Things You Absolutely Need to Know About QuarkXPress

What you can do when documents aren’t behaving correctly

Like all computer files, QuarkXPress documents can get corrupt. In a fast-paced production workflow, the last thing you need is to have to rebuild a file from scratch, or have a file that continually crashes on you. I have personally seen a lot of problems with QuarkXPress 4 documents that are opened in QuarkXPress 6. In this next installment I will share some down and dirty tricks on how to fix them.

First the good news… In QuarkXPress 7, if you crash, Quark automatically makes a folder on your desktop called the “Quark Rescue Folder.” Quark tries to save your current work into this folder. So if Quark crashes, and you haven’t saved in a while, this is the first place you should look.

If you’re using QuarkXPress 4 or 5 and you notice screen redraw issues, like graphics disappearing when you zoom in or out, there is a special shortcut to force the screen to redraw: Command + Option + . (Mac), or Control + Alt + . (Win). This usually fixes the problem. This same redraw problem can happen when text is selected in QuarkXPress 6 — after you deselect the text, it looks like it’s still selected. To fix it, just press F7 twice to Show and Hide guides. It’s a lot easier than the previous shortcut.

Now for those pesky problems of Quark 4 documents in Quark 7. I have seen constant crashing, and also weird warnings like “You cannot link text boxes across Master Pages.” Just when I thought I had the Master page linked text text box figured out, I kept getting this message upon saving my document. The trick is that you cannot link automatic text boxes across Master Pages. It seemed to fix the issue for a while, but the document never did behave as it should have. Bad document! Here are your options for fixing Quark documents:

• From within QuarkXPress, choose File> Open, select the document you want to fix, and then hold down Option (Mac) or Alt (Win) while you press the button labeled “Open” in the Open dialog box. (Note: holding the Option key while double-clicking a document in the Finder will not perform this cleanup. Only using the File> Open dialog box will do it.) If you do this, Quark will rebuild the file for you. This has fixed a lot of Quark documents for me that just kept crashing Quark.

• Thumbnail drag the pages from the problem document into a new document. First make a new document with the same dimensions and facing pages option as your problem document. Then change the View of both documents to Thumbnail by choosing View> Thumbnail.

• Shrink the windows of both documents enough to see both documents on your display. Click on the first page in the problem document, then hold down the Shift key and click on the last page to select all the pages in the problem document. You can now drag those pages into the new document and drop them just below the first page in the new document.

• Then delete the first page of the new document and you’ll have a new document with all your old pages rebuilt. But beware: any items on the Pasteboard are not copied over, so you may want to drag those onto a new page in the old document before dragging the pages into the new document.

(Bonus tip: change the View to 25%. You’ll be able to see and select everything on your Pasteboard, so you can either drag them onto a new blank page in your old document, or copy and paste them into your new document. I suggest NOT copying and pasting, as this won’t clean up any problems in those items — you’ll just be bringing the old problems into the new document.)

If you’re using QuarkXPress 7, another option is to choose File> Append… instead of dragging Thumbnails. Choose File> Append…, then select your old document.

Click on the Layout choice in the left column and click the Include All button to add it to the list. Click the OK button and the Layouts from the old document will be added to the new document. You can then delete the existing blank Layout in the new document (Layout> Delete).

Another timesaving tip is to hold Command (Mac) or Control (Win) while you open a QuarkXPress document from within the File> Open dialog box. This will update any modified or missing images in your document automatically.

And of course, if all else fails, call Quark’s free tech support at 1-800-676-4575, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — they’re friendly and always eager to help.

One last quick reminder to do your part to make Quark a better program, SUBMIT CRASH REPORTS! Believe it or not, there are people at Quark who check these every day, and this is how they learn what to fix!