncher, “the numbers are changing all the time. We thought we’d give you these just so you can get started. All of the charts will change a bit—we’ll send you the new spreadsheets when they’re ready.”

You silently grind your teeth and decide not to explain how tedious and difficult it is making brand-compliant charts in Excel, and how much work it is to recreate all of them and export them one by one in Illustrator.

Instead, you reach for FF Chartwell—a FontFont collection of charting fonts which are going to save the day.

How it works

FF Chartwell is a set of seven fonts which produce horizontal bar charts, vertical bar charts, line charts, pie charts, ring charts, rose charts and radar charts. At the moment the bar and line charts work perfectly in Quark, but a little trickery is needed if you want to use the pie charts in colour (and you may ask what the benefit of an all black pie chart is). More on that later.

Verticals and linesFor now, we’ll look at vertical bar charts, which are going to be the most useful kind anyway.

 

  1. First, type in your numbers as percentages, separated by a ‘+’: 12+75+18+92.
  2. Then, change the font to Chartwell Vertical Bars.
  3. Finally, turn on ‘Discretionary Ligatures’ in the Open Type features. This is in the Measurements palette, though, as we’ll see shortly, setting it as a Character Style can do more for you.

The magic comes when you turn on ‘Discretionary Ligatures’, because that’s when your numbers turn into perfectly drawn bar charts.

If you turn off Discretionary Ligatures, you can then change the colours.

The result is an attractive bar chart which you can include in text, and, crucially, which you can edit without having to go back to Excel. It will be colour compliant with your colour scheme, and you can control its proportions and spacing using the horizontal width control in the characters section of the measurements palette, and the usual tracking controls.

Once you’re happy with the colours, there’s no reason to be turning discretionary ligatures on and off to edit the numbers. Instead, go to the Story Editor, where they appear as numbers.

Simple.

Continue reading “Charts on the fly: FF Chartwell opens new doors”

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.

Typophile!

Typophile

Way into fonts? Check out www.typophile.com. It has news about font events, font developers, books, free fonts, and enlightening discussions.

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.

Typography Foundations

Foundations_of_Typography

For a crash course on typography basics, check out the Foundations of Typography course from Ina Saltz. Including everything from kerning and tracking to trends in typography, this video training is a good introduction for a beginner or refresher for a designer. 2.5 hours, from Lynda.com.

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.