Master the Pen Tools in QuarkXPress 8

The Pen tools in QuarkXPress 8 behave quite differently from how they did before.

Here are a few keyboard tricks to make the Pen tools flow:

  • While using the Pen tool to draw a Bézier path, press Option/Alt to convert a smooth point to a corner point.
  • While in Pen mode, use the Command/Ctrl key to click on and select a point. When a point is selected, the measurements palette is updated with information about that point.
  • Press Command/Ctrl + Option/Alt to temporarily switch to Item mode (so that you may drag your path).

And here’s an incredible hidden trick:

In QuarkXPress 8: If an imported image has a clipping path embedded in it, you can edit that clipping path with the Pen tools. First, select the picture box, then choose Edit> Clipping Path.

Your cursor changes to the Pen tool, and then you can use any of the Pen tools to edit the embedded clipping path!

It’s a little bit different in QuarkXPress 4–7: instead of your cursor changing to the Pen tool, it changes changes to a path-editing cursor that lets you adjust the anchor points and paths.