How to Open 6 with 6 and 7 with 7

Recently, received this question:

I am running Quark 6.5 and Quark 7.3 simultaneously. Problem is all of my file icons (for all versions) now appear as Q7 files. I remember reading somewhere that there is a utility that will make the file icons display “version-appropriate” and open with the right version when double-clicked. I have been scouring the internet and reading back over every newsletter and magazine I’ve saved for the last few months trying to find where I read this. But I am coming up emptyhanded. Does this sound familiar to you? If you can point me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it.

The short answer is No. The longer answer is “kind of”, and it has two parts:

A free XTension:

alef’s qxpIconator is a free utility that adds a version number to the icon on documents last modified in QuarkXPress 3, 4, 5 or 6. To use it, you drag and drop folders full of documents onto it, and it adds a new icon to every QuarkXPress document.

It hasn’t been updated for QXP 7, but a quick test shows that while it does put a 6 on QXP 6 documents, it puts a 3 on QXP 7 documents. Obviously, this isn’t ideal, but assuming you don’t use any actual QXP 3 documents in your workflow, then you can use the 3 icon to indicate a QXP 7 project. (Are we having fun yet?)

However, having a different icon doesn’t cause a document to automatically open into the appropriate version of its application. It just changes its icon so you can see which version you should use to open it.

What Mac OS X does:

The Macintosh operating system controls which version of an application will open a document when you double-click that document. If no version of an application is currently running, it launches the newest version on your Mac.

But if you have an earlier version running, it may attempt to open the document with that version. That’s when you’ll get an error message saying that you can’t open the document with that version. For example: when QXP 7 isn’t running, launch QXP 6, then double-click a QXP 7 project. QXP 6 will correctly complain that it can’t open that project.

How about when both versions are running? Then it depends on when you launched the earlier version — if you launched QXP 6 before launching QXP 7, the project should attempt to open in QXP 6. BUT, if you launched QXP 7 before launching QXP 6, then the project may attempt to open into QXP 7. (Now are we having fun?)

So here’s a suggestion: if you know that you’ll be working on QXP 6 projects, launch QXP 6 first. That way, QXP 6 projects will open into QXP 6, and if you double-click a QXP 7 project you’ll get an error message and you can then drag that project onto the QXP 7 icon in the dock to open it in QXP 7.

Ah, now we truly are having fun. ;-)

(A big thanks to Brad Walrod for pointing out qxpIconator, and to Linda Weidemann for the version order information.)