Going Online with QuarkXPress

Real World QuarkXPress 7Peachpit Press has posted the Web publishing chapter from Real World QuarkXPress 7, by David Blatner and Patti Schulze. Wisely, the chapter assumes that you’re a QuarkXPress page layout professional, not a Web coder. So, it explains in basic terms what you need to know to increase the value of your XPress documents by taking them from print to the Web. For example:

“If you’re reading this article, chances are that you want one of two things from QuarkXPress: either to export final web pages that look just like what you see in XPress, or to export your content (text and perhaps graphics) so you can use it in another Web design program.”

And why you’d want to use XPress to make Web pages:

“So what’s the advantage of using QuarkXPress? First, you can design your web page using the familiar Text Box and Picture Box tools, and moving the boxes around to your liking. You can even preview the page in a browser before exporting to make sure that your design displays properly. Second, you can easily convert existing XPress content to a web document.”

And also why this workflow makes sense:

“So why did Quark put all that time and energy into adding so many web tools? For a simple reason: Too many customers were mocking up web page designs using QuarkXPress, Illustrator, and Photoshop, and then printing out the designs and telling web folks to re-create the whole thing using other tools. It’s a sadly common workflow, and it’s incredibly inefficient.”

They explain why this is more efficient, and recommend a different workflow:

“The web tools in QuarkXPress let you cut out a major step in the process because you can quickly build a mockup of a web page or web site using the XPress tools you already know how to use, and the web folks can use your work as a first draft. Sure, you can build a finished web page or a web site in XPress, but in most cases you’ll want to tweak your results in a more sophisticated program, such as Adobe Dreamweaver or Adobe GoLive.”

They even discuss an excellent XTension that adds even more power to Quark’s ability to produce Web pages from existing documents:

“Gluon’s WebXPress… lets you do things that QuarkXPress can’t do by itself. For instance, export all your text and graphics from a regular XPress document, without reformatting it as a web document. More importantly, it can export all your stories and graphics as linear HTML, without page geometry. It offers a number of other cool features, such as XML, eBook format, and Palm HTML export. It also can create a web page with a Table of Contents page.”

I can testify to the power and utility of WebXPress. The folks at Gluon are among the best at creating XTensions that save tons of time, and if you have a long document (or lots of short ones) that simply need to be converted to HTML with navigation buttons, WebXPress is an excellent choice.