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.

Mac users: Oct 2018 some of your applications might not work anymore (but which?)

Last Friday Apple reminded everyone that “the last macOS release to support 32-bit apps without compromise is macOS High Sierra”:

https://developer.apple.com/news/?id=12012017a

What does that mean?

It probably means: When you upgrade to the next version of MacOS, which Apple will most likely release end of September 2018, that some or all of your 32 bit applications will not work correctly. Or will not work at all.

As Apple has not shared more detail than what you can read above, it’s hard to predict how much 32-bit applications will be affected. Currently we just know that they will be affected.

What are your options?

So if you still have 32-bit applications that are crucial for your workflow, you have three options:

  1. Stay on your current version of MacOS:
    As Apple typically provides security patches for the current AND the last two previous version of MacOS, you will be safe using Sierra or High Sierra for 1-2 years from Oct 2018 onwards. Then you need to revisit the other two options:
  2. Virtualize your current MacOS:
    Use a virtualization service to install your current version of MacOS in a virtual machine that you can launch. Three examples are Parallels, VMware Fusion or Virtual Box. Downside of course is the additional overhead and the performance impact.
    And you should not connect the virtual machine to the network/Internet once Apple doesn’t provide security patches for it anymore.
    Virtualization might be the only way though if you are using applications that your clients still use. Or where the application is not further developed and there’s no alternative on the market.
  3. Upgrade your 32-bit application to a newer version being 64-bit or use a different application that’s 64-bit:
    For example, upgrade QuarkXPress 9 to at least QuarkXPress 2015. Or upgrade Photoshop CS5 to at least CS6. Or switch to a different image editing application like Affinity Photo.

You still have until September 2018 to make up your mind. Just don’t wait until the last second.

How to find out which of your applications are still 32-bit?

To find out which applications might be affected, you need to find out which applications are not yet 64-bit. Here’s how to easily find out:

  1. Hold the option key, go to Apple menu and choose the first menu item (now called “System Information…”)
  2. In the sidebar of System Information navigate down to “Software > Applications” and select it.

  3. Wait for a few seconds (time depends on how many applications you have installed)

  4. You will see all applications installed. Click on the column “64 Bit” to sort for “No”

Now you will see ALL applications that are not yet 64-bit as well as – further down – all applications that are already 64-bit.

Which version of QuarkXPress is 64-bit?

QuarkXPress 7, 8, 9 and 10 are not 64-bit.

QuarkXPress 2015, 2016 and 2017 are 64-bit.

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 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.

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!

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 find out how your app is doing? (Rank analytics)

When you create a new app and submit it via itunesconnect.apple.com, Apple will send you performance data of how your app is doing. If your app is free, you’ll receive download statistics by Apple, if your app has a price or contains paid content, Apple will also transfer you money (minus the 30% commission). And of course the starting page of e.g. App Studio also gets you some download data.

Just, is that all the data you need to find out how you app is performing?

One additional measure is in-app analytics, this way you can find out what your readers are doing with the app. I have covered that here: http://www.planetquark.com/2012/07/23/analytics-in-apps/

However it can also be interesting, where your app stands in the download ranking in the app store. I can see several reasons, most notable:

  • You have a competitor that you are tracking and you want to know which app is more successful
  • You want to track over time where your app stands and whether its popularity is increasing or decreasing
  • You want to track impact of marketing instruments you are using, like Twitter or Facebook posts or viral marketing efforts and whether this has an impact on app downloads
  • You want to make sure that your app stays in the Top 20 to be able to use the Ranks as a marketing instrument
  • You want to track whether price changes have an effect on app store ranking
  • etc.

Just, how do you track that, the rank of your app? Sure, you could go into iTunes and click on the rank everyday and make a screenshot. Which is tedious and time-intensive, especially if you are tracking your app in different stores (countries).

As you might expect, there are several services that allow you to track performance of your app over time. Some are very expensive, some are inexpensive, some are free (and have restrictions to get you to subscribe to a premium service).

Here are some services that I can recommend checking whether they suit your need. Most give you reports of any app, over all countries, over all app categories (or a very specific one, or both), and over a longer period of time. You can even find out where your app ranks even if it is lower than the top 200. And you can even track competitor’s apps or apps of the large, global players. And except for the native app, there’s no need to run it constantly to get historic data.

Web Services (Apple’s App Store)

Native Apps (Apple’s App Store)

Web Services (Android)

And I am sure there are more, let me know please when you found a good service that I should list.

 

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.