Gluon’s ProPack 7 ($199) is a tremendously valuable set of 18 XTensions for QuarkXPress 7. In fact, it’s the best value we’ve ever seen in a group of XTensions. Every professional user should own it.
Here’s what’s included:
- ProScale goes far beyond scaling items and groups — it intelligently scales entire multi-page layouts, even non-proportionally. You can control how every kind of item is (or isn’t) scaled, save presets, undo scaling, and much, much more.
- DragIn lets you drag picture files and text files from the Finder onto a page. If you drag multiple pictures, it can create a catalog with or without labels. If you drag a picture from a Web page, it downloads the picture to the folder containing the document, then imports the picture.
- TableMaker adds several features, including reusable presets, vertical alignment of text within cells, setting up a table’s appearance before importing data, advanced options to fit text, and more.
- QC looks for typographic, layout, alignment, and picture problems that a designer can easily fix. It can then either fix the problem for you or take you to the problem and present the appropriate dialog box to fix it. It can be set to run automatically during Saves or picture import. Its options are immense, and its value enormous.
- QC Collect can collect multiple documents for output at one time, gathering all the fonts and pictures without gathering multiple copies of common fonts or pictures, and it re-links the pictures to the documents. It also has a Hot Folder for automatic collection of any files placed into it.
- Navizoom provides a thumbnail of your page for easy navigation (just drag the red box in the thumbnail to move to a new area). It can also make a slide show from your pages.
- Cropster automatically sets up complex, one- or two-sided folding and trimming mechanicals, with crop marks, guides, and dimension arrows. If later you change the measurements, Cropster rearranges the marks and arrows. You can add crop marks to page items, crop an entire multi-page layout to a new size, save frequently-used presets, and much more.
- iDropper lets you copy and apply item attributes, including an entire series of Paragraph Style Sheets. It can also copy and paste colors on page items and create harmonious sets of colors from one color.
- Reporter generates a complete, formatted report on the content and structure of a QuarkXPress document, and opens it into a new document. The report includes style sheet definitions, colors, pictures, fonts, story length, and much more.
- SpotCheck converts spot colors to process colors, removes unused colors and finds items that use a particular color.
- ProBullets & Numbers lets you add and adjust bullets, numbered lists and indents.
- Pro Grids & Guides provides complete control to create custom grids and sets of guides, which can begin and end anywhere and apply to any range of pages. You can add measurements and line counts in the margins, save presets, and much more.
- Linkster can unlink one box, many boxes or all boxes in a document, while keeping the text in them. It can also link or relink text boxes that already contain text, with many options.
- Cloner lets you “clone” page items from one page to another, either within the same document or to another document, in the same page position as the original. In addition, you can clone pages (contiguous or not) from one document to another, and export combinations of pages into separate new documents. Uniquely, you can clone an item, a group, or page(s) to all open documents at once, and assign a new Section to cloned pages.
- Greeker converts text into nonsense, and back again, maintaining font styles, sizes, line breaks, capitalization, etc.
Upgrades from ProPack 6 cost $119.
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.