HOW Sweet It Was! Thoughts from a design conference — part 3

I don’t know when Quark began making it difficult (if not impossible) for schools to teach QuarkXPress. I do know that Quark fixed that problem a year or two ago, as they began providing QuarkXPress to schools for a very low price, and began providing packages of training materials to the teachers. Go, Quark!

Why does this matter to us, the experienced, advanced, longtime Quark users? Because we now have an entire generation of designers who are ignorant about what QuarkXPress can do, and are smug about their ignorance. I run into it every time I speak with designers about QuarkXPress. Existing users don’t know half of what it can do, and InDesign users have bizarre fantasies about what QuarkXPress CAN’T do.

I’m writing about it today because I experienced it last week at the HOW Design Conference in Austin, Texas, where I presented a three-hour session on “QuarkXPress Integration with Adobe’s Creative Suite.” The seamless integration is spectacular — just ask anyone who attended my session.

These people were hungry for information that would help them defend against the onslaught of young InDesign users. We talked about Quark-exclusive features such as adjusting pictures directly on the page, then exporting them for use on websites and in Flash animations. Sharing content in real time across multiple projects. Designing and exporting logos. The list goes on and on. (See my first post in this series for more.)

I’m also writing about it to encourage existing QuarkXPress users to expand their skills. If you don’t know what XPress can do, you have no argument against dropping it.

Quark has plenty of online resources that make it easy to discover what’s new in QuarkXPress. One of my favorites is their straightforward chart at www.8.quark.com/quarkupgrade/comparequark.html. It shows which features have been added over the years and also highlights the leading features from QuarkXPress 3 to QuarkXPress 8.

Quark’s website also has videos and white papers that explain various features, and you can even download their professional training material for free!

Other great resources include the training videos at Lynda.com and Total Training, and the free X-Ray Magazine.

And of course, there’s always THIS resource, www.PlanetQuark.com.