QuarkXPress 8: Entirely New Picture Box Behavior

For QuarkXPress 8, Quark completely re-thought how a picture box should behave and came up with a much more visually interactive, intuitive way of working with pictures. Without switching tools, you can scale, crop and rotate the picture within its box, all while seeing the entire picture — even the stuff outside the box.

If you’ve ever used an iPhone or the trackpad on Apple’s latest laptops, you know how intuitive it can be to squeeze, rotate, pan and otherwise manipulate photos and websites on those devices, just by squinching your fingers around.

To me, editing pictures in QuarkXPress 8 is similarly intuitive. The word “sculptural” comes to mind, as the pictures flowingly change with my mouse movements.

You have to learn a few keystrokes and mouse movements to master the technique, but that only takes a few minutes. The reward is a truly artistic connection with pictures on your QuarkXPress page. For a quick overview of how the new picture boxes work in QuarkXPress 8, see the story below, courtesy of X-Ray magazine. (This is an excerpt from “QuarkXPress 8: a Suite Response“.)

Check out figure 29. Nice box, huh? Wait, where’s the box’s bounding edges and why is my image all over the place? Well, welcome to another new feature. Now, when you have an image in the box, you get to view all the parts of the image; even the parts that do not fit into the box. This ghosted image is especially advantageous when you are trying to design a page and you need to see what you’re missing — and position accordingly.

 

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Figure 29

Figure 29 Place an image in a box and QuarkXPress 8 renders the entire image so that you can easily position it — and there are handles on everything for rotation, scaling, and positioning — even the parts of the image that are ghosted.

GETTING A HANDLE ON IT

Notice that the rotation tool is missing from the tool palette. Here again, don’t panic, it is not gone; it’s simply been repositioned in Quark’s zeal to streamline. Find a box somewhere on your page, select it, then mouse near a corner handle (did you notice that the handles are larger, too?). Click and drag to rotate the picture. You may continue to use the measurements palette to set the rotation of a picture, but it’s not particularly intuitive and doesn’t lend itself to visual design. This is another effort from Quark to eliminate the design-by-numbers approach used by earlier versions of QuarkXPress.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Figure 30

Figure 30 The rotation tool has taken leave of the tool palette and now resides in your mouse. Find the corner handle of any active box and spin to your heart’s content.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Figure 31

Figure 31 Keep going. Nudge your mouse a little closer to that corner handle and you’ll get the resize tool. Click and drag to simply and effortlessly size an item or a group.

 

In previous versions of QuarkXPress, if you wanted to resize multiple items, you would have to select all of the items, group the items, and then resize the group. With QuarkXPress 8, it’s not quite so difficult (or as annoying as grouping items you didn’t want grouped and then forgetting to ungroup them, and… well, you know…).

Here’s how to scale multiple items and not scale the content of each item:

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 1Draw or select multiple items.

 

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 2Press the COMMAND (Mac) or CONTROL (Windows) modifier key.

 

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 3Click and hold down on a corner handle.

 

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 4Drag to scale the items.

 

To scale multiple items and the content of each item within the group:

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 1Draw or select a group of items.

 

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 2Press the OPTION + COMMAND (Mac) or OPTION + CONTROL (Windows) modifier keys.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 3Click and hold down on a corner handle.

 

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 4Drag to scale the items.

 

Add the SHIFT key to either of the functions above to constrain the proportions.

FINDING YOUR CENTER

A quick trick from the random column: to resize an item or multiple items from the center do this:

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 1Click and drag a handle.

 

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 2Before releasing the mouse, add OPTION (Mac) or ALT (Windows).

 

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 3Release the mouse before you release the key to accept the size.

Now that you’ve resized those items, what have you done to the pictures inside the picture boxes? Well, now you know: The effective image resolution field on the classic tab of the measurements palette displays the output resolution of the selected picture by calculating the picture’s native resolution and factoring any scaling applied to the picture in QuarkXPress 8.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Figure 32

Figure 32 To view the effective resolution of any image, select the image and go to the classic tab of the measurements palette. The effective resolution is displayed in the bottom right-hand corner.