What is Quark Interactive Designer?

By now you must have heard about Quark’s new Interactive Designer plug-in for QuarkXPress 7, but what is it exactly? What can it do?

Believe it or not, Quark Interactive Designer allows you to create exciting, interactive SWF projects using the tools and features that you’re already familiar with in your favorite layout application—QuarkXPress 7.

The “interactive layouts” that you can create with Interactive Designer are in effect, multimedia presentations saved in the versatile SWF format. Quark Interactive Designer can be used as an alternative to Microsoft’s PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote software to create stand-alone presentations, or to create interactive content for use in larger HTML based websites.

Creating an Interactive layout is simple. All you need to do is create a layout using the same QuarkXPress tools and features that you’re used to working with when creating layouts for print. This includes text and picture boxes, styles, pages, and all of the other tools and palettes available in QuarkXPress 7. Once your layout is complete, you can select objects and make them interactive using the following steps:

  1. Name the objects.
  2. Define the user events that each object should respond to. This is what the person interacting with your layout, called the “end-user,” does with their mouse.
  3. Define the action (or actions) that should be triggered by each user event.
  4. Export the layout in SWF format and use it as a standalone presentation, or as part of a larger HTML based website.

Once you’re comfortable with the basics described above, you can move on to using some of the more advanced features of Interactive Designer, such as creating animations and multi-state buttons, and applying scripts and expressions.